I ran my very first 15k this past weekend. If you don't know a 15k is 9.3 miles. SUCH A FUN RACE!! I will definitely be back to run this one again!
I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K Atlanta! The event has both a 5k and a 15k. There were about 14,500 people running in the event combined! There was a big big crowd!! There were a reported 9,366 people that ran the 5K and 5,148 that ran the 15k. This would be my biggest race event to date!
The pre-event packet pickup was so smooth! They have this down! Let me start by sharing that I registered very late and we had Snowmagedon 2016. Seriously the biggest snow we have had in a long time here in Western NC on Thursday night/Friday before the race.
We needed to leave Saturday morning to make it to the Expo in time to make it to the Expo by 6pm when the Expo closed. We are about 5 hours from Atlanta! With 8 inches of snow on the ground and the roads barely scrapped we left town driving at a snails pace and inched our way through NC and SC.
We made it to Atlanta with time to spare and hit the Expo. Getting in and to get our bib was a breeze and we were directed to the next station for race bag and swag pick up and then directed into the expo! It was great!
I have to guess that the most of the proceeds of the race registration fee was spent on the jacket! Swag was minimal, a bag, a jacket and a map. That was it. But the jacket was amazing! I would say the jacket fit true to size! I registered for a small and it fit just as I expected! My friend registered for a Medium thinking the jacket would fit small. She was disappointed to find that she should have gotten the small. The cut was feminine and so it was not fitted well on her smaller frame. I will register early next year, while my jacket is pretty awesome, Hot Chocolate 15K is embroidered on the front, my friend who registered early also has the Atlanta Skyline and Atlanta embroidered on hers!
We went on through the expo which was a bit smaller than I expected but still was great! Anything I might have needed I just about could have picked up there so I think it was a win! I grabbed a cute "Chocolate made me do it" long sleeved tech tshirt, got my youngest daughter who rode down with us a hat and picked up a few new magnets for the car! We of course got in a few photo ops and some hot chocolate!
After the Expo we got all checked in at our hotel and went out on the town for Dinner! We found this great place called Max Lagers! Food was great and the place was very nice! We will be back! After dinner we headed back to the hotel and settled in for the night. Somehow we read that the 15 started at 8:25 am... I had read that they recommended people to get there at 6:30am but our hotel was like literally across the street from the start line so we decided we'd get there at 8, just before the race started... We had also checked facebook and saw that there were all kinds of weather advisories so we felt pretty good about our decision...
We were very wrong on the start time... Facebook also said the 15k started at 8:25 am but the map they handed out at the Expo clearly showed the corrals and waves with the assigned start times... My friend was in corral A and I was in corral C... We were supposed to start at 7:40 am!!!
Note to self for the next race: DOUBLE CHECK START TIME THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE AND CHECK AGAIN TO BE SURE!
We realized we had our time wrong at 7:45am while were were still at the hotel! Thankfully we were close so we threw our gear on and ran to the start line. (At least we got in a great warm up LOL) We jumped in the front of the line up with corral I since A-G had already gone and within minutes we were off and running! It was freezing!!!
This race quickly became a favorite for me! The course was great! Hilly, but great! The runners were so pumped and excited and courteous! Of course we were weaving for a bit to catch up to our pace but it made the event fun for me! I wasn't too worried about time, since this was my first time running in Atlanta I found myself snapping pictures along the way!
Along the route they handed out Marshmellows, Chocolate, water and Nuun.
I have never tired Nuun before. I liked it! It may help with my legs cramping. I may have to try it more. Stay tuned...
The morning was so cold the Nuun was frozen!!!!
The course was well marked with mile markers, gun time clocks, cones and signs.
The finish was awesome! So rewarding to see the finish line! The 5K course and 15K course do join back together at the end for the big finish!!
My Strava time and the Chip time were off a bit. Strava said I ran 9.6 miles vs. 9.3 miles. I did do a bit of weaving and crossing back and fourth on the street in the begining since we started with a slower corral so that would have added to my overall actual distance. Either way I am happy with my time and pace for this 15k!
The metal is great! A big blingy bar of chocolate!
There is also a finishers mug, with Hot Chocolate, Chocolate Fondue with a Banana, Rice Crispy Treat, and so much more!! It was the perfect post 15K treat!
There was a big after party with DJ and Dancing but we headed out and back to the hotel to shower and get checked out!
The race was so much fun! I will add this to my schedule for next year!! Hopefully its a tad bit warmer than this year!!