- 3 miles/5K, 9 miles/15K, Virtual Race
- Road Race
- Event Website
We drove from Sacramento, CA to Emeryville, CA the morning of the race to catch the shuttle to the start line. We left at 4:25 am and made it to the Emeryville Amtrak Station just before 6 am to catch the 6 am shuttle. We parked in the Amtrak parking lot, which cost us $30! We found out after that there's a free parking lot that is just on the other side of the Amtrak station so we will try that next year.
The shuttle ride to the race was smooth. Hot Chocolate race management organized this well because there were plenty of shuttles to hop on to stay warm. The ride to the start line was approximately 1/2 an hour, the perfect time for a pre-race power nap.
Once we were dropped off, we followed clearly marked signs to the race staging area. Because we had been on the road for a few hours at this point, the port-a-potty was our first stop. There were plenty so there wasn't much of a wait.
The Gear Check was easy, but I worried that the volunteers didn't have a system to identify bags at the end.
We made our way around the staging area for photos, including a huge blowup of a chocolate bar with the race logo. This is the best time for photos because there was hardly anyone in line.
Then we followed the crowd to the start line. Made our way to the front of the line for a photo op -- again, perfect timing since people were just making their way to the start. The pre-race music was awesome so we found ourselves dancing while stretching. Lots of good energy here. People were excited and that always makes for a fun race start.
The race started in waves, but it didn't take long for us back of the packers to get going. The race starts on the streets in Golden Gate Park and makes its way down Highway 1 where you run parallel to the Pacific Ocean. The views are incredible! Golden Gate Park greets you with its lush plants and enthusiastic spectators. Once you make it on Highway, the scene changes to beach homes, sand dunes, and the Pacific Ocean. The sun made an appearance (after a few gloomy days of rain and wind) which made for a perfect race day!
You're going downhill at the front end of the race, which means the last couple of miles were uphill! It wasn't steep but it went on for what seemed like forever. I actually enjoyed the challenge and ran most of the way up.
Most of the race photographers were at the end of the course so be ready with those big smiles as you make your way up to the finish!
The medals are gorgeous! This was my first Hot Chocolate race and I'll be sure to come back for more chocolate bar medals!
The post-race treats were sweet and delicious, especially the hot chocolate. I also enjoyed the side of chocolate to dip my favorite snacks into. My friend and I found a bench and just enjoyed all of our post-race goodies.
We made our way to the Giant Marshmallow man blowup for photos before heading to the Shuttle for a ride back to Emeryville. Overall, the Hot Chocolate race was a fun race with spectacular views! I will be back in 2024 and will need to make this a new year tradition!