Coupon hot chocolate run
The race was as well-run as it could be considering the weather. There were no mile markers because the wind would have knocked them down, so it was difficult to pace myself, especially since I had prepared for a 15K and had to adjust to a weird new distance. Post-race chocolate and goodies were well-done, but the increasingly worsening weather had everyone chugging their hot chocolate and getting out of there. The worst part of this race is the logistics of getting there. I opted for a parking lot in the Richmond which required a 2-mile walk to get to the park.
So we were soaking wet long before the race began. Even worse was the 2-mile walk back as our body temperatures started to drop and the shivering set in. Registered way back in November for earlybird pricing, and chose to sign up again since race day fell on my 31st birthday Registered way back in November for earlybird pricing, and chose to sign up again since race day fell on my 31st birthday…did not get the promo code for the free visor this time.
Chose to have my packet mailed rather than pickup in person at the race expo, which included the bag, jacket, and bib mine was missing the safety pins. Jackets could be exchanged at expo or mailed back if the wrong sizing. Shuttle passes available in advance for several shuttle stops, parking passes as well. No one checked our papers which indicated we paid for the passes.
Super lame. Due to the crazy storm weather January 8th, , 15Kers were given the option to run the earlier race shorter distance with the 5Kers, or do the longer distance at the scheduled time. Turns out, race morning, the 15K course was shortened to exclude the Great Highway coastal portion, which meant the run only totaled 5.
About 10, people still showed up both distances combined total and finished the run, which is still impressive considering the conditions. Race organizers decided not to cancel the race. Ponchos, garbage bags, gloves, etc. Pacers, aid stations, volunteers still out there…even an official race photographer out on the concourse near the hot chocolate distribution area. Hot chocolate was piping hot, with marshmallow, banana, rice krispie, pretzels, biscoff for fondue dipping in the mug.
Bag check and store for more HC gear were open but I did not avail.
The open-air concourse was quite rainy and exposed, so most sought shelter post-race. Race results posted very quickly live runner tracking available too to update via text or Facebook through Chronotrack timing , and official race photos free downloads. Second time running the Hot Chocolate in San Francisco. This year, I was supposed to run the 15k, but due to a heavy winds and rain, the course was shortened … MORE.
This year, I was supposed to run the 15k, but due to a heavy winds and rain, the course was shortened to 5. They removed the portion that we run on the Great Highway. We stayed in the protected areas of Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park was still beautiful even in the rain. Due to the weather, the timing clocks at every mile were not out.
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There were no Hot Chocolate inflatables. Aid stations were scaled back a little due to the wind. They still had plenty of volunteers handing out water and Nuun sports drink. Aid stations still had chocolate chips and marshmallows. There were plenty of course monitors to direct us and cheers us on. I give a lot of appllause to all the volunteers that stood out there for hours in the rain and wind. At the finish, I still got my 15k medal. The hot chocolate tasted especially yummy after getting chilled off from the rain and wind.
I feel that the Hot Chocolate 15k race directors still put on a great race despite the terrible weather. They made the correct call to shorten the race because the Great Highway was just too dangerous.
I will definitely run this race again in Fairly flat. Beautiful with trees running through the park then along the Great Highway. A few slopes. Well supported course. The Expo was not as good as last year's. But … MORE. But the medal,jacket and chocolate bowl are awesome! This is definitely a really well organized event.
Email communication started well before the event with information about parking. Bib pick up was in the south San Francisco conference center, which has free parking!! However, the expo was quite a bit smaller than expected, especially for such a large race.
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I pretty much just got my swag bag and left. They have an area to try sweater sizes and option to exchange. I wanted to trade my small for an xsmall, but they ran out of the xsmall. Honestly, I only did the race this year because it was the first time they were giving out finisher medals for the 15k. The medal did not disappoint!
Race day: -I was coming from the South Bay and had purchased the shuttle ticket. I parked at SF state which had plenty of parking and then boarded the shuttle to get to the start line in golden gate park. They had a ton of shuttle buses and the line basically was a steady stream of ppl boarding; it never stopped! Loved it. The beginning was nice and easy downhill. Middle portion along the waterfront was really flat.
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But the last couple miles-ALL. They also had little plastic baggies so you could take the fondue to-go easily and mess-free. Had banana, Rice Krispie, pretzels, and marshmallows to dip in the chocolate fondue. They also had cups of hot chocolate hot chocolate, dipped marshmallows, and dipped strawberries were also being handed out at the expo to give a sneak peak taste! The chocolates were all really yummy! They had lines clearly organized, labeled with flags, and roped off according to which destination the shuttle was going to they had shuttle stations at SF state, San Mateo, east bay, and maybe more options which was nice because there were runners from everywhere near and far!
They had a constant stream of buses running so lines went super fast! I just wish the fondue cups were designed more like a real mug without the center hole for chocolate , and in ceramic, so that people could reuse them as coffee or tea mugs. B2B or knowing Brand Ambassador got you a free running buff. Packet mailing cost extra, otherwise go to the Expo.
Shuttles … MORE.
Mile hilly, flat, 8-end hilly. Aid stations had water and Nuun but also sweet treats. Each mile marker had a race clock on it gun time.
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Free race photos. The swag is great, the chocolate goodies at the end are fun, the chocolate themed aid stations are unique.
The last 3 or so miles were all uphill and tough! Such a good race. Other than starting really early, in SF, this race is a good one. You run through beautiful Golden Gate part, smelling the eucalyptus and passing a waterfall. There are … MORE. There are a few hills but nothing major.
There are shuttle busses at UCSF to take you from the parking garage to the race, but it is an additional fee. That was very well organized with minimal waiting. The finish is also well organized and the hot chocolate and fondue was amazing. Best of all, instead of a race t-shirt you receive a really nice full zip running jacket as your swag. Arrive early to get to your corral if you are in A-D. We were slightly early but ended up having to run in a lower corral because we could not … MORE. We were slightly early but ended up having to run in a lower corral because we could not physically get to corral B, there were so many bystanders and runners everywhere it was too congested to move.
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