Race Recap: Atlantic City 10k… no, make that 5k

Anyone who has been reading Scoot a Doot for awhile knows just how much I love the Atlantic City Race Series races. I usually participate in at least one race during their spring and fall series and I enjoyed doing their inaugural Bungalow Beach Run this year too.

I registered for the Atlantic City 10k back in 2017, right after registration opened. The 10k distance is one that I love and I got my personal best at this race in 2016 so I was looking forward to returning again.

However, in the past 6 months, there’s been a shift in dynamics in my house. My 13 year old son, who once upon a time only ran when “forced” during a Mother’s Day 5k, has come around to enjoying running. As you can imagine, I am shedding proud tears!

Lucas’ cross country season just ended and he’s been asking to run more races. It was a no-brainer to register him for the AC 5k because I’ve run these races many times and I knew he’d be good on the out and back course solo. Since he was going to be there and doing the shorter distance, I decided to switch down to the 5k at morning packet pickup (which we opted for during registration). The process was surprisingly easy and we quickly had our shirts, bags, and bibs.

Usually I run these races with friends and my family opts to stay home. However since Lucas was running the race too, my husband and younger kiddo decided to join us for the morning as our cheerleaders.

Atlantic City races don’t have corrals so lining up beforehand is always a crap-shoot. I looked for people who looked like they’d run around the same pace as Lucas and sent him up ahead. I asked the people I was standing near what pace they expected to keep to find my spot. The 5k and 10k runners start together. After the singing of the National Anthem, we were off.

The out and back was comfortable for me because I’ve done so many training runs along this boardwalk. My time was a consistent 12 minute mile, not my best or worst. A friend from the gym and I were chatting about how I have one speed, no matter it being a 5k or a half marathon. It’s something I need to work on but I wasn’t going into this race thinking that I’d be breaking any personal records so I’m pretty content with what I did.

Lucas looked strong when I saw him while I was on the out and he was on the back but he said that he got a cramp soon after we saw each other. He still finished strong and sprinted to the finish.

We joined the finisher’s party and grabbed the most delicious bagels (holy moly, they were so good!), snacks, goodies from vendors, and beer at 10am.

Well, I grabbed beer at 10am. Lucas got Gatorade.

Next on deck for me is the Rothman 8k in Philly. In December, we are doing the Light Run together (which is a local untimed night event to see the holiday lights). And then while I represent Healthy Kids Running Series, Lucas is going to do the Elf ‘n Cocoa 5k.

This year is flying by. I hope you have a very happy Halloween and I’ll see you in November!

VLOG: September Doo Good Swag

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series 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!

I. Love. Animals.

And I love running. Animals rank higher in the order of things I love but let’s just say that it’s a close call.

Look at these amazing BIBRAVEPUPS! Thanks to Katy over at Run Katy Run for creating this awesome collage!

When our swag from the Scooby Doo Good Run arrived I was so excited! Naturally I used by best PUPPY VOICE to get Gemma hyped up about the unboxing. Was I successful? Well, you can see for yourself…

But that’s not all because during the month of SCOOBTOBER, we get the choice of doing either a 5k or 10k. Now Gemma isn’t ready to do either of those in one shot but we got out there yesterday for our first portion of the run and she was feeling the colder temps! We’re going to continue doing our run over the next week to earn this month’s swag and help out Best Friends Animal Society.

Human swag for October

Dog swag for October if you choose the add on

I am SO excited to put that purple bandanna on her! Purple is her color, after all.

There’s not much time if you want to join in this virtual fun race! Registration for October closes TOMORROW (zoinks!) so be sure to scurry over and register with code BIBRAVE to save 10%. A few people from my local running group are doing the virtual series as well and I’m LOVING seeing pictures of their dogs in their swag. If you are participating too, drop a comment so I can swing by and check out your pups.

 

Scooby Doo Good 5k September Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series 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!

