Hot Chocolate San Francisco

Hot Chocolate San Francisco

Hot Chocolate San Francisco

( 32 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • San Francisco,
    United States
  • January
  • 3 miles/5K, 9 miles/15K, Virtual Race
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Christine Guenther

Spokane, Washington, United States
73 121
"Hot Chocolate SF"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Christine Guenther's thoughts:

This was my second year doing HC SF. I ran last year, however, the 15K was rerouted and only ended up being 5.9 miles. This year, the weather cooperated and we were able to get the full course in this year.

Registration: Done through RAM racing. the 15K can go up to around $75

The expo: Held at the South San Fransisco Convention Center with the Expo going until 7 pm on Friday and 10-6 pm on Saturday. I was able to head over on Friday after I got in and was quickly in and out. They assign your bib when you check in. You're then directed to the gear part of pick up. Nice thing is they have an area where you can exchange sizes if you want to go up or down a side on the pull over. Fairly small expo. Some race vendors and local SF vendors. I stayed 30 minutes tops. Only downside is it's outside of downtown so not necessarily the easiest to get to and not a whole lot of parking

Shuttles: offered from a variety of points throughout the city on race day starting at 5 AM. I took the Union Square shuttle and got there around 620 and there was a line. It moved fairly quickly. The downside we ran into was that 5K runners didn't realize they started at 720 so a bunch of 5kers ended up jumping the line in order to make their race. My thought was is it's not my fault you didn't get there soon enough, but that's just me. From Union Square, it took about 15 min, maybe 20 to get to the start

Hotels: if you came from out of town, there were discounted rates at some of the Union Square Hotels, though I ended up finding a cheaper hotel 1/4 of a mile away and ended up walking to the shuttle on race day.

Race Day Site: Golden Gate Park.

Start times: 5K at 720, 15K at 810 AM

Course: Starts in Golden Gate Park and takes you through the park for the first 5K or so with some mild elevation. You then go along the ocean for the next 5k plus before coming back into the park for the last 2+ miles or so. There's aid stations every 1.5-2 miles with everything from chocolate chips, M&Ms and marshmallows, water and nuun. Some elevation, but nothing major considering what SF is known for. The only thing I'm griping about is if you're calling this a destination race, you see absolutely none of San Francisco. If I'm coming from out of town, I'd expect some of the course to take you through the city. Instead, I saw Golden Gate Park (again) and the ocean and nothing of what people think of SF

Aid Stations: something chocolate related, nuun and water. The only downside is that they were only on one side of the road. I missed the chocolate side of things the first two aid stations because I couldn't get over to the side they were on. Also, rather something gatorade/powerade related over nuun.

Post race swag: A HC Medal with a cable car key chain. kind of a downgrade compared to last year when the entire medal was SF related. I kind of feel like it was the cheap way to go considering the race cost is around that of some half marathons.

Post race party: After picking up gear checked bag, I went to pick up the finisher's mug. You got a banana, marshmallow, rice Krispy treat, some pretzels and a few other things. There were some vendors set up for you to get some free stuff. Not a whole lot there, but fun to hang out for a bit afterwards.

Overall, glad I got the full course this year compared to last year. However, I wish we'd get to see some actual SF and not a park and the ocean

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