Sunday, April 8, 2018

Race Review: A Pretty Sweet Race! Allstate Hot Chocolate Philadelphia!

"Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Philadelphia race 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!"

Hi Everyone!

Hope everyone is doing well! I also hope by now, you may have seen my race previews and/or my race schedule. Well, race day has finally come! Had a pretty sweet time at the AllState Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Philadelphia! ;)

I was so excited for this race! I have heard great things about this race series here and across the country! 

Expo: held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Easy bib pickup! About 20 stations to check in, it's not in alpha or numeric order like most pickups, they just scan your email, print a sticker and apply to a bib! The shirt pullover pickup was in a separate line and went smoothly as well, they just scan your bib to pick up your shirt. They did have a changing area nearby if you wanted to try on/exchange your shirt for another size. After pickup, there were about three rows of vendors to checkout. Some of the vendor stands to check out were running clothing, medal displays, headphones, healthy meals, Nuun hydration, KT Tape, and shoe frosting.  Did I mention this is a chocolate themed race? Well, there was a stand in the middle to sample some of the race day treats! Wafer cookie and a marshmallow to dip in chocolate fondue and a shot of hot chocolate!
Training: I've been using a half marathon program that fits my needs for this and other races. But the Allstate Hot Chocolate race has been nice enough to provide one as well. Available on their web site, and also emailed to you weekly! Each Sunday you would receive an email for the upcoming week's training schedule. Very nice!
Race week:

Weather: going into this week, it looked like weather was going to be a factor! There was a forecast of 1-3 inches of snow, then it changed to 3-6, then wintry mix, then Friday it changed to coating to an inch! Race day, nothing! Maybe flurries, but nope! It was cold pre-post race, but no issues during the race. There was a heating area that had about 8 outdoor propane heaters, definitely made a difference while standing around pre/post race!

Race day: 

Pre-race: Met up with fellow BibRavePro, Meridith, be sure to give her a follow here.
Elevation/Scenery: Great news, the course is relatively flat! Some of the Philly races have one big hill in the middle, not this one! The course starts just to the side of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, (not at the end of the parkway like some races). The race is only in the city for about a mile. Down to Logan Square, turn around, back on the parkway (a mile already? am surprised more races don't use the parkway as part of the race, usually just part of the starting area), the rest of the race is along the Schuykill River (I76 side), you have a view of the river, parks, and Boathouse Row, avoid the hills, turnaround, back along the river to the museum, ending by the museum steps (which has a slight incline the last .25!). 
My race: Having just done a half marathon 2 weeks ago, was not sure if I'd have anything in the tank for a good race. Been trying to make a point to stretch, hydrate, and somewhat take it easy before race day.  I have been stretching more, but still room for improvement. Today, my goal was to pace around 8, fading to about 8:15ish. Well, feeling good, started out ahead of the 8 min pacer, felt good for a while, decided to keep with it. Ended up pacing there the entire way! I admit, the last mile I had doubts and was about to fade, the pacer passed me with about 1/4 to go. He gave me great words of encouragement, but I couldn't hang with him. My finishing time was a 7:59 pace! Results were available right away!
Post race pics: Had to get some photo ops with the marshmallow man and hot chocoloate!
Met up with my buddy post race, be sure to follow him as well, here!
Swag: 

The Chocolate! Sorry, didn't get a close up of the chocolate. Included was dark chocolate fondue  with treats to dip! Marshmallow, rice krispie treat, biscoff cookies, and pretzels. As well as hot chocolate!
Medal: pretty sweet medal! Chocolate bar! and a key chain of the Liberty Bell! (each Hot Chocolate 15k race has a city specific landmark key chain) 
Pullover! Most races have a short or long sleeve shirt, this race has a tech pullover! It is so comfy! and provides plenty of warmth! Already gave it a trial run, was very nice!
 
Free photo's! On race day?! When checking my result's yesterday, the photo's were already available! I received an additional email this morning that they tagged me in a few more! And I only look like death in a few of them, actually happy with some! 
I had a blast doing this race, it was pretty sweet! ;) Will definitely do this race again here in Philly, and hopefully in another city as well someday!

Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k sites and socials: 
Site: https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HotChocolate15k
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HotChocolate15K/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hotchocolate15k/

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!

Good luck with your training, keep kicking butt!

If you do any races, please remember to review them on ! Your opinions help other runners decide what races to run!  Follow me on BibRave: Joe G

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