Hot Chocolate 15K Seattle

What’s a weekend off without a race! I flew to Seattle for the weekend for the Hot Chocolate 15K for some redemption for the SF Hot Chocolate 15K that ended up getting rained on heavily and run on a shortened course. This is one of the few races I did not for Bibrave, but that doesn’t mean pros weren’t represented.

I got in Friday around noon and headed to the hotel to drop off my stuff. I did a late lunch with a friend of mine from Cleveland. I also did some work clothes shopping, because let’s face it, being 5’2″ means stuff gets hemmed 95% off the time. As all this is going on, it’s pouring down rain. Instead of doing the smart thing and waiting until Saturday when it was sunny, I caught a ride to the expo for packet pick up

The Expo: relatively small, as are the Hot Chocolate races. A few local vendors, some races and some HC gear. Relatively empty and in an out. The sweatshirt hoodies were the same ones we got for HC SF. We also had zip ties given to us that were already connected, making them utterly useless for bag check if you went that route, though making them useful to keep your safety pins in line.


Race Day: 5K started at 6:55, 15K started at 7:55. It would make more sense if the 15K started first, more time to get it done and over with, but such is life. When I showed up to the Seattle Center at 720, the last group of 5K runners were getting ready to be let loose onto the course. It was 30s-40s and the rain decided to hold off until after the run, which was more than appreciated, because nothing’s worse than wet and cold.

The Course: Hills. Lots of Hills. Have I mentioned ever how much I hate them? Yet it’s Seattle, so you’d expect there to be some. The first mile went out towards Pike Place, and we ended up doing a U turn about 1.5 miles in back towards the market. We then took some hills back towards the Seattle Center and went out on some of the residential roads of Seattle. Through mile 4, it wasn’t horrible, then we started hitting hills. The hill around mile 5 was doable, until you looked up when you finished it to see a hill that looked like it was about a 60* incline in the distance. Wonderful! After the beast was conquered, we subsequently turned around at the top and went back down. We ultimately ended up back at the Seattle Center and the Space Needle with an overall course of 9.4 miles. Makes up a little for SF I guess? While on course, I saw 3 Bibrave Pros, and was able to catch up with Amanda, who ultimately PRed the course!

Post Race: more spread out than some of the other HC runs I’ve done, but they had the parking lots to do it. Easy to get in and out of the HC and to enjoy post race snacks. Merchandise for sale and bag pick up if you went that route.

Decent course, though I’m not sure if I could have gutted out another 4 miles of hills in Seattle for a race! Goal is to make hills be less hated.

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