- 3 miles/5K, 9 miles/15K
- Road Race
This was my first time finally getting to run the Hot Chocolate 15K and I was grateful for the opportunity to run as a Bibrave Pro!
I picked up my bib at the Expo on Friday morning. The whole process was easy - the hardest part was actually finding the Expo in the Convention Center! This is one of the smaller race expos but there was still plenty of vendors and fun things to do. The chocolate giveaways were great!
I actually used this run as part of a 20 mile long training run, so when I lined up to start the race I had already run 9 miles. Everything was flowing smoothly and many of the 5K runners were already finished. Everyone seemed in good spirits and I was surprised how CROWDED this race was - they handled it all very well.
The course is very straightforward, you start on Ben Franklin Parkway and run towards Logan Square, turn back towards the Art Museum and do an out and back along MLK Drive. If you're a regular Philly racer, you may have found the course to be a bit boring. But we were lucky to not have any rain or snow as was predicted, and the course is very flat, except for the steep hill in the last 0.25 mile of the race.
Aid stations were plentiful (including giving out chocolate for those with a strong stomach) and mile markers were clear. There were several potholes on MLK Drive which made things a bit worrisome towards the turnaround point since the space to run was so narrow. Otherwise, things went pretty smoothly.
I was happy to run a solid race - by the way, there are TONS of pacers so you can always find someone to give you motivation - and when I crossed the finish line I received my massive Hot Chocolate medal. It's a beauty! Then I was able to enjoy the FInisher's Mug with hot chocolaet, chocolate fondue, marshmallows, and chocolate wafers. I wish I had more time to savor the treats but I had to finish up my 20 miles! My only complaint was that I didn't get a banana...that would have been SO good with the chocolate!
This was a really nice race and I'm glad I finally got to do it. I highly recommend doing a Hot Chocolate 5K or 15K if you have one in your area!