2023 Hot Chocolate Atlanta 15k: A sweet race
Updated: Feb 4
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the 2023 Hot Chocolate Atlanta 15k race to evaluate as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews.
This year marks my 9th Hot Chocolate ATL Race. I ran the first race in 2013 and have been running the series consecutively since 2015. Every year we pray for the best weather situation and then hold our breath until race day. This year, was one of the best years for running the race. The weather was "perfect", meaning no rain or extreme cold temperature. We could actually enjoy the delicious chocolate after the race. I represented BibRave for the race, but I was asked to join the Beast Pacing Team a few days before the race since pacer had to miss the race. So, how did this year go?
The expo this year was held at Southern Ballrooms on Peachtree Industrial. This was a change from previous years at the Georgia World Congress Center. It was close to the MARTA and easy to travel to for bib pick up. Packet pickup was quick and easy. We were provided a QR code to present to the volunteers for the bib. After receiving my bib, I entered the main expo to pick up my goodie bag that contained my sweatshirt. Runners were allowed to try on their sweatshirt and exchange it for another size if needed.
The main expo also had many vendors and chocolate treats to enjoy. I met up with a few friends and took pictures. I also ate and drank chocolate goodies.
The race route has not changed in several years. It started near Olympic Centennial Park. I was added to the pace team a few days before the race. I paced the 14 min/mile group (I switched with another pacer right before the race). The race started downtown and then took us through Summerhill (near the GSU football stadium). We raced near Oakland Cemetery, down Piedmont Road, and through Georgia Tech (my alma mater). The course was typical Atlanta, hills and thrills.
I had fun running with my pacing pod. We talked and built character as we climbed the hills. I finished in 2:10:20, which was my intended completion time. We were awarded beautiful, retro-like medals at the finish. My favorite part of the finish was the chocolate bowls.
Overall, I enjoyed the race. The weather was perfect and it was great catching up with my friends. I will be back next year so I can keep my legacy status. Next year, I will celebrate 10 years of running the race consecutively. The race also provided free pictures, like the one below. See you next year!