A gel flask would have really helped. Tearing the little tops off of gel packets is a real pain in the ass. But my biggest problem was trying to eat on the single track. The trails were so technical that there was hardly a place where I could reach for a water bottle. Next time I'm going to keep some Oreos in my back pocket. (which will not quench my thirst. forgive me for this poorly structured paragraph) An Oreo is 70 calories per cookie, and takes roughly 3 seconds to eat. If I ate 3 oreo's per hour, I would spend only 9 seconds and almost fill my caloric needs. It my not be the best way to get nutrition, but it certainly would be the cheapest, easiest, and tastiest.
The eating thing was really the only part of my race that I was not happy with. I was climbing great and doing just fine on the rocks. I only had one flat, and I was a little frustrated with how long the Stan's took to seal the puncture. But more importantly, I would like to know wtf happened to my can of CO2. It's more than annoying that I have lugged that thing along for so many races, then when I needed it, it failed. No more big air for me. I'm using the little bottles of CO2 from now on.