I ran the half, and finished in the top 0.2% so maybe my experience would be more relevant for the letsrun crowd.
*Pre-race was a zoo. But if I run the race again next year I would probably either stay somewhere closer so I don't have to check my postrace clothing or just get there an hour early.
*Yes, there were people in the first corral that didn't belong there. Including family members and people with really high bib numbers.
*I didn't take any water during the race, so I didn't get sick.
*I finished when there were still plenty of refreshments. I got a bottle of water, a bottle of cytomax, a banana, and a couple of snack bars. (oh, and a blanket)
*I had to hop 2-3 fences and got into the first corral about 2-3 minutes before the race started, but couldn't push my way up any closer to the front. I probably passed 200-300 people in the first 2 minutes of the race but it didn't slow me down much (if at all).
*I plan on running the race again next year, get there a bit earlier so I have time to warm-up and stretch out. The race conditions were perfect and the race had one of the deepest fields. (I can only think of two other races where the top 50-100 ran faster, the national championships and Philadelphia Distance Run)