Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My First Hot Chocolate Race

Philadelphia 5k
I've heard many great things about the Hot Chocolate Race Series. When I found out it was coming to Philadelphia and  that I had off work, I was exciting to sign up. The series consists of two distances the 15k and the 5k. I decided to do the 5k. Other than the Disney 5k that I do every year  ( where I stop to take pictures along the way), I couldn't tell you the last time I actually raced a 5k. Because of the shorter distance it was also $25 less and you got the same swag.
 
Picking up my packet was pretty easy. Driving there and parking, not so much,  but in downtown Philly that's what's to be expected. The Expo itself was fairly small which I figured it would be. However I was not expecting to see many popular and bigger vendors that
are at most Expos. I was good and did not buy anything. We already got a nice sweatshirt for signing up so I figured I didn't need to buy any additional clothing.  They did have a nice section of Hot Chocolate Race Gear for purchase though.
 
Race morning I got up at 5 am and wanted to leave by 6 am.  The first thing I did was step outside to feel the weather. It was actually a lot warmer than what I thought it was going to be, but rainy. So I knew I definitely wanted to wear my hat. After getting ready I stepped outside again (about 40 minutes later) to see how the weather was. And I swear it dropped like 10 degree. It stopped raining but the wind was howling. I'm glad I decided to wear my lined windbreaker. Because I didn't want to put holes in my jacket, I wanted to use my race dots (I know I'm not suppose to try anything new on race day, but I was going to). I was hesitant to use them thinking they may not even stay put because of how windy it was. But they didn't budge at all.
 
I arrived at the race in plenty of time. I got into my corral and waited for the start. There were three minutes in between each corral start, which I thought was too long for a 5k. The course was nothing exciting, which was expected of a 5k. Just an easy out  and back with nothing to see except the people that are running the race. Even though it was a flat course, the first half was actually hard because we were running against the wind. It was so windy that my hat flew off and I had to back track about a 100 yards to pick it back up. Each time I reached for it, it blew a little further. At this point I thought I should be wearing a head warmer instead of a ball cap! I held it all they way until the turning point where the wind was finally behind us and we were halfway to the finish. The second half felt much better. It was less windy and the sun was finally coming out and it was warming up. I finished the race strong and feeling good. I am not used to running short distances so it did feel like a very quick race for me.
 
 After crossing the finish line the only things they were handing out were Gatorade and water. What no medal? I had a feeling that we may not have received a medal because the only one I saw was the medal for the 15k on the website, but still I was hopeful.  Guess that was what the additional $25 dollars was for to run the 15k. Both distances still received a nice fleece zipper down for signing up and hot chocolate and fondue at the end of the race, which was a nice change from other races.

Ever run a Hot Chocolate Race? What city? What did you think of the Race Series? -L
 
 
 
 

67 comments:

  1. I have never heard of a hot chocolate race before. But I could definitely run if there was hot chocolate involved :)

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    1. Yes that was a nice little treat at the end.

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  2. I've run one Hot Chocolate race before and never will again. What a cluster. Those "novelty" races are not for me.

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    1. I actually thought this one went very smoothly.

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  3. I've never run a hot chocolate race, but I have had hot chocolate at the end of a race if that counts? haha

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    1. Not only hot chocolate but fondue. Both sickning sweet though.

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  4. I have always thought the hot chocolate race series would be fun because I am a huge fan of chocolate. Except at the Disney races, 5k race medals seem to be given out to the top three age group winners and no one else.

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    1. It stinks that we didn't get a medal but that's OK. The sweatshirt we received was really nice.

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  5. I ran the DC Disaster version a few years ago, but I've heard much better things about their more recent races. I usually wear a cap to keep the sun out of my eyes, but the wind sure can grab it!

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    1. No disaster In Philly this year luckily. I normally don't run in hats. Lesson learned!

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  6. So bummed because I was signed up to run the 15K Hot Chocolate in Philadelphia too. But, I woke up at like 2:30 am with a touch of the stomach bug, so the race didn't happen for me. Hopefully next year!

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    1. Oh no sorry to hear that. Well the weather wasn't the greatest If that makes you feel any better. Maybe next yr it will be nicer and you will be able to run it.

