I was at the Arc at 8.30. Big mistake. I had to walk 500m to leave my bag and then to run to be at the end of 29,000 runners. It took me 10 seconds to cross the start and I forgot all about my pace makers.
I was totally focused once I got into the race and kept a pace at around 5.30 per km. The second part wouldn't go down so easily. By 25 I felt that my left leg was kind of wobbling in the quad region, so I knew it would be an issue. I had to slow down because I wanted to finish and I knew that if I got a cramp at that part of the leg I was finished. After 30 I walked and ran. Some runners were very encouraging and gave me a pat on the back. One told me to focus on the road (I was running near the blue line). The crowd was also encouraging.
Finally, I just spotted a recognizable object at 100, 200m and ran until there and then walked. I repeated this over again for the last 12km. It took me 1h and 30min to complete that distance. I remember trying to jog the last 5 km but it didn't work out for me. Then I tried the last 3km, but all I managed was a 200m jog to the finish line!
I have very nice memories of the race. I felt that it was cool to have banana halves, oranges, cut in four, dates, sugar cubes, red wine, cake, firemen overhead, the person who shouted "vive le France," and the crowd encouraging us. It was very nice scenery (especially the Bois de Boulogne) where we ran around the ponds. Of course I felt very disappointed because I was aiming at around 3:45. But in no case did I expect what happened to my body at, and a little before, 30km. In no case did I lose the sense of my objective in any part of the race, but I recognized that dropping out was a very likely possibility - and no one wants to do that.
There were a few cases where runners were sitting on the curb, or stretching and I heard the ambulance siren twice. I saw one person at the 34th km and a little after making some strange noises and electronic equipment around him as the medics had taken off his shirt and was trying to help him regain consciousness.
All in all, what I did not like was the passage in the tunnel (Where did THAT come from?) It was 600 to 800m long, pitch dark, and quite hot so that made it an issue of concern. However, coming out was fantastic like an army roaring to the attack, into the light I went!
I enjoyed it - but one last word. 42km is a long distance.
5 km : 27.50
10 km : 55:53
15 km : 1.22:43
21 km : 1.56:09
25 km : 2.17:50
30 km : 2.47 :46
35 km : 3.25: 03
42 km : 4.20:05