I like bananas but I rarely eat them. I'm generally don''t have one on race day so they're certainly not a running necessity.
I tend to have a big breakfast before leaving home, and then not eat anything else before the race (or poss have some other fruit/dried fruit). I normally crave savory food after a long run, so usually have a sandwich for after (unless it's a hot day in which case I usually want icecream!)
I saw a physio for ITBS a few weeks before my first marathon. Was told it might hurt, but I wouldn't do lasting damage if I ran on it. I completed the marathon. It hurt a lot! and I was off running completly for a couple of months after but it hasn't donw lasting damage (now 4 years later).