My Second Hot Chocolate Race in 2022
Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate Phoenix 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!
Lucky me, I got to start and end my year with an absolutely delicious race series! The Hot Chocolate series was on my bucket list for years. Then, the first year I decided to run, everything went virtual-only. Now, this year, when racing was finally back IRL, I had the pleasure of running two different HC races spread over two of their seasons (which means two different seasons of medals and swag)! What a perfect way to recap the changes in my life from March to December… by recapping my year-end race.
So, the Hot Chocolate series kicks off when the weather starts getting cold (obvi). The 2022-2023 season started in Chicago about a month before my race here in Phoenix. This year, too, some of the HC races were adding a new 10K distance. When I first thought about doing this race in our new hometown I thought I would want to do the 15K - I had just finished almost training for a marathon after all. But by the time I really signed up, I knew I was pregnant, but didn’t yet know how hard pregnancy would be, so I signed up for the 10K.
The second best part of any HC race is the expo! Tell me another expo that gives you cups of hot chocolate and chocolate-covered marshmallows!? Exactly. The Phoenix race’s expo was right downtown, which is a lot like the setup in San Diego. However, bonus points to PHX - we parked at the parking garage for the convention center but it was still only $3 to park.
HC added some fun new photo ops at the expo, so I spent some time getting the right shot (check out my reel for all the highlights). Even got to meet up with a fellow BibRave Pro, Megan, at the expo. This year’s swag was a pullover, performance hoodie with all sort of zipper pockets in the front - can’t wait to wear it around town.
Race morning was COLD. I expected it because it’s been cold in PHX for more than a month, but still, I always find it hard to dress right for a race in the cold. I decided to wear a performance long sleeve and t-shirt to give myself some flexibility. I was also gloved-up and had a buff around my little ears. But, as I’m learning about my new hometown, it can get warm quickly as the sun comes up. Part way through the race I shed my gloves and buff, but honestly, it stayed cold enough that the long sleeve was ok for the whole race.
Turns out the 10K was a great distance for me - on the Phoenix course, it was especially nice. Apparently, in the two places where the 15K turned away from the 10K course both turn-offs led to hills. So, good news for me, all flat for the 10K! I went out planning to keep a consistent run + walk plan: 3 min run, 2 min walk. It worked really, really well. I didn’t want to overexert myself 18 weeks into this pregnancy so I needed those 2 min walk breaks, but kept a pretty good pace and excellent form for my run intervals.
In the end, I managed 1:21:55, which was a 13:11 min/mi pace.
Pretty good for someone carrying around an extra human! And… no injuries!
Of course, I crossed that finish line and got my sweet swag and hot chocolate mug with goodies (the #1 best part of a HC race)! Met up with my other BibRavers and made sure we documented the win. All-in-all a really great race experience. Would definitely run again. Check out my review on BibRave.com too!