Saturday, January 12, 2013

Race Report: Hot Chocolate Atlanta 15K [The Expo]

Hot Chocolate 15K Expo | January 11-12, 2013
Atlanta, GA

Before I start my post(s) about the Hot Chocolate race, I want to clarify two things: first, I did serve as an Ambassador for HC Atlanta, which solely meant that  I got to help promote the race and got a few free race things (not a race entry); and b) despite knowing issues with RAM Racing in the likes of DC and Chicago, I was trying to remember to be [cautiously] optimistic given that Atlanta is a new city for them. That being said...

Expo time! Who doesn't love a good expo? My sister and I headed over to the Georgia World Congress Center on Friday night right after I picked her up from the airport to pick up hers, mine and Heather's bibs and sweet goodie bags.
Friday morning was a little nerve-wracking: my sister had forwarded me a pre-race email that she had gotten earlier in the week - that I never got! That also had the link to buy your parking permit for race day parking at Turner Field. After about 5 minutes of reading the email, and going to the link, it didn't work! Not long after, Hot Chocolate folks were replying to Facebook posts and questions and indicated that race day parking was sold out. Um what? Not even all of us got this pre-race email! Super. However, they did have a plan already in place to run free shuttles from downtown Atlanta at Centennial Olympic Park, so okay, there's a back up plan in place. Too bad the shuttles would be a) chaotic and b) there's a Falcons play off game Sunday at 1 (not that they could have planned for that). My hopes of being optimistic as possible were dashed a bit.

The expo itself was small - Hot Chocolate race gear (LOTS of fun stuff!), Big Peach (local sponsor) had a huge blow-out store area, and Rock and Roll Savannah and the Georgia Publix Marathon folks were out with race sign ups. There was a kiddie area, in addition to a chocolate display and free samples of chocolate squares and hot chocolate that we'll get at the race (the more chocolate, the better!).

Bib pick up is split up by the race (whether you're a 5Ker or a 15Ker), and then you're guided on to get  your swag bag - your sweatshirt, a hat (if you got one with a promo code). Being that the sweatshirts run small (they fit short), they had set up a Jacket Swap area, with already-opened sweatshirts for you to try on a size, so if needed, you could exchange your hoodie for a correct size. I appreciated this fact - this way, you're ensured to get a new sweatshirt that someone already hasn't busted open and tried on. Smart thinking. Thanks RAM Racing!

Georgia Publix medals - half marathon (L) and marathon (R).
We walked around a little bit longer, checked out the medals for the Georgia Publix race (I'm running the half) and headed out. They had just revealed these not too long ago on their Facebook page. So excited about the sparkly, glittery green goodness these medals are! How fun! I guess you can get away with such things with a race on St. Patrick's Day! The full marathon medal is the same design as the half, just a  bit bigger and a different color ribbon.

Turns out Heather was able to buy parking that afternoon (even though they were "sold out"?), so we grabbed that on our way out. And that was it. Easy, quick, mellow. Super. And that was it! Easy peasy! Have to love an easy expo.

The only true unfortunate part of the expo, and not that this could be helped (though could with a different venue) was paying $10 for parking, for what literally was a 15 minute trip through the expo. I feel that there could either be better locations to allow for a free expo or working with venues to accomodate and either vouch parking or provide a discount of some kind. Ah well.

Are you running Hot Chocolate Atlanta? The 5K or 15K? Hope to see you there!

I served as an Ambassador for the Atlanta Hot Chocolate race. While I did not receive compensation or a comped race entry fee, I did receive two shirts and a race hat from RAM Racing prior to the race. All opinions and thoughts are my own.


  1. Megan! My mom and I are running the Hot Chocolate 15k in San Diego in March. I'm pretty excited for it! I can't wait to hear how it goes. I'm happy i read this because I was going to register today and I want to make sure I get the correct size for the sweatshirt.

    Where did you find the promo code for the hat?!

    1. Katie! I hope you love the San Diego race. I know a ton of people that have done that one and just loved it!

      Try googling for a San Diego promo code - each city has its own set of codes. Google around and see what you find! :)

  2. I'm glad the expo went well. I had to pay for parking at the Georgia Marathon expo a couple of years ago, so at least that issue is not unique to this event. I hope the race goes off without a hitch!

    1. Definitely not unique to this event, though still not fun. But whatcha gonna do, right?

      Race went off well! Post coming shortly. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Paying for parking is such a pain with small expos - ugh! Glad y'all were able to get a pass for tomorrow though. My mom and I were just barely able to get one too!

    Have a great race tomorrow :D

    1. Paying for parking (especially when you have to pay for the race parking too) is NEVER fun. But.. I suppose it worked out and all went well!

      Hope you had a great race too!

  4. Love how you referenced the Falcon playoff game without knowing we'd be there.

    1. Right? Apparently I'm really good at foreshadowing.

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