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Hot Chocolate 5K/15K – San Diego

March 23, 2014 · San Diego, CA

Distance: 15K, 5K

The Hot Chocolate 15/5k, coined as America’s Sweetest Race, is brought to you by RAM Racing.  Established in 2008, the inaugural Hot Chocolate 15/5k ran through the streets of Chicago, Illinois. Since its inception, over 200,000 participants have ran for chocolate, making it the fastest growing race series in the nation!

Each Hot Chocolate 15/5k race features both a 15k (9.3miles) and 5k (3.1miles) distance and all runners are encouraged to join the fun! Participants receive an award winning goodie bag, which they collect at the expo along with their race packet.

The chocolate really begins to flow at the Post Race Party where runners enjoy music, a family friendly kid-zone (complete with bounce houses and games) and a finisher’s mugs filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and tasty dippable treats!

Click here for registration information
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Submitted by carrie.hanes

April 4, 2013

Review

Loved this race. I thought it was very organized, lots of fuel stations and mile markers. Parking was a little bit of a challenge but just get there realllllyyyyy early. I will definately do this again.

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Submitted by wcorlyf

April 3, 2013

Review

Loved the race. My friend pick up all of our bibs without any problems. When we arrived on Sunday morning we parked across the trolley tracks and had no problem with the traffic getting there or leaving.

We were amazed on all the porta potties they had and different locations of the race. More were at the start line area and some at the finish line.

The starting corals were well marked and no problems with the start of the race. We picked the short race because we tend to do our long runs on Saturdays with our running group and are training for another half marathon in May. The race course zig zagged through downtown San Diego and had many ups and downs through the short course. But was fun to see all the new development going on in that area.

The finish line was great and not crowded at all. We enjoyed a bottle of water at the end with no difficulty. We headed to the porta potties and than to our reward of the famous Hot Chocolate mug filled with goodies. Lines were short and we were so glad to receive our mug. Found a spot to sit down and enjoy it with other 5k runners. When we were finished we headed to the t-shirt booth and on our way we found plastic bags that we could put our mugs in to take home and not worry about chocolate getting all over the place. Loved the designs and logos for the race on the shirts and jackets and loved that they had kids and adults sizes. So everyone could get something.

We plan on doing this again and want to find a way to get the kids to do it with us next year. We know they will enjoy the end, it’s getting them through the hills to the finish line.

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Submitted by ckshubin

April 3, 2013

Review

This review is for the San Diego Hot Chocolate 5K/15K in March 2013

Pre-race. Packet pick up was one of the easiest one’s I have experienced. They had plenty of people ready to help and the process was fast and easy to pick up your bib. Next stop in the process was the goodie bag pick up – which this year was a brown hoodie sweatshirt. I had a code so got a running hat (which I love) in addition to the sweatshirt. From here they had a “try on” station where they had all the sizes of hoodies for you to try on and if you wanted a different size because it fit better then you can figure out which one you wanted by trying them on and then take your unopened hoodie to the exchange booth.

This then opened up into the expo. The expo was small and not much there but they had samples of the chocolate and the hot chocolate and fondue dip you would be receiving in addition to just a couple of vendors. Being only in it’s 2nd year I imagine the expo will grow as more vendors become aware of this race and it’s 13,000 runners.

Pre-race. Parking was $10 for lots/structures, metered on the street (get there really early). I had no problems getting parking in a structure and it was a fast moving line to get in. Again, one of the easier ones to get into parking wise.

Corrals were monitored and roped off. Plenty of porta-potties everywhere.

The race was started on time with the 5K going first. Once the 5K runners were all through the corrals started lining up for the 15K next. Those also went quickly and started on time.

Course: San Diego both the 5K and the 15K offer a very challenging hilly course. This is not flat and fast. For the 15K the first 7.8 miles is basically all up hills with the most challenging hill at mile 7 which then goes downhill from there to the finish. The 5K also has a decent hilly challenging course according to my friend I went with (and the elevation course map on their website) so be prepared!

While at first I thought us 15K’er should go first since we had the longer race at the finish I understood why they do this. At the finish line and in the finishers chute it was uncrowded, easy to get through and easy to grab a bottle of water without a ton of people. Picking up the chocolate “mug” finishers item was also super fast, easy and uncrowded. The finishers area was huge with plenty of places to walk, stretch or sit. Had the 5K started after the 15K you would have had both sets of runners in the finishers area making it crowded and not as easy to get through. So having the 5K start first, finish, get their stuff and leave left it open and uncrowded for those of use who chose the longer distance. Well done and well thought out.

