Monday, November 10, 2014

Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k Race Recap.

My longest race this fall finally happened over the weekend, after nine weeks of training. Sunday morning started in the five o'clock hour with coffee and almond butter toast, to wake up for the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k! I ran with two dear friends J and S, including S's dad who traveled from Iowa to run with us.

{I received a free race registration for the Hot Chocolate 15k race in Chicago as part of the Hot Chocolate Blog Ambassador program}.

We arrived bright and early by the recommended time of 6:40am, to get in line for wave 2 of the race. The Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k/5k series sold out with 40,000 {yes, thousand!} runners this year, and the race line-up was incredibly organized. We did a quick drop at gear check and made it to our designated letter with plenty of time to spare. A new "letter" of runners started every four minutes, leaving space for runners to avoid tripping over each other.

It was chilly at the start, and I learned my lesson to wear warmer socks the next time it's sub-40 degrees for a race. Thankfully we warmed up quickly once the run started. We ran underneath Randolph Street and around the Loop for a bit, before heading south on Michigan Avenue, through the South Loop neighborhood. The race circled back north along an inner Lake Shore Drive street and ended in Grant Park, where it began.

I ran the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k for the first time in 2010, and improved my overall time this year by more than 10 minutes! I'm definitely calling that a 15k PR. I run much more regularly these days, and sticking to the training plan for this race definitely helped. The first few miles were slower while we found our running groove with the crowd and started passing people. I think we would have finished a few minutes faster had we been in a higher letter (we were in the "N" corral). My goal was to finish with a 10:30/minute pace, but we finished strong and I'm happy with this result!

Overall time: 1:39:18
Pace: 10:40/mile
Overall place: 8,095th out of 14,164
Age group place: 897th out of 1,728

I can't forget the sweet medal - or the chocolate! The "finisher's mug" did not disappoint. Each runner received a steaming cup of hot chocolate with a side of fondue. I don't know how they kept the hot chocolate warm for so many thousands of people, but I enjoyed every sip. For fondue dipping, the mug came with a banana, mini pretzels, and a small wafer cookie. We finished the morning with brunch and a mimosa at The 3rd Coast Cafe in Old Town. I finished the afternoon with a nap!

For more information about the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k RAM Racing Series in other cities, click here. You can also follow Hot Chocolate on Twitter and like on Facebook.

Have you ever run a Hot Chocolate race?


  1. I've heard sooo many good things about this race! I'm going to have to add it to my race schedule for next year! Congrats on the PR!!

    1. Definitely do! I love huge races like this - it's so motivating :)

  2. Great job on your race! Which training plan did you use to train for the 15k? Also, we totally had brunch at the same place after. I had a Stella instead of a mimosa though :P

    1. Thanks!! Awesome. Stella a good second choice ;) I actually came up with my own training plan for the 15k. You can find it here:

  3. Wow- huge congrats, that is awesome! I love running the same race to measure my performance!