Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K Philadelphia as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Has it really been a month since the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15k? The way I keep talking about it feels as if it *just* happened! By far this is going to be in my top 5 runs for the year! The course was great, the crowd support was ahmazing and the after party…oh baby!
Let’s get into it.
Pick up at the Philadelphia Convention Center was pretty easy. Since Philly had lifted some of the Covid restrictions I was able to breeze in and out of packet pick up while being able to say hello to friends and sample the vendors. I wasn’t able to volunteer for the Expo this year, but I recommend volunteering to help out at a race if you’re able. Seeing the back end really gives perspective for the amount of work and effort goes into putting together each event.
The Expo had samples of hot chocolate and the finish line goodies and I was quite excited to know that the hot chocolate of the Hot Chocolate Run, is dairy free! In fact, everything except the fondue is dairy free!
Cookie: Dairy free, nut free.
Kosher Hot Chocolate: Contains coconut oil, contains lactose enzyme, gluten free, nut free.
Fondue: Contains dairy, gluten free, nut free.
Kosher Marshmallow: Dairy free, gluten free, nut free.
I followed my pre-race ritual of a light pasta dinner and sharing Flat Rachee but did not watch my favorite movie about a marathon. The Librarian and I switched it up with playing a board game. This deviation from routine was acceptable and I think more board games is only a good thing.
Sleep, however, was a restless affair. I kept thinking I was going to sleep through my alarm, somehow hear the alarm but snooze and wake up when the race started or some other disaster. I was also feeling quite anxious as my training for this race was spotty and I was feeling nervous about what my time to finish would be. See, I was feeling pretty ambitious when I signed up for the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate Run. At the time I was training for a half marathon and very consistent with my running. Somewhere in December my solo and group runs were so inconsistent and I was not feeling ready. Gathering my outfit made me feel a bit better and I decided this run would be all about the fun and I decided to enjoy the moment.
While I did not oversleep, I underestimated traffic patterns and parking and wound-up parking about a mile away. I was feeling anxious about being on time for the BGR group photo, for getting to the start and was just feeling off. My playlist came in clutch because after blasting my pre-race hype song, I was ready for action.
The course is familiar and one that’s always fun to run. We went down to Olde City and around Fairmont Park with a couple of inclines thrown in for a little razzle dazzle. It was so energizing to see familiar friends cheering and encouraging and I was pushong myself to get through the final leg, an always surprising incline.
Totally worth it for the CHOCOLATE!
Usually I grab my food, snap a few shots and am out. This time there was a DJ who had the best playlist and I, along with my BGR group, stayed and danced for what felt like an hour. We danced and celebrated and it was such a festive time!
The Hot Chocolate Swag is always great. The medal and the jacket are the best but this race felt like it was for me. There was a good community of people, we celebrated and partied and feasted and April 1st 2023 cannot get here soon enough!