Hot Chocolate 15k Recap

I'm so excited today to be sharing a race recap- which has not happened in a LONG time. I've run a few small races in the past year, but all have been for fun with not goal in mind. For this one- I followed a training plan and had some goals so it felt very different- scary but also good to be back in that mindset of pushing myself.

The race was in Charlotte, which is an easy 2 hour drive from Raleigh. I went with a bunch of friends from my run club, and we rented an amazing house together! I think it helped with my race day nerves a lot to have so many people around to help distract me, and also to pump me up before the race.

On Saturday morning, parking was really easy at the race and there were lots of porta-potties ready to go. I got my bag checked quickly and was off to the starting line before I knew it! The weather was absolutely perfect for the race- clear and 34 at the start that warmed up to mid-40s by the end. It was really sunny as well but felt great since there was barely any wind!

I lined up in the first corral and stood right beside the 8:30 pacer since that was my goal. We went off and right from the beginning my legs felt like they had no energy in them. I felt fine otherwise, but it felt really tough staying with the group which started to freak me out a bit.

We hit the first 5k with splits of 8:23, 8:29, 8:24.

After we passed that 5k marker I started to feel a bit better and like I was loosening up. I was happy I didn't give up and stuck with the pacer, and just focused on that instead of staring at my watch constantly. The course was hilly, so I dropped a bit on uphills and then caught up when we went back down.

The second 5k my splits were 8:19, 8:35, 8:34.

At this point I really started to feel all of the hills and was struggling. I knew I was close to the end and was still with the group, but I started to fade a little as we made our way towards downtown. I just told myself not to stop at all and to keep pushing! The final mile was definitely the hardest- I was started to feel my lungs burning with all the cold air (all of my friends were saying the same thing, that their chests started to really hurt towards the end) and there was a big hill in the final .3 miles to the finish line. I felt like I was moving backwards with how slowly I was going, but I finally made it to the finish line!

My third 5k splits were 8:38, 8:23, 8:34.

My official finish time was 1:20:21, which was just over my big goal of breaking 1:20 but was still an automatic PR since it was my first 15k! I was so happy with how I did, especially since I didn't feel great from the first mile. It was a struggle the entire time but I stuck with it and never gave up. It makes me so excited to see what I can do when I'm feeling good!

The post-race festivities were so fun- we were given a plate filled with snacks to dip into chocolate fondue and a mug of hot chocolate. The music was great as well and everything was organized so well! I would definitely recommend this race to anyone looking for a fun race- especially if you can do it with friends.

How was your weekend?
Have you ever done a Hot Chocolate Race?
Race weekend with friends- yay or nay?


  1. Congratulations! Great job pushing through when you were fried from the beginning. Sometimes it's best just to persevere - and in this case I'm glad you did! Sounds like a fun weekend with your friends. :)

    1. Thanks!! And it was so much fun. Love Charlotte!


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