Latest reviews by Kathryn

"Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 15k"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management

I ran the Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 15k this past weekend. It was my first 15k (though I have done a 10 miler a couple of times) so I was excited to log this new distance. I have to say this an extremely positive experience from beginning to end.

To start with, the race required that you picked up your race packet and swag beforehand. This meant that you did not have to worry about doing it the day of. When I got to Philadelphia Runner (the pick up location) it was an extremely quick and expedited process. The swag was FANTASTIC. My husband and I both ran the race, and they had his and hers black tech hoodies. They female hoodies had purple lining and the male hoodies had blue linings. Both came with a 1/4 zip and a key zip in the back. This was definitely the best running swag we have gotten from a race!

The day of the race was also quick and painless. We were a little concerned about parking as the Art Museum area is not great for parking and our regional rail does not run as early as was necessary for the race morning. The race recommended taking SEPTA, which is not very practical at that hour. This would be the ONE area I would recommend them working on. They needed a better explanation of where to park for out of towners who might not be as familiar with the area. A lot of people ARE going to drive, so parking should be explained, not just a suggestion of public transportation or a vague mention of parking garages. We were able to find parking in Fairmount Park fairly easily though, as we are familiar with the area.

The race started exactly on time (something I am a stickler for). We were in the "J" corral which meant we started towards the beginning of the pack. The course was gorgeous; you were able to run along West River Drive in Philadelphia. The road was closed off for the race so I felt like there was room to stretch out and run without it being too narrow most of the time. Plus, you got to watch the river and see all of the crew racing that was going off at the same time. I liked the distraction while I was racing and the scenery along the river is beautiful.

The course was mostly flat with barely any hills. All of the miles were marked off, as well as the 5k and 10k markers. I always like to know exactly how far into a race I am, so I really liked how well marked everything was.

There were a few water stations out on the course, but not so many that I felt it was overkill, especially considering it was a cold morning. The volunteers did a nice job of handing out water, and keeping the tossed cups raked up.

The finish was well marked with lots of people cheering you in. Afterwards, you also received a mug with chocolate fondue and various dipping items, plus a cup of hot chocolate. The bibs provided a tear off section to turn in for the treat, and we didn't have to wait in line at all.

I really enjoyed this race and thought it was a great spring race. I will definitely do it again and highly recommend it to others!

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