Thanks to the worldwide resurgence of barefoot running and minimalist footwear, trends that were considered “fringe” as little as a decade ago— holistic approaches in physical therapy, sports medicine, and the coaching of natural running form — is the new norm.
Covert use of performance enhancing substances — aka “cheating” — is as old as organized sports. Even the Ancient Greeks are said to have taken “potions" to enhance their athletic prowess. Today, with one drug-cheating revelation after another splashed across the headlines, many people are so fed up they now regard most exceptional performances with skepticism and disbelief.
Of course, the half-marathon is attractive to marathon runners because of its ease of recovery and to classic road runners because of its role as a springboard to the full marathon. But the half marathon (at 13.1 miles) is perhaps even more relevant to the 10K (at 6.2 miles) than the marathon (at 26.2 miles).
It's probably obvious to anybody who has trained for any kind of endurance event: in most cases, it's more preferable to train with a group of other runners than it is to train on your own. Not only do these group sessions feel easier and more enjoyable they are also generally faster.
I once struggled with blowing up from heat exhaustion, lack of hydration and under-fueling but I finally figured it out. The more fit I became the stronger and quicker my adaptation to hot weather became. I adopted simple cooling methods like dousing with giant sponges drenched in icy water, ice hats and ice baths.