Monday, March 21, 2016

Hot Chocolate 15K Recap

I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K last year and swore I would never be back-- I wasn't a fan of the course or its hills.  That being said, when my friends were getting ready for the 2016 #HC15K and I saw the medal, I knew I would be there.  So I signed up and joined in on all the chocolate fun.


I was carpooling with Michelle, so I met her at her place at 5:30am.  The HC race has a 5K that starts at 6:45am vs the 15K's start of 7:45am-- more people run the 5K, so we wanted an early start to beat the traffic.  We got lucky and hit relatively no traffic and found parking right away.  After staying in the warm car for a while, we decided to head over to the starting area and see what was going on.  After a few pre-race pictures and a stop at the bathroom, we were ready to head to the corrals.  

I went into this year's race with a different perspective-- I knew about the hills and I wasn't going to worry about my time/pace this year.  I had a plan to enjoy all the sweet stations and walk the hills if I needed to.  And that's exactly what I did.  

The first sweet station stop was chocolate chips and I didn't take those-- they weren't handing them out in cups and I didn't want melted chocolate on my hands.  I did take the strawberry marshmallows at the next stop and the M&Ms at the final stop.  I was wearing a hydration pack, but was also grateful for all the hydration stations on the course.  I love it when a race has nuun, my hydration drink of choice.  

The race went as I expected--there are parts of the course that are a bit boring, aside from the challenge of the hills.  I listened to my body, running what I could and walked when I needed to. (I did get a 2 minute PR from last year, so that's a plus)  I ran into Jenny (@RunnyLegs) on the course-- she's awesome.  Not only did she rock her 50K on Saturday, she was rocking this run too. 


My favorite thing about this course is the downhill/flat finish.  The crowd support in the last half mile is great! All the volunteers on the course were great too!  After finishing, I made my way over to collect my finisher's mug, full of goodies and chocolate fondue.  I'm generally not a big fan of chocolate, but I enjoyed all the treats.  My favorite is the hot chocolate! 

Will run for chocolate and bling!

I don't know if I'll be back to this race next year-- I didn't think I'd run it in 2016 and look what happened!  I do have a good time and the race swag is awesome (a jacket, chocolate and a medal-- sign me up!)  We'll have to see what happens next March.  There are a lot of awesome races that happen around the same time-- we'll just have to wait and see where my run takes me.

Have you ever run a race that you swore you'd never do again? What made you go back?

Until next time, happy running.

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