For long runs I have porridge about half an hour beforehand.
For races I have porridge before I leave and a banana about 30 mins before the start. Lots of people would say that's too close to the run but if I ate the recommended 2-3 hours beforehand I'd be hungry before I even set off!
I don't really "approve" of gels as I think we're better off with real food but as I've never come up with anything suitable to carry in a race, I will have one about 1/3 -1/2 of the way in, if I'm racing more than 2 hours.
Cheers Ric, you could have at least tried to humour me!
He has no intention of training properly though - he won't be doing more than his weekly park run and his walking commute, but is still improving worryingly quickly. He reckons he can't do any more without his knees hurting.