The month of September was packed with adventures and while I accomplished a lot (Bird-in-Hand half, start of Healthy Kids Running Series, getting my children off to school, seeing my parents off to Florida) one of the things that helps to keep me motivated/grounded is getting outside with my best girl, Gemma.

Nearly five years have gone by since we adopted Gemma and one of the main things we looked for when were searching for our new family member was that we wanted an active pup. We definitely got that with her; anytime you even utter the word “walk” or she hears the jingle of her leash, she come flying.

We had mucho amounts of rain in New Jersey the month of September but then the skies finally cleared and we had some nice fall weather. The Scooby Doo Good 5k was the perfect way to welcome fall! With a portion of each registration going to Best Friends Animal Society we were ready to get out there and get moving.

Rather than do the whole 5k at once, we chose to split up the miles over 3 days. And when I say “we” I mean that she did. She’s very good at being the boss.

Kisses after a Scooby Run!

Naturally, we had the best time out there together. We also do! I was rocking my BibRave shirt. I attempted to put my BibRave BUFF®️ on her but she was having none of that. I think she’s holding out for the Scooby bandanna that’s coming her way soon!

While we are done with our September Doo Good 5k, we have more on our agenda with the Scoobtober 5k/10k!

With the start of the spookiest month of the year, Gemma and I are ready to rack up the miles! The swag is looking awesome for this month and we can’t wait for it to arrive. The purple is going to look amazing on her black fur!

Dog swag for October if you choose the add on

Human swag for October

Want to join us in October? Registration is open now through the 20th! I’ll be checking back in over the next few weeks to let you know how it goes for us and maybe even a short video from our run. Oh, and if you register you can use the code “BIBRAVE” to get 10% off registration!

Lots of awesome runners heading to Chicago for the marathon this weekend, including our very own ASHLEY! So excited for you all!

What is your favorite month? Have you ever done a virtual run? Are you running Chicago? Drop your name in a comment and I’ll send you a message!

Road Tested: Nuun Immunity

Disclaimer: I received Nuun Immunity to review 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!

As a teacher staying healthy is pretty much key to do, well, anything. I was really excited when BibRave offered the new Nuun product Nuun Immunity to try! I try all kinds of things to keep me healthy (like crossing my fingers and using hand sanitizer abundantly) during the school year and I was stoked to try this.

I was a little wary of the flavors at first, I’ll be honest. My favorite Nuun is the strawberry lemonade, so that’s normally all I buy. When the citrus and blueberry tangerine showed up, I wasn’t so sure! I tried the citrus first and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It reminded me of the lemon-lime flavor I’ve tried before. It took a while before I mustered up the courage for blueberry tangerine, though. I’m not a huge fan of blueberry for reasons I’m not sure about. It grew on me, though. I even tossed it to a co-worker who said she was feeling a little icky last week and she liked it. So, two thumbs up here!

I’m also at the end of my marathon training (AW YEAH IT’S TAPER TIME) and have been drinking Nuun Immunity the day before my long runs and during my long runs to keep me hydrated. I’ve found myself feeling great during most of my runs, even in the South Florida heat. Some of the days are just sweltering and the extra boost from nuun definitely helped get me through some challenging miles.

For the most part, I’ve felt strong and healthy! I can’t say that I’m always one hundred percent because teaching is like bathing in germs, but I’m grateful for the extra boost that Nuun Immunity has given me! And I’ll be taking it to Chicago with me, so stay tuned!

Check out www.nuunlife.com and use HYDRATEBIBPRO for 20% off! Enjoy!

Doo Good, Feel Good – Scooby-Doo Virtual Races

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series 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!

Zoinks!

The Scooby-Doo gang is hosting their first ever virtual run! BibRave got involved in the fun and my trusty pooch, Gemma June, and I are joining in with a bunch of our BibRave Pro buddies.

