RECAP: Hot Chocolate 15k/5k – COLUMBUS

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k – COLUMBUS as part of being aBibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!


FINALLY!

Better late than never and the third time’s the charm – I finally completed the Columbus Hot Chocolate 15k! How did we get here? Well…

Let’s Rewind:

In 2015, I signed up to run the Columbus Hot Chocolate 15k and ended up not being able to do so due to a schedule conflict with work. Earlier this year, I signed up and completed the virtual Detroit Hot Chocolate…which I ran in Columbus. When the chance came around to sign up for the 2021 edition in Columbus, I couldn’t pass it up. To top things off, it was going to be IN PERSON! So the TL;dr version of this entire post boils down to this: I can finally say that I’ve earned my hot chocolate (and swag)!

For those interested in diving deeper, here’s my recap of the 2021 Columbus Hot Chocolate 15k!

Flat Preston – ready to go!

EXPO

The day before the event, my daughter Shalane and I loaded up and made the 15 minute drive to downtown Columbus for the Hot Chocolate 15k expo. The process for picking up my goodies (bib, jacket, etc) was VERY streamlined and impressive. We genuinely could have been in and out in 10 minutes, but as I was rolling with an inquisitive 3 year-old, that was not the case this time! We looked at EVERYTHING – the inflatables, items for sale, etc – and even sampled the free chocolate squares and hot chocolate!

Quite honestly, we spent most of our expo time at the make-your-own-sign table. I had fun, but I assure you that Shalane was loving the idea of playing with markers and having a clean canvas!

Expo selfie with Shalane 🙂
Overview shot @ the expo
Trying to be FAST!!

RACE DAY

RAINY. VERY RAINY.

Honestly, not one of my better efforts, but I got it done. My training could have absolutely been stronger than it was, but still managed to put down a decent effort for this 15k (9 mile) run. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that THIS race starts at roughly the same spot as another of my favorite races in Columbus! The course in Columbus – this year – was kind of a double lollipop (two out-and-back loops) for the 15k.

I was also very happy to have met up Matthew, a fellow BibRave Pro, both before AND after the race. Gave us an opportunity to catch up, talk about our respective runs, and chat about future efforts. This is the second event I’ve done with Matthew and I’ve enjoyed getting to know him through BibRave as well as through the runs here in Columbus!

Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Start Line
Pre-Race selfie with Matthew, a fellow BibRave Pro!

How SWEET it is!

I am very happy that I was able to FINALLY complete my first IN PERSON Hot Chocolate event. I definitely slogged my way to the finish, but I got it done. Overall, the event itself is one I would absolutely recommend to anyone. The race itself is great, the swag is pretty awesome, and the overall communication from race organizers is top notch.

A lot of running events out there are much more focused on the distance(s) or the social experiences. For me though, this event was really about a very particular piece of swag – the chocolate! This event doesn’t exist without chocolate and the swag bag wouldn’t be complete without it either. I had a great time running around Columbus and had the opportunity to celebrate with some fantastic hot chocolate – it doesn’t get much better than that!

To the victors go the spoils!

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