Disclaimer: I received free entry to Tampa Hot Chocolate 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!
This was my first time running a Hot Chocolate race. I was supposed to run Atlanta last year but a hurricane stopped that. I was also supposed to run the 15K this time but a nasty head cold lead me to the decision to downgrade to the 5K.
The expo was small but nice. There was chocolate at every turn! I went to athlete services to downgrade and it was by far the easiest process I’ve ever had at a race. They took my name, made the switch, printed a sticker, and put it on a new bib. Easy-peasy!! Other races really need to learn from them!
They also have a top-notch premium. The nice part was they had an area where you could try it on and make a swap if the size wasn’t right. Thankfully, mine fit like a glove! No swapping necessary. We then perused the booths, grabbed some hot chocolate and headed out!
I didn’t realize there were so many Hot Chocolate races. I may need to try others. Also, I’ve spent the whole time calling it the hocho race! Cause, and if you are a Gilmore fan you better know this, Lorelai is trying to be cutesy she calls her hot chocolate Hocho! I digress.
I think this is one of the only races I can recall where I’ve gone by myself. I got there early and decided to park on the street and walk over to the convention center. It wasn’t super crowded and it gave me time to take in everything. I then ran into some folks I knew.
We headed to our corrals and got ready to race. Now, from what I’ve been told, this race has been H-O-T-T hot the last two years. However, it was 60 degrees and beautiful! I thought I had started out a little fast but apparently I was just enjoying the beautiful weather.
I stuck with my 1-1 intervals and really just enjoyed being out on Bayshore. The sunrise was gorgeous and the crowds spread out quickly. That just left a nice run! I got to the first aid station and was happy to see in addition to water there were chocolate chips and marshmallows!
Right before the turnaround I spotted my friend Trisha who I didn’t even know was running the race. I used her as a carrot and was determined to catch up to her! Eventually, I did catch up to her and finished up the last 1/4 mile together.
I was excited to see my time at the marshmallow board! I had my fastest 5K time in 6 years. I think I have a new goal to strive for. I really wanna get this time down!
I have to say I loved pretty much everything about this race! They stick to the theme pretty well! The post-race food was really tasty. I do have to say that the hocho in the bowl was delish! I was expecting to get that watery hot chocolate but this stuff was thick and tasty!
My final note on this race was the speediness of the results and photos. My final time was ready as soon as I finished. I got my FREE finisher photo less than 8 hours later. That is UNHEARD of! The Tampa Hot Chocolate 5K was a great race, well supported, and well done! I hope to try other Hot Chocolate races in 2019!
Post-race, I was able to jump on Athlinks.com and claim my race results. You can check out how I did it here, and while you’re at it, jump on and make an account too. Don’t forget to add me as a friend so we can go head-to-head in future races!