So when I first signed up for the Hot Chocolate Run 15k I was thinking it would be the perfect little racecation further south where it would be a bit warmer compared to back home. And boy was I wrong. The Northeast just got slammed by the winter storm Jonas, which happened to be on the weekend of the Hot Chocolate Run in Atlanta. Luckily, I had been training in the cold so this race wasn’t bad in comparison to that, but boy was it cold! On race day it was 23 degrees out when the race began, and was up to 26 degrees by the time I finished.
Even though it was cold, it was still a really fun race and it was my dad and my friend Julies first long distance race. My dad has only ever done 5k’s before this race, and Julie did a 10k once before, but other than that sticks to 5k’s. Before the race we had to stand out in the cold for almost an hour, and my feet we completely numb by the time we started running. It took me until at least mile 2 for them to finally warm up, and my hands took until about mile 3 before they warmed up. I felt bad for some of the locals running in the race because I bet they weren’t as prepared to run in such cold weather. It’s so interesting seeing how people down south react to the cold, rain, and snow – they literally don’t know what to do with themselves.
My dad was pretty worried before starting this race, so he started off at a slower pace but definitely ended up having the same pace as Julie and I did during the race because at every check point he was consistently only a couple of minutes behind the two of us. I think if he had stayed up with Julie and I weaving through people in the beginning of the race he would have been able to stick with us the whole time. Julie and I had an average pace of just under 11 minutes and finished the race in 1:42:06 and my dad finished in 1:46 and change.
The course was a bit hillier than I thought a race in Atlanta would be, but really wasn’t all that bad. All the hills were pretty gradual in comparison to the elevation back home so they were easier to be able to maintain pace up them. I was worried that the race would seem to go by so slowly since it was so cold out, but it actually seemed to go by in no time at all.
An awesome thing about this race was afterwards they gave out this big cup filled with hot chocolate, marsh mellows, pretzels, rice krispie treats, a banana, and a couple other snacks to dip in melted chocolate. It was the perfect chocolatey post-race snack. A lot of other bigger races give out t-shirts as a souvenir, but this race gave out running jackets that were fleece lined and are super nice. I think we paid around $65 each to sign up for the race, which really isn’t bad considering a similar jacket in a store would probably cost at least $50, if not more.
In all, I am really happy with my results for this 15k and am really proud of both my dad and Julie for finishing the race with flying colors! Now that they have both finished the 15k they are both determined to do at least a half marathon with me this fall, which I think is totally awesome!