The Hot Chocolate Series has got it figured out.
They really do. The swag this year was a super-comfortable tech 1/4 zip-up that I have used for the majority of my cold-day runs since this race. The pure organization for packet pick-up was astounding considering the size of the races themselves. I was really impressed with the friendliness of the volunteers and the quickness with which they worked. The whole time I hung out at the expo after packet pick-up I am not sure I saw the line get longer than a couple of minutes at a time. The lines were constant but the check-in team was on top of it.
Race day ended up being quite chilly and a bit windy, which made for a bit more challenge than I was ready for but that is the danger of running a race in February. The course itself had a good mix of challenging sections and flats. I was not necessarily ready for the amount of hills on course but they were not overwhelming and wouldn't dissuade me from running this race on this course again. A good challenge is necessary sometimes!
The amount of aid stations was appropriate for this course and having Nuun be a partner was a smart choice. Nuun provides great hydration before, during and after the race. The complimentary tab given after the race was a very nice treat as I definitely needed an extra one.
The post-race treats were a favorite for myself and my kids and the volunteers handing them out, not surprisingly, we very enthusiastic and friendly. It is a nice touch to have a unique way of treating racers after they are done. Kudos to Hot Chocolate for that!
I have already thrown my name in the hat to run again next year and look forward to tackling the 15K again!