We actually ran this same race last year; it was my first half marathon. Ever. I had the worst experience last year. I didn't train at all for the 13.1 miles, and ended up having to walk a lot of the race because my knees were killing me. Since I was one of the last runners throughout the course, many of the aid stations ran out of Gatorade and I was running in complete darkness the majority of the night. To make matters worse, all of the post-race booths had packed up by the time I finished so I didn't get to even bask in the glory of all the complimentary snacks. I did however get a really cool glow-in-the-dark medal though!
Last year: Pre-race
This year was a little better. The half marathon was split into two waves, with the slower runners starting first. Based on my fastest half marathon time, I could have run in the latter wave, but I chose to run in the first wave so that I would finish earlier in the night. That was the best decision of the night. I was able to get Gatorade at all of the aid stations this year and was able to enjoy the post-race booths. It also greatly helped that I carried a water bottle with me. Some of the aid stations even filled it up when I got low on water :) I tried Honey Stinger Chews for the first time, about two chews every two miles, and while they tasted really good, I don't think they helped my endurance and stamina that much. I also ended up taking a vanilla PowerBar PowerGel around mile 10. I now know that vanilla is my least favorite flavor. It tastes like yogurt which many people may like, but not me. I do really like the consistency of the PowerBar PowerGels much better than Gu though.
Even though Lauren and I were able to run the majority of our previous half marathons, we ended up walking about 3 miles this race. I think it was the heat at the beginning that killed us. That, and the fact that we ran 6 additional miles that morning. Oh well.
This year: Pre-race
This year: Post-race