People differ in their approaches to gels. For a half marathon done in the 2 hours or less, you probably don't need them from a physiological perspective. On the other hand, doing something new in a race isn't a good idea. Would you normally run that time without nutrition?
Next, does the race offer energy drinks at the water stops? Is it one with which you are comfortable? If yes, these could easily supply any nutrients you would get from a gel.
As you might guess from my questions, I wouldn't use gels for a half, but I have friends who do. It really is a personal matter. That said, if you are going to use them, timing is critical. You want to follow them quickly with water, so down them just before a water stop, taking care not to impede the flow of the race. Try to hit the garbage can with the refuse and have fun at your first half.
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