just as an update to this: This morning I ran a HM in Berlin - organised by the same team that do the marathon. Drinks were, as suspected in cups, and were both given out and available for picking up from tables.
Thanks for the all the encouragement to run this preparation HM at full speed. In the end I chickened out after a very busy week and not much sleep. Instead ran 5k warm up, the HM at something like MP (which felt OK ), followed by a cool down run. All together 29km, so quite pleased with that. I've found a HM for later in the year when I will give everything.
cups seem to be standard here in Germany for races I've been told that the trick is to squeeze them a bit so you have a pointy bit that it easier to drink from - but I always seem to forget this in the heat of the moment. Drinks were handed out last year.
What are the general thoughts on running a HM 5weeks before the Berlin marathon? Full effort and try and bag a PB or run at marathon tempo as a practise for the main race? Or something in between?
Background is that I am a bit concerned that the longest run so far was only 24km (with hills). Have 26km planned tmrw, but wondering whether it might be better to extend the HM race next weekend into a longer one with the actual race in the middle?