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Race Recap: Hot Chocolate San Diego 2022
Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate San Diego 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 am a little bit biased about how the Hot Chocolate San Diego race went because I got a 15K PR by over 17 minutes!!!!
Ok, now that we've got that detail out of the way, let me tell you about race weekend.
My husband and I live in San Diego but we flew home Saturday morning from being out of town. We had plenty of time to get to the Expo and lucked out finding a parking spot in front of the County Administration building that didn't even require payment! We walked a couple of blocks to the Expo at the Broadway Pier and
I was SHOCKED to find out we got Oreos and hot chocolate AT THE EXPO.
I mean, why do I need to run the race now that I've been given hot chocolate?! Well, because there are MORE tempting sweets to be had! We took some scenic photos with our bibs in front of the USS Midway and headed home.
Because my husband was running the 5K and I was running the 15K, we needed to be at the race very early for a 6:45am start time. We did not give ourselves enough time and I picked probably the worst route into downtown. Next time, I'd recommend an approach from the West. So, eventually he just hopped out of the car and I took the next 45 minutes or so fighting traffic to find parking. I was rewarded, though, with $10 parking in the parking garage directly across from the event. I didn't make it in time to see him head off, but I walked about, watched the first 5K finisher come in, used the facilities, etc.
I had a couple of minutes to link up with my husband after his race and before mine - but then I was off to my corral. The waves moved quickly and I realized I didn't bring my water, which was potentially ok, but I hadn't checked how many water stations there would be on-course. At least it was a cool morning so I shouldn't need too much water. Next thing I knew, we were off!
This course. I had some friends run this race in the past and they mentioned it was very hilly. The race announcer also mentioned it was a slightly new course, so everyone would get a course PR that day. What I did not know was the mental game the course would play with its ups and downs. The race is uphill at the very beginning - somewhat cruel, but at least you have the energy to do it, but it just keeps going. Uphill, downhill, up a long hill, slight downhill, up, up up. Then it goes rolling hills, then up a super steep hill. But that's not it. Then a long downhill before another long uphill. All the way to very very end when they give you a little tick uphill before the final chute just to mess with you. But you know what? I am in some of the best running shape I have ever been and I crushed those hills. I used the downhills and I flew. I still came in barely in the front half of the pack, but for me, it was an EXCELLENT time.
Now, mostly the hills were what was going through my mind during the race but also - fueling. I was so excited to fuel with CANDY! I had gummi bears, and I had off-brand m&ms, and at that very last mile: a big ol' marshmallow. As a lover of marshmallows - what. a. dream. I am convinced it's the candy that powered my PR. And then you finish and they give you a big big big medal and a big big cup of hot chocolate and melted chocolate to dip your treats in. It's enough to put a person in a coma, but it was a race day dream come true.
TLDR: Lots of sugar powered me to a new PR and I guess I love hills now.
Check out my official review on BibRave.com.