Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hot Chocolate 5K: Chicago

One of the biggest 5K's in Chicago is the Hot Chocolate coordinated by RAM Racing.  I've been wanting to do this race for a year...or more.  Finally this year, with my goal of 3 5Ks, I registered.  This race is pretty pricey for a 5K.  And, keep in mind it's in Chicago, so you also have to pay for gas or public transit, and parking.  It can add up fast.  There are a lot of complaints about this race every year.  Being a newbee to racing, I had no complaints.  The Expo was nice, packet pick-up wasn't terrible, and with 40,000+ runners for the 5K and 15K, they organized the corrals and released the runners of the corrals about 3 minutes apart to space runners a bit.  It was rare I felt squished or unable to pass. 

This was my third 5K for the year.  I reached my goal and actually followed through my my new year's resolution (holy crap).  In the process I've also lost about 18 lbs (and want to lose about 5-15 more).  Each 5K my time has improved, and I'm pretty disappointed in myself that I didn't sprint after that last turn when I saw the finish line.  I was only 14 seconds over my goal!  However, I didn't walk once, and for that, I'm proud.

Here I am with Nichole and her brother, Michael--who ran his first ever 5K.  We drove to the race together (and with his wife, Lynn) and that really made the experience more fun!
 YUM!  After finishing the race, one gets a Finisher's Mug...filled with Hot Chocolate (of course), and chocolate fondue with banana, apples, pretzels, chocolate squares, a rice krispie treat, and marshmellow for dipping.

 My Race time...30m13s (I was hoping for under 30 minutes).  I'm getting there!!!

Oh, and we also get this AWESOME hoodie!!!  I love it and will live in the thing!
(picture taken from the Hot Chocolate website)
I'm also registered now for a 4 mile race on Thanksgiving and the girls will be running their second 1-mile race this year on that morning too.  Exciting!

Wanna know my goals for next year?  Run a race every month and donate blood 6 times (this year I will only have done it 3 times).
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