Hubs and I have our first official 15K race under our belt. The Hot Chocolate 5k and 15k took place on the last weekend in January, 2014, and was lots of fun. And lots of cold, cold, work. Here, I’ll recap the Expo, the start of the race and the general run.
The Hot Chocolate Expo was held at the Georgia World Congress Center, which is ENORMOUS and consists of about a billion equally sized conference centers. I visited the expo on Friday, the first day (during the regular work day) to avoid the crowd of 30,000 people running the race. Traffic was easy, but the hundred road closures weren’t. Add the $10 parking charge and I’m fit to be tied.
The Conference room was extremely large, and packet pickup was streamlined and quick, but all the vendors were a-hawking their good and the music was so loud, there wasn’t much else to be done. Others who visited the Expo on Saturday complained that the Cheerleader conference that was going on in the next room was huge, loud, rude and made parking and getting around even harder. Go early or stay home!
I did pick up a marshmallow fondue bite and found a really nice girl from Fitletic who talked to me about item and hydration belts. I already have a SPI Belt, which I use to house my iPhone, car key and whatever else I have, but it’s very simple, and has no where for hydration or gels. Fitletic had tons of variety to offer, and the super nice sales girl let me try an 8oz hydration pod on my already existing belt. SOLD.
Now that I’ve used the squeeze hydration NO BOUNCE pod on my belt, I’m jonesing for a full one. Neeeeed it. After all, being a costume designer dictates that I can’t perform the activity if I’m not wholly dressed! 🙂
Getting to the race on Sunday was no joke. The 5k started at 7:40, and the 15k started at 8:25. This was due to the staggered release of corrals, and meant that parking was shut down starting at 6:45. We pulled into our lot a little before 6:20, and we stayed nice and warm (with a few potty break dashes in between) in the car. It was literally freezing outside, so we dressed in 2+ layers, hats, gloves, running tights and our tech hoodies from the goody bag. We met up with the ATLrunDisney group, who were SUPER nice and welcoming to us. Several of them will be running the Princess Half next month!
If you read the blog already, you know that I’m a pregnant turtle (not really pregnant, but read the story – hilarious!), and this turtle ran her normal 11:00/mile pace the whole way through. That was an average between running and the 3 walk breaks I chastised Hubs into letting me take. I really love running with him, but he wants to go go go the whole way, so when my hip flexor starts giving me trouble I start walking and alternating.
9.5 (ish) miles later, we crossed the finish line and headed to get our hot chocolate mugs and snackies. (Consider the 954 calories I burned re-eaten. yum). Did you run the hot chocolate? I know lots of people went but with 30,000 participants, we were bound to miss each other!