- 3 miles/5K, 9 miles/15K
- Road Race
My first Hot Chocolate in the books! This was a very fun course, hilly and challenging but fun. The Hot Chocolate is definitely a themed race, which I guess I didn't realize. They actually give you hot chocolate at the end and chocolate bits along the course. There are a TON of runners here! Those themed runs are a big thing these days, which is great. They get people out and get them active! However, I have come to learn that they are not really my thing. It seems with these races, race etiquette isn't something that people really think about. You are assigned certain waves based on your start time and no walkers are supposed to be in certain waves. Nothing against walkers, but that is how the race is set up for safety. Well, in my wave (I believe I put that I was going to be about a 9-9:30 minute/mile) there were definitely people that should not have been there. The waves ahead of me too. I had a few people stop in the middle of the road and I ran into them. And this was before mile 1. If you have to walk before mile 1, you should be in the last wave. FYI, if you're a slower runner or you need to walk, go off to the right of the road. Think of it like driving.
Despite that, the race was very well organized and the volunteers did a great job. The course was very scenic and I had a good time. Plenty of aid stations, and they supplied Nuun and water which was a life saver for me because I forgot my salt tabs. The course starts on a hill and seems to be forever uphill, which was a great challenge. Around mile 6 there is a nice downhill, then again at mile 8ish. You end in Downtown San Diego with lots of spectators cheering you along. Then, what I think most people look forward to, is the chocolate. After you finish you get a large cup of chocolate with a banana, pretzels, rice krispy treat and some other goodies.
Personally, I don't think I would run another Hot Chocolate. But I know many people who will. And that is awesome! I love that there are races like this that motivate people, make it fun, and give people a reason to run. Keep it up Hot Chocolate! You're doing a great job. For the runners at these races, make sure you understand race etiquette and be in your correct corral.