Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hot Chocolate 15K/5K San Diego Recap

We left the condo a little too late (around 6:20am) still having to stop for gas and get some cash from the ATM. Family is definitely great, but trying to move efficiently when you're with a group of people can be impossible stressful challenging. Petco Park was only 1.5 miles from our condo, but we didn't get very far away from home before we found ourselves in a solid line of cars.
Lots of runners wearing their HC hoodie.Californians are cold weather wimps!
The 5K waves started at 6:45am. We pulled into the jammed parking lot around 7:05am and thought we would probably be running the 5K alone (which was fine since we had our timing chips) but we quickly realized the 5K waves were still being sent off. We actually made it to the start arch just as the last wave started, literally we were the last of the 5K people to cross the start line. This race was massive--much larger than I'd imagined. There must have been thousands of runners.  



This race overall was a ton of fun and super well organized. And being that there was chocolate everywhere, I thought the volunteers were even a little more enthusiastic than at other races. Coulda been my imagination. Just before the first water station there was a guy handing out chocolate chips. Funnily enough, it was GREAT. I popped a few into my mouth and felt pretty good from the sugar rush or from the novelty of it. 

But the HILLS omg. The route was way hillier than I knew San Diego to be. There was more than one hill that felt like it was straight outta San Fran. They killed me. I walked up the uphills and tried to make up the time on the downhills. That sorta worked out ok. 

I finished this 5k in 42:05 13:33/mi. I'm ok with that and can attribute the slow time partially to the number of hills and the amount of walking I did plus weaving around people. Starting out dead last, I was pleased with the number of people I passed and that I caught my "rabbit" with more than a half mile left in the race.  
There was a really cool KidZone at the finish area. The Puff would have loved it, but she also loves to sleep so I don't regret that she missed this. But I'll know this is available the next time we run a Hot Chocolate run.
Arizona Cousins
Of course, after the run, we got our awesome cup of YUM! A big mug containing a bag of mini pretzels, a marshmallow, a banana, a rice krispy square, a wafer cookie and chocolate sauce to dip them all in. Your own naked fingers work great for dipping too! In the center was a steaming hot cup of cocoa. 

This was worth waking up for. Being the sucker that I am Because I love my kiddo, I saved my mug to take home to the Puff. 
Besides having my sister in San Diego, my cousin and I have lots of family there as well. We met up and all went out for breakfast at World Famous in PB (aka Pacific Beach). 

Maine lobster eggs benedict, thank you
After breakfast we tooled around the B's (PB, IB, MB) and La Jolla, took some fun pictures and called it a day. We made it home late in the afternoon, just in time to get ready for the week ahead.

 

The good bad and ugly about the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K San Diego: 
Good: 
  • Great volunteers, really enthusiastic, I even was not annoyed by the MC
  • Love the chocolate being handed out everywhere, this was fun
  • Great signage-I didn't miss any mile markers! Gatorade and water stations were clearly differentiated
  • The race t-shirt was an awesome jacket
  • the Mug o' Yum....was YUM
  • KidZone! 
The Bad: There was not much to complain about but
  • Parking was a drag. I know we were running late but there was so much congestion. Perhaps reserve lots that aren't all right at the start/finish? 
  • The Hills. They were brutal
The Ugly: 
  • this is weird to comment on but there's a picture above of runners going under a freeway overpass. That area stank of urine and who knows what else to the point that I had to hold my breath going through there or I'd have passed out from the fumes. Not sure what could be done about that. it was gross. 
Overall this was a great race and a great weekend. It's these kinds of races that get you excited about the next one. Bay to Breakers, here we come! 

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