I ultimately chose this odd-distance race because I had heard so great things about the Hot Chocolate 15K from friends in Colorado. And although a warm March morning in San Diego doesn’t quite match the theme as well as crisp fall day in Denver, I still had a blast at this race.
*Expo/Race Day travel
I was so proud of myself for driving solo downtown two days in a row for the expo and the race itself. In the past, for whatever reason (mostly the fear of parking garages and parallel parking) I may have turned down the opportunity. I really enjoyed the well-run expo and got a glimpse of what RunShine might be participating in at the same time next year… more on that later!
Sure, it was hillier than I expected, but it’s hard to beat running through America’s finest city. I also loved the start/finish at Petco Park. Originally I planned to skip the on course chocolate stops (I believe there were a total of four) but as I summited the first monster hill and viewed the offering of chocolate marshmallows, I decided to try them all.
*Medal and post-race chocolate refreshments
The medal was brand-new for this year, and it’s clear that the race organizers did their research on what attracts runners to a race. The big, flashy, city-specific design certainly caught everyone’s attention and will probably remain one of my favorite designs. The giant chocolate fondu mugs filled to the brim with dipping pieces (banana, pretzels, Rice Krispy treats, etc.) and cup of drinking chocolate were pretty amazing as well. By the time we finished the race it was almost 70 degrees. That combined with the fact that I’m not really a sweets person allowed me to get through a quarter of my treats before I called it a day. A true chocoholic would have been in paradise!
Overall it was a very fun, very well organized event. I love the fact that the 5K started early enough that it was possible to finish and still run the longer race. I will try to be back next year with the entire family to run the 5K and take on those hills again for the 15K.