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  7. They came to DC one year and it was a horrible mess from start to finish. I loved the idea of it but it was very poorly "run".

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    1. That's what I heard from others. Well Philadelphia put on a great race so maybe they took that into consideration of what happen with other races in he past.

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  8. I've always thought they looked so cute. Sorry to hear it isn't well thought out.

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  9. Yeah, I'm intrigued by these races but I heard the DC version a couple years ago was really badly done. It sounds like they might have improved things so I might look out for one of these in a convenient location.

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    1. Yes, I believe they did make some changes because there was no problems that morning.

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  10. That wind was crazy out there...I had a long run to do but I dropped by the finish line briefly as the race was going on. I was surprised to see the 5K runners didn't get a medal...that stinks! Congrats on handling the rough weather!

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    1. That wind was something else. I think I would have finished probably a 1 min earlier had I not had to back track to pick my hat back up.

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  11. I've never done a hot chocolate race but I would love to some day! I've heard how great they are. I've actually never done any of the popular running series (Rock n Run, ZOOMA, etc.) I'm doing my first in June with the Biggest Loser Run/Walk! The medals for the 15K looked so neat! Too bad that the 5K didn't get them as well :(

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    1. Yeah I wish we would have. They didn't advertise for them but I thought it may have been just a smaller version of what the 15k was, but it wasn't. Many of the popular race series put on a great race. Goodluck at your first in June.

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  12. I've heard mixed reviews of the Hot Chocolate series, but mainly bad things about the year that they were here in DC. Maybe that's why they haven't returned, lol. Glad to hear that you had a good race though! I heard it was pretty cold and windy up there for the race!

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    1. Race went well other than the very windy weather.

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  13. We had a series in Dallas but I haven't done it yet. It's held at Fair Park, which isn't the easiest place to get to, to put it mildly. I work north of the city and to get down for packet pick up and back north in rush hour would be insane.

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    1. It seems like that's always the case in bigger cities. Just to get there to pick up my packet was a hassle. Then pay to park both days.

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  14. Wind just changes everything! I would adore the fondue afterwards. I always appreciate different. The closest race to me is still too far for a day trip. I thought everyone received a medal. Good to know it's just the 15k, in case I ever want to make that overnight trip.

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    1. Yes I wish I would've known that. But at least we both got the jacket no matter what distance.

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  15. I did the Hot Chocolate 5k in Columbus about a year and a half ago, and I didn't have any complaints (except that it was hillier than I'm used to). Ours was a loop, not out-and-back, and it was nice to see some of the downtown areas, since I'm not from there.
    I enjoyed the goodies after the race, but yeah, the medals are only for the 15k. But it wasn't so amazing that I felt the need to back this past fall, mostly because it's at least 2 hours from me, longer than I want to drive race morning, and not important enough to want to spend money on a hotel for.

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    1. Agree! I am glad I did it because I've never done that race series. But I don't think I will be returning next yr for it.

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  16. I have some friends who did the Hot Chocolate race in Dallas and really liked it - I think a group of us might do it next year, but I want a medal! Dangit, that means I'll have to do the 15K...

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    1. Yep 15k get the medal and the additional $25 race registration. That medal is expensive....haha.

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  17. I've done the 15K in San Diego two years in a row and it's quickly become one of my favorites. The course is great, it's in March, so the weather is not too warm, not too cold. Course support, organization, a huge finisher's area, lots of parking in downtown SD...I could go on and on.
    This is the first year they've done a medal for the 15K, so maybe a medal for the 5K is on the drawing board.

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    1. That would be nice if they had one for the 5k. Glad to hear the San Diego race went smoothly. That makes such a big difference. Philly wasn't bad either.

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  18. I keep hearing about that race.
    That's frustrating when you expect a medal & nope.... glad you got a fleece zip down.
    That race doesn't come anywhere near here. shame. Sounds like fun.

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    1. I think it was the first yr in philly. Maybe it'll be coming to a city near you soon.

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  19. great review of the race-I know they do one in San Diego and it does sound like fun! and that does stink about no medal but at least you got a nice fleece!

    and i totally agree with you about running a 5k. I raced a 5k last weekend and it was over before I knew it!

