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Firstly why do you need four ?
Four is alot for a HM .
Dont get too reliant on such things.
I find that water is the thing you need most and thats supplied on route.
Even then little and not too often is a good rule.
Often when runners complain of stomach upsets during races it caused by the unholy union of liquids solids and their stomachs boucing up and down.
Keep it lean, mean and hungry.
Ok I started to write my post before you said you estimate your time as 2:15
Maybe four is not so much then.
Im a get it over quick get to the chip shop kind of runner
I have given up recently on gels as they give me stomach upset as stated in one of the earlier posts. However when I did use them I had a runaid flask (the water bottle you carry in your hand) and then taped some gels to the side of it using parcel tape.
I finish around the time you mention and provided there are water stations on route and I have a hand flask of say lucozade sport for a boost then I have no problems. Works out a bit cheaper as well. Bottle of lucozade or supermarket own brand energy drink = £1.20 - £1.50 4 energy gels= £3.50 - £4.00
Since ditching the gels I no longer have stomach problems or the dreaded "runners trots" so I think one of the earlier posts has a point when he mentions upsets being caused by "the unholy union of liquids solids and their stomachs bouncing up and down".
I use Ronhill trail cargo shorts that have 4 little mesh pockets around them which I find perfect for gels (also for mobile phone)
I've never used gels in a half marathon (and I'm not very much quicker than the OP).
I find that water is enough, or sometimes I have some glucose tablets to chew on in the last few miles.
While I'd agree with the others that 4 gels for a HM is too much, if that's what you're used to, going without on the day of the race is not a good idea. If you're using them in training, then after you've done this race, you need to learn to run without them, your body has enough fuel for around 90 mins without anything else. If you feel that you can't run without something, then try jelly babies - shove them in a pocket, they're much easier than a gel.
If you really can't go without the gel, and need four, one in each bra cup, one in a pocket (most tights have something you can use) and one taped to a bottle might be your answer. If not, belts are the best option, you just have to get used to it. As someone else said, you could try dissolving the gel in a water bottle and carrying that or buying a bottle of sportsdrink but it's extra weight to carry.
I have seen people with arm gel holders
I use a SIS running belt - I know you said that you don't want a belt but if you do it up really tight so it doesn't move, you can't feel it I promise
As for using gels in a HM, I do it! I use one or two generally. Maybe there's nothing in it, but the placebo effect is a powerful thing and they won't do any harm!
I hate holding a bottle while running. Always feel like it throws me out of balance. One in each hand is okay, but then it just feels like I'm needlessly lugging extra weight about.
I wear compression-style bra tops and tuck stuff down the front - usually my ipod nano, a gel or two and sometimes my inhaler. Once I got a weird boob blister from the edge of the gel packet chafing but generally I find it a great way to carry stuff...
Gavlar C wrote (see)
I have seen people with arm gel holdershttp://www.northernrunner.com/accessories-c145/belts-wallets-and-holders-c458/hilly-c459/arm-gel-carrier-c1045/hilly-neoprene-arm-gel-carrier-black-p819
Thanks for that link, Gavlar! I've also been looking for an alternative to a gel belt - this looks pretty good.
At the moment, I use the storage pouch for my Montane running jacket - I can fit a small pack of tissues and several energy gels in but I don't really want to carry a pouch for a whole marathon ... the arm belt looks like a good alternative and will stop me feeling lop-sided!