The Sweeper returns for Hot Chocolate ATL
Last Sunday I filled my role as the Sweeper for the Hot Chocolate 15k. Due to the Super Bowl, the race was held in February this year. Hot Chocolate ATL has a spotty race reputation due to the uncertainty of the weather. Last year was cold and raining and this year, it was just a little cold (it sprinkled a bit, but it was ok). I love pacing, but I especially love being the Sweeper. How did this year's race go?
This year, the race expo was held a hotel near Peachtree Center Marta Station. The expo venue was smaller, which meant less walking compared to the World Congress Center. There were vendors and of course, chocolate! I worked at the ambassador table to answer questions and get people signed up for next year's race. Packet pick up was quick and I earned my 5 year Legacy Award.
The race started year near Olympic Centennial Park. All the pre and post-race activities were held in the park. The 15k started at 7:30 am. We all lined up according to our wave and then we were off to hit the pavement. As the sweeper, I am the last person to start the 15k. My pace throughout the race was 15 min/mile. I enjoy being the sweeper, since it gives me an opportunity to encourage the runners in the back of pack. We he had a great time encouraging each other and admiring the costumes.
The course was classic Atlanta (up the hill/down the hill repeat). The volunteers were great and the course was familiar. My only complaint is that the cops kept stopping the runners to wait on traffic, which seems be happening often during races in the city.
Overall, I had fun. I met my course goal and didn't freeze the death during the race. I look forward to running the race next year as keeping my legacy status going.