The Hot Chocolate Race Series are great races to participate in whether you consider yourself a beginner of an advanced runner. This is my second time participating in a Hot Chocolate Race and once again, I loved it.
This year, the Expo was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City Philadelphia, a much better option than last year. It was a small expo but very organized. Bib and packet pickup lines were not long at all and I was in and out in less than 5 minutes. There was a booth where you could exchange hoodie sizes, pending availability. The hoodie fit perfectly, and as last year’s hoodie, I sized up to a medium. It is heather grey with pink and oh-so-comfy!
I was good at the Expo – only spent $30. Bought a Roo Sport 2.0 (which is probably the best $25 ever spent!) and bought some Mamma Chia drinks, which I already loved.
This was a training run for me, and my running coach suggested not going past an 11-minute mile. I had been battling the sinus infection from hell – on antibiotics for the second time, and I was very tempted to stay home, and maybe I should’ve listened to my body and stayed in bed. I woke up with body aches and a hoarse voice, but anyway…the weather was sunny, chilly and very windy. The 5K is an out-and-back course starting at Eakins Oval to Martin Luther King Drive to finishing right in front of Philadelphia’s Museum of Art. It’s a beautiful course, with the Schuylkill River/Boathouse Row on your left as you make your way back to the finish line. I never get tired of running here.
Corrals were crossing the start line approximately 4 minutes apart. I moved back to Corral E to be with my friends (you can always move back, never up) and it was crowded. Crossed the start line at 8:04 AM and had to walk a bit because the course was so crowded. It did spread out just past mile 1 for a bit. I was running a 10:30-11:00 minute mile just until it was time to turn back. It was a fierce headwind. Finished in 35 minutes.
Didn’t feel well enough to stay around for the finisher’s party, just met up with friends and coworkers and chatted a bit while sipping a steaming hot mug of cocoa, which was just perfect after running not only sick, but under those chilly and windy conditions.
I truly enjoyed this race. The swag bag is awesome, course is great, wonderful spectators and volunteers. Can’t wait to drag more peeps out for this one next year 🙂
Have you participated in a Hot Chocolate event? What are your thoughts on it?
Disclosure: Although initially invited by RAM Racing to be a Hot Chocolate 15K/5K ambassador, I did pay for this event myself and was not compensated in any way. My thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.