Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 15K

Considering I'm flying out to California for Disney's Avengers Half Marathon tomorrow, I need to post last weekend's Hot Chocolate 15K review. The Hot Chocolate 15K is a race I had really been looking forward to because, well, chocolate! I have been following this race series for almost two years and, as soon as I found out we were moving to Chicago, I signed up for the race. Running in Chicago plus getting a chocolate-filled finisher's mug was enough for me.

The week of the race I had been closely watching the weather because I knew that the biggest challenge I might face come race day would be the cold. Sure enough, temperatures for race morning were forecasted to be in the 30s. I had never ran in weather that cold so I didn't know how to prepare. I was laughing at myself as I pulled out all my gear the night before because I didn't think it was possible to run in so many layers.

Race morning comes, I get dressed, and head out for my run. It was so cold! I don't think I broke a sweat at any point during my run. Thankfully, I wore just enough layers to get me through the run. What struck me the most during those 15K was that I felt like I was running in the trails again. I didn't look at my watch and ran based on feel, but wow, I felt like I was running so much faster and harder than I actually was running.

Finishing felt amazing and getting my chocolate medal was the best part. Second best was the finisher's mug that was filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, a banana, pretzels, rice krispy treat, and wafer cookies. I say that getting the finisher's mug was second best because it was so cold that the hot chocolate was only hot for about a minute and my fondue was more like those chocolate magic shells that harden on contact with cold ice cream.

What I liked:

  • Smooth packet pickup. 
  • Hot chocolate and chocolate-covered marshmallows at the expo. 
  • Zip-up hoodies for participants. 
  • Gear-for-purchase was awesome and I was all over the "will run for chocolate" shirts. 
  • Prompt start time. 
  • Most of the course was good. 
  • Finisher's medal and mug. 
  • Chocolate and marshmallows along the course. 
What I didn't like:
  • It was cold! 
  • The last .5 mile was dreadful with all the little hills. 
  • The course had some winding that I wasn't crazy about. 
  • No medal for 5K finishers. 
Overall, fun race and, if you like chocolate, this is definitely a race to do. I'm still trying to get into a solid training schedule so I hope this weekend's half marathon will help get me back on course. For more on my running and to see all the fun I'm having this weekend, follow me on Instagram @thecookierunner.


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