Here's some instructions that should make you look like an experienced racer and ease you into the racing scene:
Get there early and well hydrated.
Check in ASAP. Use the porta-pottie ASAP.
Warm up by running the last mile of the course backwards from the finish line, then turn around and come back. (I mean you run the course in the opposite direction, not actually running backwards...) It always pays to know what the end looks like, when you are hoping for the finish line to hurry up and appear!
Make sure you wear the race shirt they give you and pin the number on your back making sure to pin that big hole on the tear off section.
Line up right on the front line with all the fast guys.
Go out at 5:20 pace for the first half mile or so, then realize you are over your head, and slow down.
Whenever anyone passes you, compliment them on how good they are lookin' - tell them to go get that guy that just passed you a couple of seconds prior.
When the first female passes you, try to hang onto her to protect your ego. Plus watching her butt makes the running a little easier.
Let her go when you realize 5:40 pace is still over your head.
When you get to a water stop, cut over in front of somebody running faster than you without warning, and spill the water all over the volunteer. Stop suddenly and walk while you drink. Throw the cup on somebody's front lawn.
Throw up on yourself.
Walk for a few minutes. Try to remember where you can cut a few blocks off the course. Decide not to.
Start to run easy again, hopefully downhill.
Pick it up a little. See mile marker for 3 miles. Check your watch and swear it is inaccurately long.
Pick it up some more. Recognize that last mile you ran for warm-up. Pick it up some more.
Sprint when you are about 100 yards from the finish line! Don't believe the time on that clock, it must be wrong. Pass as many people as possible in the finishing chute, simply because of the momentum generated in your sprint, then stop dead in the finish chute, hands on your knees and breathe for a minute. Wonder why the volunteers are pushing you along and tugging hard at the number on your back.
Proceed to the refreshment table immediately - you don't need a cool down - and take 5 or six of everything. Stuff your face and bring the rest home with you.