Virtual races are an awesome way to be involved with the community aspect of running while having the convenience of doing the run when and where you want. I absolutely LOVE running with my dog but she is dog selective so taking her to an event isn’t an option for us. There are too many unknown variables. This allows us to have fun and get moving!

As an added bonus portion of the registration from the Scooby-Doo Race Series benefits the Best Friends Animal Society.

The September run is a 5k. Gemma is pretty fit and loves to run but the summer heat has been brutal so she’s been mainly walking when we head out the door.

Now that the weather has cooled off a bit she’s ready to work back up in mileage, so I’ve consulted with her (of course) and we’re planning on breaking this up into three runs. As long as the weather cooperates, we’ll be getting our miles in September 16th, 17th, and 18th.

Check out this awesome swag:

Human Swag

Pup Swag is an add-on if you choose it during registration.

In October participants have the choice of being a 5k or 10k. By then I think we’ll have worked up our mileage so that we might do the run in one or two segments. I’ll keep you all posted so that you can join us, if you’d like (either in person or virtually).

Want to see the swag for October? Of course you do!

Human swag for October

Dog swag for October if you choose the add on.

There’s no “rules” for tracking your runs, just share photos on social media and use the hashtag #ScoobyDooRun. Easy, right?

Want to join in the fun? I can’t promise that we’ll find that it was Old Man Withers at the haunted amusement park but I can promise lots of pictures of me with my trusty sidekick, Gemma June. Register now through September 20th for both the September and October race! If you plan to just run the October race, be sure to register by October 20th to get all the swagtastic items!

And of course, be sure to use the code “BIBRAVE” to get 10% off registration! Let me know if you register!

2018 Vacation Races Elk Double – 5k Recap

For as long as Jenn has been running, she’s been talking about Vacation Races Elk Double. Taking place in Estes Park, Colorado, the 5k and half marathon races are close to her home and events that she holds near and dear to her heart.

Quite the opposite of Jenn, I live in New Jersey, which means that I run on mostly flat land.

Jenn’s first half was down at sea level at the Atlantic City April Fools Half, with yours truly. Her second? The Vacation Races Rocky Mountain Half.

They’re about as different as two races can be.

Top is the elevation in Atlantic City 1/2. Bottom is the elevation in Rocky Mountain 1/2. Yeahhhhh.

As you can imagine, it’s a bit difficult to train for a race at 7,500 feet when you live in New Jersey. But knowing that I have a base fitness level from going to the gym and the fact that we were doing these races to primarily be together and have fun, I wasn’t too concerned with the elevation.

After visiting Colorado in 2015 for the BolderBoulder and realizing that my family HAD to visit Colorado at some point, I made it my mission to get them there. After a few years of me (not so gently) mentioning it (every chance I got), we planned our week’s vacation there!

We arrived the week before the race which allowed us to get acclimated to the higher elevation. Trust me when I say that this is important! I didn’t really have time to adjust when I was there during BolderBoulder and I didn’t want to repeat that yucky feeling.

The whole week was incredible and to be quite honest, I was looking at houses so I never had to leave. Plus I was reunited with Jenn and her crew, which basically meant life was pretty amazing.

The 5k was on Friday night and some gnarly looking storm clouds were rolling in as we picked our race gear up at the expo. There was supposed to be s’mores but that got shut down early (or maybe they didn’t have them at all?). We did a little shopping and then headed over near the start line which was just a short walk away.

One of the things that I love about Vacation Races is when you do a double, they give you a choice of your additional swag item. I got the t-shirt and also a Elk Double hat, which I absolutely adore! Jenn already had the hat and the long sleeve shirt from previous years, so she opted for a mug this year.

Jenn’s brother in law was running and after seeing a picture of the medal, my older son Lucas decided he’d like to run. He is his mother’s child!

The 5k had numbered waves to begin but I’m not really sure how they were doled out. We ended up in the 3rd wave and knew that we planned to take things easy, especially given as there was a long hill immediately after crossing the start line.

