Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k 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!
In 2017 I ran the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15k on my 40th birthday. This year I had the opportunity to run the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 5k representing BibRave and I jumped at the opportunity. The swag is incredible and HELLO, there is chocolate. What more could a girl want?
Well, how about a super cool friend to run with? That’s always a bonus and one of the reasons I love running so much – being with friends. Last year I ran the 15k with my dear friend Christina as a celebration for both of us turning 40. This year, novice runner Ana joined me for the 5k run around Philadelphia.
Originally when I signed up for this race, I had visions of 5k PRs danced in my head. However after a rough winter and a broken arm, my training was less than stellar. I settled into the “get it done” mentality and that worked out well because I was able to run with Ana at her first ever road race.
I chose to have my packet sent to me rather than going to the expo for an additional fee. My purple pullover and bib arrived a week and a half prior to the race. It was worth the additional cost for me to save time traveling into the city prior to race day. There was no race day pickup.
The weather this year as brisk but not uncomfortable. As I headed out the door I made a last minute decision to ditch my gloves. I later came to regret that decision but otherwise I was comfortable.
Ana and I took the train into the city from S. Jersey, which is usually my standard when it comes to Philly races. It’s easy, it’s quick, and I don’t have to worry about parking. It was packed with other Hot Chocolate runners. I don’t know the amount of people who run both races but in the 5k there were 3,406 runners. I think that the 15k is the bigger of the two races. Both races get the same pullover and finisher’s mug at the end of the race, but the 15k also gets a finishers medal, which I think is a big draw for many people.
Our quick walk from the train station to the start line served as a warm up and we made it to the Art Museum right around 7am for the 7:15am start. It was perfect timing and we even got to see a few friends before the race!
We placed ourselves in the G corral = mullet crew, party in the back. Looking to have a good time with this, we set our timer to 1:1 intervals.
The course is similar to others in Philadelphia. Starts at the Art Museum and then winds down along the river and back again. Boathouse Row is always fun to look at, the traffic on the other side: not as much.
We spent the first mile or so bobbing and weaving, as is usually the case with races this size, but we were having fun and enjoying the race and also the people around us.
On the course they handed out chocolate and marshmallows, along with water and Nuun.
This race went by fast! Soon enough we were turning around and headed back to the Art Museum.
There is a small hill right near the finish line that is always there and yet, it always catches me off guard for some reason. We decided to walk up the hill (honestly, it’s not bad at all – just me whining) and then hit the gas for the end. So much fun!
Sure running is fun but let’s talk about chocolate-y goodness, shall we? There are huge tents where you can get your mug filled with all sorts of goodies: hot chocolate, chocolate dipping sauce, pretzels, cookies, banana, and Rice Krispy treat. Last year the ground around that area was muddy and gross due to recent rain. This year there was hay on the ground, which significantly improved that situation and was much appreciated.
The line to get our treats moved quickly and soon enough we were sitting in front of the Art Museum and enjoyed our treats.
And, of course, we ran up the Art Museum steps! How could we not?
Ana is already talking about signing up again next year so I think the running bug has bitten her. (Mwahaha, excellent, everything is going according to plan.)