Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Race Review: Virtual Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K 🍫

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Virtual Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K 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!

Over the weekend I ran the Virtual Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K! I've been wanting to run a Hot Chocolate race since I first learned about them, but as of now they don't usually come up to the northeast. I hope that changes in the future so I can get the full race experience, but I'm thankful that I was able to enjoy the virtual experience. We've been having a bout of really warm weather over the last few days and I was excited to take advantage of it with this virtual race. Sunday afternoon I laced up, donned my BibRave orange, and headed out on my 9.3 mile journey!

For virtual runs I tend to not wear my bib because I generally find bibs cumbersome, but I do like to put my bib and my medal on the table we have on our porch as a reminder that we're in race mode! It's also so great to have your medal waiting for you when the race is complete, just like it would be at the finish line.

The run itself was coming a day after I had run 15 miles, so my legs were TIRED. You can definitely see in my splits that it took quite some time for my legs to warm up and actually start feeling comfortable. For the most part, I just tried to focus on putting one foot in front of the other in an effort to string miles together because boy was I tired. It wasn't until about mile 6 where my legs actually started warming up and I started feeling good on this run. Sometimes it just takes a while to get into the swing of things! Overall it was a lovely run, I enjoyed the sunshine, and I accomplished the only real goal I have during any race - I finished!

Finish time: 1:40:03

Because it was the Hot Chocolate 15k, I wanted to celebrate finishing with a sweet treat. It was way too warm for hot chocolate, but I felt that not having some form of chocolate was a crime, so I walked down to the convenience store and bought two of my favorite chocolate bars - Take 5 and Milky Way! Chocolate definitely tastes better at the finish line! πŸ«πŸ˜‰

In addition to my own finish line treats, the race packets were full of amazing snacks and swag! This race has one of the best items (IMO) that you can recieve for registering - a super cozy fleece-lined hoodie! (The hood is also removable if that's not your thing.) They also sent along some chocolate, hot cocoa packets, and a Honey Stinger Waffle to help recreate the deliciousness you would receive at the finish line during one of their in-person races. Such a great virtual swag bag!

I celebrated Medal Monday yesterday (of course) and showed off the medal you earn by running one of these races while sippin' on a Starbucks Holiday Drink (so happy they're back!). All participants of the 15k and 5k receive a finisher's medal with the same pendant, and the ribbon is different depending on the distance you ran. You'll notice that the 15k medal has a red ribbon, and I believe the 5k medal has a blue ribbon.

One of the coolest things about this medal in particular is that it opens up to reveal a little compartment for a piece of chocolate! I thought this was such a cute touch and one of the more unique medals now in my collection. If you want to see the medal in action, go check out my Instagram post for a video!

I had a really wonderful virtual race experience for the Hot Chocolate 15k, and it has only made me want to try out an in-person Hot Chocolate race even more! In the meantime, though, I definitely recommend trying out one of these virtual races. It doesn't matter where you are in the country, you can sign up for any one of the virtual races and enjoy an at-home Hot Chocolate race experience! Check out hotchocolate15.com/virtual for more details!

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