On March 4, 2018, I ran my first ever Hot Chocolate 15K. Two of my girlfriends, Katie and Katy, went with me, and we had such a fun girls weekend!
Katy and I drove down on Saturday, picked up Katie, and the three of us went down to the Seattle Center to pick up our race packets and go to the Expo. They had a lot of great vendors, and some great freebies! We had some hot chocolate, posed for some photos, and got our race gear! The race had some really nice medium weight pullover fleecies; I love it and have been wearing it on my road trip when I need something more than a t-shirt, but don’t want something too warm. Katy treated us all to 15K shoe bling too – girl power!
On our way to the expo!
At the Expo
We stayed at Katie’s house the night before the race and got up really early to head into downtown Seattle. The traffic at 5:45 in the morning!!! It was sooooo cold the morning of the race! I knew we would warm up and be fine once we were running, but waiting for the start was very chilly!
Waiting to start
The course was ok; to be honest I wish it would have been more scenic. It winds around downtown Seattle, and they closed off the Battery Street tunnel for runners to run through – how many Seattle-ites can say they have run through the Battery Street Tunnel?! Sadly, there are a lot of dirty, littered parts of Seattle. It reminded me that I am more a small town girl. The highlights are definitely running across the Aurora Bridge, and heading back in toward the finish line and seeing the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project Museum (although I think they might have changed the name of this iconic museum?) brightening up the view at the end.
The race has some really amazing volunteers – it is sponsored by Allstate Insurance, and their employees manned water stations and cheered us on. I love when a race has a good cheering section. Along the way, there were some really cool Seattle residents who got up early and had the music booming from their decks and yards – it really gives a boost to my motivation.
There are definitely some tough hills on this course!!! However, the fact that it is only 9.3 miles meant that I wasn’t as fatigued as I would have been on a half-marathon with the same hills. I felt like I still had energy at the end of the race – the 15K distance was good for me!
I ended up finishing in 2:05:45, or a 13:30 minute mile pace. I was happy with that, considering I really hadn’t trained at all for this race (which has become all too common on my races lately!). I knew I could do the distance with muscle memory!
After the race, we got our hot chocolate goodies. A cup of super-rich hot chocolate, and a melted chocolate dipping sauce with a banana, pretzels and cookie to dip in it… Sooooo good… It was just what we needed, with a little hot chocolate sectioned cup to take home after the race. We couldn’t linger too long though, because it was still so cold!
Post Race Hot Chocolate
We headed out from downtown Seattle, and avoided the departing traffic by stopping in Ballard for brunch at the Portage Bay Café. A mimosa and avocado toast really hit the spot for me – this place did not disappoint!
Brunch and cocktails!
I am so blessed to have such amazing girlfriends. They love me, they build me up, I can share both my trials and joys, and I get to feel the incredible bond of girlfriends. I LOVE these ladies! This was another example of the wonderful life I get to enjoy.