|Started with the top row|
(plus a Roctane) and finished
with 3 bonus PowerBar gels.
Grab extras. Grab extra Gu, water, and whatever else they're handing out. My loot from Pensacola? I ate 4 gels during the race (and an orange slice! Mmmm!) and only one of the gels was mine from home - a Vanilla Orange Roctane. I always start with 4 gels *just in case.* It's better to have extras that you don't need than not have any and miss a gel station. So of the 4 I ate, 3 were ones I picked up on the course. Since I grabbed 2 at all three stations handing them out, that means I finished with 2 more than I started with. Bonus! Oh yeah. And one of the Hammer gels I brought from home was loot from the Towpath Marathon.
Note: If you, like me, are carrying 193 gels in your hands - offer them to people who look like they need them. I've only ever had 1 person take me up on the offer but you never know. I've missed a gel station before and I wasn't about to turn around and go back. If you didn't have gels of your own you might end up really regretting that decision later. Enter: the gel fairy. Wouldn't you love a magic gel to appear when you're in need? It's good karma and it's polite.
What else did I pick up in Pensacola? A free massage (heaven!), 4 bottles of water (drank them ALL), trail mix, and 1348 orange slices. I parked myself next to the boxes of orange slices at the finish to make up for losing out on a sandwich. They were handing out 6-inch Subway sandwiches but they only had meat options. (I'm not eating tuna salad or deli meat that's been sitting in the sun for a couple hours even when it's free. No, thank you, but I like my stomach!)