Latest reviews by Jillian

"Worth Every Calorie! "
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management

I'm not going to lie, I signed up for this race primarily for the gimmick of getting chocolate wasted after the race. And I was not disappointed! I nursed a pretty good chocolate hangover after the post-race party. But let's start at the beginning!

I went to the expo pretty late on Friday night. Unfortunately for me, I don't work in the city so I could only get to the convention center around 6PM. However, there were still a ton of people there! From a vendor standpoint, nothing really stood out to me. There are only so many cheap handbands I can be allured to buy and then I realize I could probably make them myself at home. There were a good amount of freebies being passed out from Nature Valley, Mama Chia and other food companies. Best of all, you got to sample some of the chocolate! As soon as you walked into the convention hall, you were handed a piece right away as you moved on to get your bib. It was also nice that they printed your bib right in front of you - no need to find your spot in the alphabet.

But the greatest perk of the expo/swag bag was the fact that you could exchange the jacket if it didn't fit you. Thought you were a medium, but you're actually a small? No problem! Just hand it back and they'll exchange it for you. So awesome!

As always, race days started early and it was a super windy day. A DJ was playing from the fountain in front of the Art Museum steps which kept me movin and groovin and warm. There were tons of porta-potties and I barely had to wait in line. No one wants to have a full bladder on top of pre-race jitters!

The race started right on time for both the 5K and the race I ran, the 15K. All in all I loved the course. You started facing away from the Art Museum, went around Logan Circle and then came back up Ben Franklin Parkway (cue the Rocky Theme song!). Then we crossed over to the other side of Fairmount Park and ran past Boathouse Row. I enjoyed the out and back because I love looking at the other runners from the previous waves. There was ample people watching to be had, but not a lot of spectating on this course. If you're one that needs a big crowd, this might not be the course for you.

There was plenty of aid stations - complete with water and gatorade and sweet treets! I stuck to my Larabar that I ate around mile 6 since I wanted to savor the chocolate in all it's glory after crossing the finish line - which they announcer will shout your name on the speakers for all of your friends to hear as you're crossing. I thought that was awesome and something you don't get from all of the big races out there. After I got my medal, I grabbed a bottle of water and then headed over to the chocolate stations.

Oh and the chocolate. I kept my expectations low, but it was absolutely divine. The hot chocolate was milky and frothy. I chugged it! I then helped myself to the marshmallow and banana dipped in delicious gooey fondue.

I can't speak on parking since I live in the city, but there aren't a ton of options other than street parking available. There are a few free spots near the Art Museum/Fairmount area and few lots in the Rittenhouse area, but be ready to shell out some $$ and walk a bit.

I loved this race and finished with a huge smile and a belly full of chocolate. See you next year!!

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