On February 13th I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K for the third year in a row. The race offers both a 5K and a 15K, so it appeals to a wide range of people. This is a race series that travels around to different cities with the country. One of the biggest draws of this race is the “swag”, as they say. Instead of a race shirt, you get a race jacket. (And it is actually very cute!) You get the jacket for both distances.
It has been in Nashville for three years and I have done it each time. It is. always cold, sometimes freezing. The first year I ran it, the
temperature was in the high 20’s and I was so cold. I made the mistake of getting to the start line to early. So by the time I started, my feet were pads of ice. Running on numb feet is a very strange feeling. This year it was predicted to be in the teens, and I was a little bit panicked. I have run many times even in single digits temps, but never raced in it. In a training run when it’s that cold, I just get out and go so I don’t have time to get cold. I have never had a race to run in that was colder than the mid 20’s.
I bought a cute new pink Hot Chocolate hat to wear and I invested in some very think mittens to wear over my gloves. Both of them came in very handy! I dressed appropriately and covered the things that mattered most very well. (Head, hands, and feet!) The sun was out almost the whole race and that was a tremendous help!
Another great thing was that my husband ran the 5K, and it was his first real race. I couldn’t believe that for his first race it was going to be blistering cold! I honestly didn’t think he would even go! However, he proved me wrong! He got up (on time) and completed his first 5K, I was so proud! He admitted that he finally understood the feeling of a accomplishment you get when you finish a race.
I ended up finishing 5 seconds slower that last year at a 1:07:43. (7:16 minute miles) I was 2nd out of 254 in my age group, and I was the 6th female out of 1296. I was happy with that, because running in such cold weather can be very difficult. A 15K (9.3 miles) is not the most common distance. So this is a good opportunity for me to work on my grace speed. It is also helpful because March 5th I am running the Tom King half marathon in preparation for Boston.
After the race you get a cute fondue mug with chocolate fondue and some fun things to dip in it! That is something that excites me!!
I would recommend this race without any doubts! However if you sign up, I think you need to be prepared and expect cold weather. Doing a few training runs in very cold weather can be helpful as well. The best part of all is enjoying your awesome jacket throughout the year! It was such a fun race! I would say that adding this race to your list for next year should be a must do! For me it’s like the perfect marriage, running and chocolate! It doesn’t get much better than that!!