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    1. Yeah it was nice because it was so short. But then again all that for a 5k...haha.

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  20. I love the Hot Chocolate race, especially the swag. The chocolate fondue is really good, too!

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  21. I ran the 5k in San Diego last year. Super hilly little run but it was fun. We loved the chocolate at the end and my son enjoyed bathing himself in it..

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    1. The Chocolate was delicious. But it was sooo sweet for me. I couldn't finish it.

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  22. Oooh! They host a Hot Chocolate race in Chicago. The first few years, the race organizers got panned here for putting on a very poorly set-up race. However, the word on the street is that things have gotten a LOT better over the past two years. I think I am going to go for it this year. I love the idea of hot chocolate and fondue at the post-race party! Bummer about the 5Kers not getting a medal, though! Way to push through that wind (literally)!!!

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    1. Thanks! That wind was brutal at times. And I thought they put on a great race. So changed were definitely made.

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  23. mmm hot chocolate race! my mother and i always do the Resolution Run on New Years Eve and afterwards they hand out little hot chocolates - definitely the best part!

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  24. Running in the wind is tough. Great job though!
    I think a fleece zipper jacket for a 5k definitely beats a medal. That is something that you can use next winter:) I have heard of these hot chocolate runs, sounds like a lot of fun!!!

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    1. Yea it will be nice for something I can actually use instead of hanging it up collecting dust.

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  25. I have always wanted to try a hot chocolate race. Fondue at a finish line sounds amazing!

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    1. It's just a little bit, but it is so sweet that it's plenty.

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  26. I have yet to run the Hot Chocolate Run. The closest city to me for the event is Atlanta so I would have travel for it, but I would like to do it one day. I've heard good things about and the medals look so cool! Sorry to hear you didn't get one but congrats on another 5K finish :)

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    1. Thanks! I think Its definitely worth it checking out one day.

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  27. Ooh! Hot Chocolate Run? Do they have them in every state? Woah! A fleece zipper jacket sounds amazing! Did that make it worth it? Is it worth the money you pay?

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    1. Not sure if they have them in every state but uI think they are becoming more popular. Yes, even though there was no medal for the 5k, Both distances got the sweatshirt and the 5k was less expensive.

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  28. I've signed up for it twice and both times have had a last minute conflict! But someday I'm getting one of those jackets;). And your weather sounds crazy just like here in TX! I never believe the forecast for a race until I feel it with my own face:).

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    1. I know right! The forecast called for rain and it was just do darn windy that made it a bit cooler than expected.

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  29. I couldn't help but laugh a little at you chasing your hat, though I'm sure it would have been frustrating when it was happening! A fleece zip-down is a nice giveaway. Glad you finished strong and felt good!

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  30. I ran a Hot Chocolate 15k last November in Columbus and the weather was also crazy. My fondue froze pretty soon after I finished because it was so cold outside! One thing I really liked: they had a TON of porta potties. I barely had to wait in line. I also liked the hoodie and the medal, but my husband and I aren't sure we'd do it again. Sometimes I feel like nationwide events are more about the money than the runners/walkers. But to end on a positive note: the Columbus event went off without a hitch!

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  31. I'd love to run a Hot Chocolate race! The jackets are awesome (and all the swag)! Glad you had a great race!

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  32. Sounds like a fun race with great swag and post-race food! The wind has been so brutal here too!

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  33. I would love to run a Hot Chocolate race - I have a huge sweet tooth! Wow - must have been super windy for it to knock off your hat!

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  34. I ran the 15k in San Diego last month. There were a lot of hills, but it was a really fun atmosphere. I'll do it again.

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  35. Hot chocolate, fondue AND a fleece?! For a 5K?? I'm looking for one in my area! Thanks for the tip!

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  36. Congrats on your race! I've always wanted to run one of these races but there aren't any near me! LOVE that you get fondue at the end!

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  37. I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K in Phoenix and it was tons of fun- I would do it again for sure! Loved the medal!

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  38. Congrats on your 5K despite the windy weather! I wish this race would come near Boston sometime!

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  39. Ugh, running in windy conditions is the WORST! I would love to try a Hot Chocolate race one of these days! Running + chocolate? Where do I sign up?! ;)

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.