Lowrez - many thanks for the patches that arrived today. They look terrific.
My total focus has been on MdS, so I needed a qualifier for Comrades, but I did not want to risk injury or to miss too much training post marathon, so I went out for 4:30 and got 4:28. Happy with that and will boost myself into the CC group.
Becca - the profile is a bit misleading. It is net downhill, but it's much more rolling hills than the profile suggests.
The water stations dispense water in sealed plastic bags - you bite off a corner to drink it/dowse yourself. You could pour it into your bottles - but with so much stuff available I see no reason to carry anything beyond the first water station.