After that hill, the 5k was mostly flat though so we took advantage of that as much as we could. The weather was feisty; a cold wind was blowing through and because of the mountains surrounding you and being near Lake Estes, the noise from the wind was intense. We did intervals as we made our way along the lakefront.

You could hear the finish line festivities as we circled the lake – so close yet so very far! Jenn warned me that it was that way during the half too, which is tough during mile 12 of a race.

With the winds whipping we were getting more worried that we might get caught in driving rains which we were really hoping to avoid. Keeping our heads down we kept trucking along and crossed the finish line before the rain hit.

Hooray!

Got our super awesome medals, race goody boxes, snapped a few pictures, and then we were out of there!

After an awesome Mexican dinner with an equally awesome Pina Colada (yes, that’s right, we did eat Mexican and drink before the half – easy breezy), I went back with my fam to the hotel to get some rest.

I was dealing with chafing, due to missing some spots during 5k prep. Not going to go into too much detail on that but let’s just say it was down yonder. OUCH.

Having a taste of what the course was going to be like the next day had me a slightly nervous. That first hill alone was a beast and I knew that there were only more to come the following day.

However I knew that with Jenn by my side, we’d have a great time, no matter how long it took! I’ll be back with more on the half marathon next time.

Road Tested: Karma Ring Co.

Disclaimer: I received a Karma Ring to review 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! All opinions are my own.

I’m not sure if I shared this on the blog but my husband and I just recently celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary in May! To celebrate we went to Disney for the weekend. ALONE.

It’s safe to say that after 21 years together in all, we are still each other’s biggest fan.

Which is why I wear my rings for practically everything. The only times I take my engagement ring and wedding band off are in the shower when I’m washing my hair (because I had an unfortunately earring incident with my hair, it’s a long story and I’m still not over the loss of my earring), or when I’m working out. Weights are rough on hands, not to mention jewelry!

It’s also why I was drawn to trying Karma Rings through the BibRave Pro program. At the risk of sounding cheesy, my solid relationship with Jay gives me comfort and strength and those are two things that I draw from while lifting weights and running.

However, Karma Rings aren’t just for those who are married! There is symbolism that is associated with each finger and on which hand you wear a ring.

I was able to try the Karma Ring Women’s Duo which has a base color of Pearl White and three changeable core colors of Blush Pink, Champagne Mauve, and Lavender.

A few facts from the Karma Ring Co.’s website:

  • Hypoallergenic – Even sensitive skin will love the specially formulated silicone used in every Karma Ring.
  • Non Porous – Doesn’t absorb germs, odors, and chemicals.
  • Ultra Durable – Wears like iron feels like silk
  • Non Conductive/Non Magnetic – Will not affect hand held mobile devices, Bluetooth technology, or magnetic strips on credit cards.

The core colors can be used to focus on goal setting or just whatever your preference is. My favorite color (besides orange) is purple so I usually tend to gravitate toward the Lavender.

Kettlebells and Karma Ring, no problem!

If you’re interested in getting a Karma Ring of your own, use discount code BIBRAVE33 which will save you 33%. Plus a percentage of each purchase goes toward Feed the Children.

This coming Tuesday, 7/31/18 is the Twitter #BibChat with @KarmaRingCo at 9pm EST and we always have a lot of fun! I’ll be traveling to Colorado tomorrow but I’m hoping to jump in for a bit!

Race Recap: Atlantic City Bungalow Beach 5 Miler

I think I might have lost my mind.

As a rule, I don’t register for summer races. I just don’t. Occasionally I’ll do a July 4th run, if the urge hits but normally I am not a fan of summer racing.

AND YET… Just over a week ago I was in Atlantic City, running the Inaugural Bungalow Beach 5 Miler.

The Atlantic City Marathon Series hosts spring and fall events and I love participating in them. From my very second half marathon, the Inaugural April Fools Half in 2012 to their fall 10k I’ve done my fair share of Atlantic City races.

