Latest reviews by Karen Poole

(2021)
"Super Fun Family Run w/Sweet Swag!"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

I chose to run this race because of my love of running, basketball and that it would be a super fun race to do with my kids!

The SWAG was awesome. My kids LOVED the wristbands and headbands. They were always running around playing with them. The shirt is a great technical fabric and the medal was large and perfect for display.

The race itself could be run anywhere since it was virtual. I chose a sunny Sunday morning and took both my kids with me in the stroller. We had a fun time racing together and snapping post-race medal selfies after!

The kit shipped fast and race management seemed on it as much as you can be for a virtual race! It would be fun to see this race LIVE one day.

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(2021)
"Gorgeous course, flat and fast. Highly recommend!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This race was so much fun! The course itself was beautiful and staged along the Lake. It took place on roads and a path around the lake. The start and finish area was in Mceuen Park, which was gorgeous and had a great playground for my kids to play on while I raced.

The start line was easy to access with ample parking. For my first LIVE race after COVID, they did a great job of directing this race.

I thought the course was gorgeous, I honestly hope I get to run this race again next year. It was probably one of my favorite courses so far. The people were so friendly and it was an easy to follow out and back course.

I actually met the son of the original founders of the race before it was sold to Negative Split. It was fun to chat with him about the history of the race and about life during miles 7-12!

The swag was also awesome. The medal was big and quality (if you ran other races in the area all three medals fit together!) And the shirt was super cute for lounging.

I highly recommend this race as a MUST DO!!

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(2021)
"Amazing Swag, Fun Race & Family Friendly"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

This race was super fun. It was only virtual this year, and while I hope it returns to live racing soon, this is one virtual race I would do on repeat!

Swag
Once registered the SWAG shipped out fast. I loved that you got a zip-up hoodie, medal, race bib, finish line tape and headband. It was top quality and worth the registration fee.

The Race
You can run anytime with it being virtual. I loved that this was an option with kids, made it super easy to take them along with me in the stroller.

Race Management
They kept in contact via social media and email. I always felt like I was a valued member of the race!

Overall, I love this race, the superhero swag is fun and it was an awesome way to get outside with my family! Definitely one of the best virtual races out there!

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(2021)
"Best Way to Mix Up Your Running and Racing Routine"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

What a fun way to mix up the running experience! You get 6 runs with your entry and unlock puzzles along the way. I loved how this motivated me to run farther and longer and get out for the next run to find the clues and conquer Mt Olympus!

This was part race, part brain activity and 100% fun! The price point is fair and actually a steal for how many races you actually get to participate in. I really hope there are more experiences like this in the future.

I loved that I was motivated be emails from Hermes along the way and the race communication was on point. Any problem handled immediately. The sponsors and chances to win prizes were a big plus too! While there is no shirt and medal, I have so many from other races, it was actually refreshing to just focus on the personal victory of finishing without the bling. Also great to save the environment a bit by not producing excess shirts and medals.

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(2021)
"Awesome race, great swag!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I ran the Seattle Hot Chocolate Virtual 5k race around my home town. This was honestly so nice to do since I haven’t had a huge amount of training with a 4 month old at home! It was nice to be able to do the run on my schedule and with my stroller. I also loved choosing my own course. As with any race, there were pros and cons to this being run virtual.

Pros

No need to travel to race - so important with a 4 month old!

Can run any time of day - works with baby’s nap schedule and my husband’s schedule

Get to just come home and rest up after since it’s so close

Mini cheering squad at home!

Fun trivia questions and energy on Facebook - opportunity to win a free entry into a future race.

Cons

No race day motivation from other runners

Didn’t feel the normal race ENERGY!

My medal and swag didn’t arrive until 4-days after the race

I do miss traveling to races - even though it was nice to not have to.

All in all, I enjoyed this race. In the future I will try to recruit local running friends to run with me to give it a more race day feel. Having the motivation to race did get me out the door when I really just wanted to stay in bed. For me, that is why I need to sign up for races, either in-person or virtual. I need motivation to train.

The Swag

As usual, the Hot Chocolate Race swag was great! I got a tech hat, hooded fleece zip-up, chocolate, hot chocolate packets and a very sweet medal! It has a little compartment to store your chocolate in, so fun! I definitely think this race has amazing perks when it comes to swag. Who doesn’t like chocolate?

Will I Run Again?

YES! This is my second time running a Hot Chocolate race, and I can’t wait to run another one in the coming years. They are always fun and motivating. It’s a blast to be able to have chocolate to look forward to at the finish line - whether in person or virtual.

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