Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hot Chocolate 5K Recap

While searching the web for information about the sizing of the hoodie you get when you run this race, I came across blog after blog after blog criticizing The Hot Chocolate Race in various cities. I was a little apprehensive about how the race would go based on what I read, but I'm happy to say that the Phoenix event is amazing and really well run.

Last year's Hot Chocolate Race is my only DNS. The race happens to be the morning after our barn Christmas party. The race is a 5K or 15K. Last year, I signed up for the 15K, proceeded to drink way too much and then decided, hell no, I'm not dragging myself out for a 9 mile run.

Only one or two glasses into the evening.
I knew a 15K was out of the question this year.

For some reason, we always end up visiting the horses in our formal attire.

This year, I was smart. I signed up for the 5K, knowing that I could walk the 5K and not be too miserable. The main reason I wanted to do this race was the sweet hoodie. Plus, it was about $40 to enter the 5K with the same swag. Sold!

First of all, the expo was a breeze. If I hadn't been sidetracked by sparkly shiny things, I could have been in an out of there in a few minutes.

See? A breeze. No crowds.
Just in case someone has stumbled across this blog hoping to find out the sizing of the hoodie, I say that they run big. The hoodies come packaged nicely in a plastic wrapper and they ask you not to open them, but to use theirs to try on so that if you have to exchange yours, the original is still packaged nicely. I wish I had known that up front because I was wearing a thick pull over sweat shirt and nothing (but a bra, of course!) underneath so there was no way I could try my size to make sure it was right.

Mine ended up too big. The sleeves are pretty long. They're the style with the thumb holes, so they are supposed to be long, but these seem really long. Otherwise, it's really nice and good quality. Best race "shirt" I've gotten so far!

A nice hoodie, a shoe bag and a travel mug for a 5K?
Totally worth getting up for.

There was a mini expo set up, as well, and that was a lot more crowded.

Still not too bad.

Also, the merchandise for race specific gear was amazing. I would have gone a little crazy on merch if I was running a longer distance than 5K. Pay attention, NYRR, run Disney and Rock 'n' Roll! This stuff was really nice. I wouldn't mind owning some of it with the NYCM logo on it.

There were racks and racks of really high quality items.
I also purchased my first Sweaty Band. Oh em gee, I'm in love. I wore it all day and it never slipped once. I'm going to need about 20 more of these. Tara got the yellow daisy one at the Disneyland Half Expo while I was waiting in the most ridiculous line ever at the expo and I was jealous that I didn't have one. Well, my life is complete now that I have one in pink.

You totally want one, right?

So yes. This expo was a breeze and I got some sweet goodies. And just like I knew we would, we drank way too much to consider this an actual race. So from the beginning I knew I was going to walk it. Blake and Lara actually ran it, but luckily for me, I ran into Tara and we used our 3.1 mile stroll to catch up. We've only seen each once since Dumbo Double Dare weekend and that was to volunteer at Iron Man Arizona.

Corrals, obviously

It was pretty cold for Phoenix

My one complaint about this race is that the route is really not scenic at all. That's why I've only done R'n'R Arizona once (Although, it looks like I'm doing it in January). Phoenix just isn't that entertaining to run through. But for all of the swag and a cheap entry for the 5K, I could suck it up. Plus, I wasn't paying attention to the scenery, anyway. I was gossiping with Tara.

Once you cross the finish line, you can head over to the tent to get your finisher's mug. They refer to it as a collector's mug, but honestly, I would never use it again. It's not a real mug and it's sectioned into parts. However, the chocolate fondue that was in the mug was truly delicious. I wish they had given out spoons because I didn't have enough things to dip into the fondue to use it all up.

Breakfast of champions. There's way more calories in this mug than I burned.
Me, Blake and Lara
M&M t-shirts made by Lara
I would totally do this race again. I'm sure that our Christmas party will fall on the same weekend next year, so look for me moseying along at a stroll on the 5K course nursing a hang over like a serious athlete. You can't really buy a nice hoodie for $40, so it's worth it just for that. Just remember it runs big and to wear a thinner shirt to try it on at the expo.


  1. 1. I like that you scoured the internet about this race and still gave it a chance despite the crummy reviews.
    2. The hoodie is CUTE! Too bad on the sizing. I always find myself with race clothes that are ginormous on me.
    3. Love that you used YOLO. One of my favs. I should probably head to a trashy teeny bopper store and buy a tshirt.
    4. Love that you guys had M&M's shirts for this race. SUPER cute! :)

    1. This race is totally worth doing if you get the chance. Lots of bang for your buck. I'll be honest- the main reason I wanted to do it was for the hoodie. I'm just disappointed that I wasn't able to try it on first!!

  2. There was supposed to be a Hot Chocolate run in LA, but for some reason it was cancelled. I'm thinking about doing it in San Diego in March. How can anyone turn down a race with a chocolate theme? Love your M&M's costumes! Great idea! I hijacked the Sweaty Bands style and made a bunch of my own, but I'm loving the flowers! If I'd seen that I'd have bought it too!

    1. If San Diego is a reasonable distance for you, I say do it! I'm not one for traveling for short distance races, but if it's not too far, it's a fun race.

  3. I'll say this, I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K here in Phoenix last year and it was great! And now I'm jealous I missed out on this year's hoodies! I think all the people out there complaining about the race are just those who have been spoiled by the huge races like Rock N Roll. They don't realize that participating in a smaller race can be just as fun... you don't need a warehouse of free swag to make you happy. Although, come on... all that chocolate afterwards? What's not to love! thanks for the read and for the positive post!

    1. It's definitely on my radar for next year. I think it's worth doing. And the chocolate is actually delicious!

  4. I'm so glad you ran this and can tell me these things. I'm so happy to know about the sizing- I assumed from the 1st year of this race that it would run small. We are planning on doing the Philly one and I'm going to do the 15k. Can't wait!

    1. I actually have the windbreaker from last year (the hoodie is WAY better) and that one is small. The hoodie seems big. Just wear a thinner shirt to the expo so that you can try it on. They'll exchange it for you, no problem.


Thanks for reading!