The Inaugural Bungalow Beach 5 Miler was the first summer event hosted by the race series and as soon as I heard about it, I knew that I’d be signing up. After all, the first 100 to sign up got this beach towel along with their early registration of $35 and you know I can’t pass up a deal like that!

As soon as the news of this race hit Facebook, I saw that many of my local friends were registered as well (the lure of a beach towel is great with NJ folks).

Along with the beach towel, other race swag included:

  • Custom Finisher Medals
  • Gender Specific Custom Tank for Female Participants and Custom T-Shirt for Male Participants
  • One FREE Beer at Bungalow Beach’s Post Race Party
  • Course Entertainment

There was a packet pickup the day before but also the morning of the race. I opted to do packet pickup race morning, saving myself toll and parking money. I parked in the Tropicana garage (cost $10).

I’m not sure if the tank option was listed when I registered because I ended up with a medium, which is what I usually get for the Atlantic City races but not if it’s a women’s cut. The tank is adorable, however it’s entirely see through and too small which is disappointing. I lost the race shirt lottery this go around.

However, they had shirts and towels for sale after the race. My friend purchased a men’s shirt and since they were priced at one for $15 or two for $20, she got one for me too (thanks Chrissy!).

Despite the recent sunny weather, the forecast for that morning was looking a bit on the dreary side with the potential for thunderstorms. I don’t mind running in the rain, but I didn’t know what they’d do if there was lightning. Thankfully Mother Nature was on our side this time and while it was overcast, that also meant that it wasn’t oppressively hot.

Run856 group picture – I ALWAYS miss these before races so I was excited to actually be in one!

Lifelong friend, Chrissy and I have done our fair share of Atlantic City running together. We do a lot of the races together and meet up to train there as well because it’s about an hour from each of us. We’d both not trained as much as we had planned for this race so we decided to stick together and just have fun.

I met Katie through Instagram originally and then she told me about the Sub-30 Club, we became friend friends (are you following this?) and finally met in person at this race! She said she’d like to stick with us through this race, which was awesome! We set the interval timer at 1:1 and lined up at the start.

Katie, Chrissy, and me – ready to run (we think!)

The course was what I’ve deemed: April Fools Half, lite. It’s actually very similar to what Chrissy and I do when we are running our training runs there, which made it comfortable for us.

I really loved the fundraising mission of this race:

In partnership with FACES 4 Autism, the Milton & Betty Katz JCC in Margate, NJ now offers Adaptive Swim Lessons, a specialized swim program designed to enhance the lives of children on the autism spectrum and to teach children with autism how to survive in the water.

The Adaptive Swim Lesson program includes individualized lessons based on each child’s level of ability with specially trained swim instructors. Additional pool support staff are often needed to help facilitate the lesson. 

Your support of the Bungalow Beach Run 5 will help provide funding for the additional resources needed to enable children on the autism spectrum participation in life – saving swim lessons.

Hollie (FueledbyLOLZ) heading back while we were still in mile 1!

After the singing of the National Anthem, we were off for our 5 mile jaunt. We fell into our 1:1 intervals and took it easy as we headed along the boardwalk. After the hotels and casinos it becomes more residential, with homes on one side and the beach/ocean on the other.

There was one portion of the race that kicked over onto the street (rather than staying on the boardwalk). I’m assuming this was for variety, it happens during the half course too. Thankfully we weren’t on the street too long because I’d rather run on the boards!

There was a radio station at the turns off and on the boardwalk but otherwise it was pretty quiet. The volunteers at each water station were very enthusiastic, as always, and since it’s an out and back they are plentiful.

The finish line was on the beach, making it a true BEACH RUN.

It was not easy. Beach running near the water with packed down sand is not easy. Beach running on wavy sand? Brutal!

