From the beginning:
Sign-up: through active, so lots of hoops and fees. I paid ~$105 to run the half.
Packet Pick Up: at a convention center in downtown Austin. They emailed us bib numbers ahead of time, and then we used that to get gear check bags and shirts. I ordered my shirt in a women's medium which i felt was pretty TTS for women's running shirts.
There were a few samples in the packet - but one of mine was a sample for men's collagen, which I thought was a little weird. If you're going to give out sex-specific samples you should separate the bags.
The expo was fairly large - lots of vendors like nuun and local running stores and larabars.
Race Day: the starting area was super close to our hotel which was so nice. I didn't use any porta-potties before the race, but I'm sure lines were long, and per usual there weren't enough.
race start was at 7AM, which I thought was a good time. It wasn't too cold at that point.
Race course: first three miles? all uphill. mother-&*#$er. then we turned and headed downhill-ish for 3. It was around mile 5 that I stopped to use the bathroom and the line took FOREVER. My watch indicated we waited 10 minutes in line for that bathroom.
So we got pictures all along the course from kind individuals running with their phones who then texted the photos to us. It was kind of awesome.
I don't really remember specifics about miles 6-12, but I do know there were a ton of hills. 12 had a huge hill, that I probably could have ran but I was just not feeling it. so i walked it.
It was very humbling. I'm think I will definitely have a different approach to races from now on, especially ones that are hilly or in a warmer climate than I'm used to running in.