Tampa Hot Chocolate 5K race review

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

 

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