“Disclaimer: I received an entry to Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte 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!”
Year Number 5 complete. I was super excited to get back to IRL racing and taking on the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K in Charlotte. I admit I was a little worried I might have trouble running this year due to an address mix-up. I registered for the race back in September & paid extra for my packet to be mailed, and we ended up moving in December. I had my mail forwarded, but I didn’t even think twice about this race packet…..until I received an email saying it was shipped. You guessed it, my first response was “oh *$%#”. I emailed the coordinator and tried to contact postal service to see if I could do anything. I thought maybe the postal service would re-route, but they couldn’t. The packet was due to arrive on 2/8, with the race being on the 19th. Postal Service coudln’t do anything, so I was forced to watch the tracking each day as the packet got closer and closer to my old address. On the 8th, the status said delivered but then switched to forwarded. I thought “great, they will send to my new address” Today is the 26th and the status still says “forwarded”. I still traveled to the race and went to the customer service booth at the expo. I explained what happened and they printed my a new bib on the spot, great that was the most important thing. As far as the swag, they didn’t have anything extra of my size but they gave me a code to order it, and it would take 4-6 weeks.
As for the race itself, you could feel the excitement in the air by all the runners. Everyone was excited to be running in person after having to do it virtually last year. The DJ was playing catchy tunes, as well as providing some pre-race entertainment.
The starting corrals were packed full and before you know it, we were off. We were off right into a uphill incline. This race has so many hills, yet I keep torturing myself because I have to maintain my legacy status. I have run the race every year it has been around, so that’s 5 years. 5 year legacy also came with a nice legacy gift, an insulated mug. Back to the race, because I had run in many years in a row, I knew what to expect and monitored my pace accordingly. I watched all the ambitious runners handing out too fast, and thought in my mind..”ill be seeing you again soon”. One thing that I did notice was that the pacers were going much faster than the pace they were suppose to maintain. For instance, the 8:00 pacer was well out in front of me and I was running sub 8 miles. Between miles 6 & 7 is a hill that I named “The humbler” because it does just that…humbles a runner. I was greeted with water and medal upon crossing the finish line. Once you make your way to the finisher’s village, you are greeted with more music and the answer to your chocolate dreams; hot chocolate and melted chocolate, along wtih all the fun things to dip: banana, rice krispy treat, cookies, graham crackers and marshmallows.
Safe to say, I will be doing this race again next..torture hills and all. I highly recommend checking out Charlotte or any Hot Chocolate races in the future.