When Chrissy, Katie, and I came around the corner a few choice words were said. I couldn’t help but laugh the entire time! Thankfully it was only about 100 yards until we crossed the finish line.

After we crossed the finish and got our medals there were tables set up with water, Gatorade, bananas, water ice, and other goodies. We grabbed a few and headed down near the water to take a few pictures and celebrate our 5 miles.

I absolutely LOVE the medal’s beach-y feel. Isn’t it awesome?

To wrap the race up right, there was a party at Bungalow Beach AC, which is where runners could get their free beer. This area was really cute and we got to cheer for all of race winners as they were announced.

All told, it was a great morning. Registering early helped keep the price low. I’ve used my new towel multiple times in the past week by my pool and I love all the perks that come along with running in Atlantic City. It’s always a race series that does it up right and I’m looking forward to returning for the 10k in October!

No races in July (look at me sticking to the no racing in summer rule…). In August I’ve got Vacation Races Elk Double, City Fit Girls Retreat, and the Philly 10k (just kidding about me sticking to the no racing in summer rule…).

Road Tested: Gatorade Endurance (NEW flavors!)

Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance Watermelon and Mango Energy Gels to review 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! All opinions are my own.

Can we discuss this picture for a moment?

This was after an hour (and a half if you count the warm up) workout with my trainer. I go to the gym at 5:30 in the morning. One might think that you’re able to “beat the heat” by getting out that early in the day but it’s been high temps here in New Jersey so the heat has felt like it’s non-stop recently.

Usually my trainer isn’t one to embrace the use of air conditioning but I guess we all have our limits because the past few times I’ve been there, it’s been on (and to that I say, THANK GOODNESS). However, more times than not we are outside in the parking lot, doing HIIT (high-intensity interval training). Which explains the sweaty shirt/sweatier me up there.

It’s important to fuel well for these sessions, as well as runs. The last thing that I want to do before an early morning workout is eat much of anything. I try to make good dinner choices beforehand but fueling through the workouts is just as important.

Earlier this month I did NOT fuel properly and wound up bonking a little over halfway through my workout. I was not happy and my family got to hear all about it when I got home.

Enter Gatorade Endurance.

I received the Watermelon Gatorade Endurance Thirst Quencher Powder and Mango Energy Gels two weeks ago and I’ve been busy putting them to the test ever since.

Recently reformulated in 2017, I’m impressed that Gatorade listens to the feedback that endurance athletes provide when it comes to wants and needs of a product. Watermelon joins the flavors Lemon-Lime, Orange, and Cherry in the Endurance Formula line up.

The Watermelon flavor is light and fresh and exactly what I’m looking for during my workouts. It’s not the Sports Drink that you’re able to find at your local grocery store, rather it has 2 times the sodium and 3 times the potassium as the Sports Drink Gatorade which aids in distance training.

The Mango Energy Gel has 20G of carbs which is helpful before a race (or training session) to get that extra boost of energy. The Mango joins the established flavors of Vanilla, Apple Pear, and Blackberry.

I was nervous to try this one because mouth feel and texture is a real thing and I’m never exactly sure what will work and what won’t. Thankfully it was not even an issue! Unlike gooey gels or sports blocks, the Gatorade Energy Gel is liquid and easy to take without a water chaser.

I used it before a training session and prior my most recent 5 mile race (more about that later this week!) and it helped carry me through both without any additional fueling.

Hydration and fuel is important any time of the year and I know I’ll be relying on Gatorade especially through the hot summer months!

Check out my fellow BibRave Pros thoughts about Gatorade Endurance by swinging by their blogs:

Lindsey
Karen
Lissa
Katy
Jessica
Kevin
Amy
Jenn
Vanessa
Ang
Joe
Eric
Amy
Mai
Ben
Brenda

What are your favorite ways to hydrate through the summer? 

Race Recap: 2018 Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k

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!

Representing BibRave with Joe!

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.

Free race photos? YES PLEASE!

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.)