Post race: There isn’t a finishers medal but you get a large plastic “mug” which is sectioned off with a cup of hot cocoa in the center (really good btw!), some chocolate fondue and a banana, pretzels, marshmellow, rice krispy square and cookie to dip into the chocolate fondue. The chocolate was really good – not cheap tasting but good quality chocolate all around.

We are thinking of making this run an annual run – the hoodies are great and the chocolate so yummy and for the price a really good challenging course – though I think next year i’ll stick to the 5K unless they give the 15k-ers an additional anything (finishers medal) for going the longer distance. Other than the distance the 15K runners get the same exact stuff and with the hills the 5K is enough of a challenge for me to do.

I’ve run over 8 half marathons in under a year with some 5K’s and 10K’s in between. The San Diego race was one of the most organized well run race I’ve done. Not quite Disney organized but pretty darn close – which says a LOT considering it’s half the cost of the Disney races. It was THAT organized!

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Submitted by marytrainer

December 1, 2012

Review

I loved this race! First, it’s a great distance for a fun run. Second, it’s a fun run! The start was well laid out, even though it was in a tight downtown area, right by Petco Stadium. The course was really nice, some hills and nature, getting us out of downtown and through the backside of Balboa Park by the golf course. I loved the fast finish downtown. The post race food was very edible, chocolate and fruit and hot chocolate. I would reccomend it, and will make it a yearly event.

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Submitted by Lori

June 8, 2012

Review

The chocolate theme is what attracted me to this race in the first place, even though the location was a good 2 hours from where I live. The pre-race packet pick-up was very well organized and energetic. I love that they had a jacket swap area if you didn’t like the size you originally requested. So many times at other races where we get t-shirts I have been told that my size was gone because racers wanted to trade at the last minute. Not cool. The course was fun. Short hills, nothing too hard. The post-race party was the best part about this event. The chocolate tray and fondue were delicious. One wouldn’t think to eat that after running 3 or 9 miles but neither myself nor my 3 friends had a problem with it. We also loved the “Will run for chocolate” themed gear they had for sale. I’ve already signed up for 2013.

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Submitted by alanglen49

April 28, 2012

Review

My biggest complaint is the cheezy music they play for 50% of the videos and at the race. It made me run faster just to get away from the speakers, but this was a nice lil 15k around San Diego. I wouldn’t pay the registration fee for the 5k even though you get the same jacket and post race box, why not push yourself to get the 15k and challege yourself a bit….just my two cents. The packet-pick up at Road Runner was awesome and even gave you a chance to swap your jacket for your correct size. The day of the race was easy and worry free as parking was bountiful, gear check-in was efficient, and talk about a million port-o-potties!
The 5K start was a zoo, and it didn’t look like everyone was in their correct corrals, but the 15k seemed more organized. I know a lot of people complained about the hills, but DOODE if you took a loot at the website, it showed you the elevation, c’mon people…prep work is half the battle!

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Submitted by swimbikerun15

April 24, 2012

Review

This was a challenging course but that was a welcome change from some more non-challenging races I have done recently. The pre race area had more than enough port-a-potties, there were enough aid stations, and the post race feast of chocolate was definitely more than enough! An enjoyable race, if only for the excuse to eat lots of chocolate because you “cancelled out” calories:)

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Submitted by Amanda Daley

April 4, 2012

Review

Wonderful race! Everything and everyone with this race was on point! They kept racers up to date daily on facebook and they were always quick to respond with any questions.
The expo was held at two locations which made it really convenient for those in north county as well as east county. They had chocolate, music and fun going off and it was very organized. The jacket they gave was awesome and a nice little touch. I have so many race T’s so something different was appreciated. (Although I really would have liked a medal as well)
The course… not a walk in the park. Its mostly uphill and had a couple quick descends as well. I was not super excited about the course, as it was a little boring with zig zagging back and forth through parts of the course. Running through a downtown homeless tunnel was a little different as well.
Lots of on course aid stations and it seemed there was an actual time clock at every mile and that was a nice touch. I can only suggest some cold chocolate milk at the finish because it is san diego and after 9 miles of running the last thing I really want is hot chocolate. I think I will be back to try it again next year. It was overall a really fun race!

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Submitted by tif.ortega

April 2, 2012

Review

It was very well organized and had mile markers at each mile with a clock.
I look forward to running this race next year