Wow. Just wow. I just got back from a trip to Chicago to participate in the Hot Chocolate 15K. On November 5th, 2011, myself and a few THOUSAND other runners OWNED the streets of downtown Chicago. I can't even put into words how magical it was...
I arrived in Chicago two days before the race so I could get situated and adjusted to the time change. On the day before the race, I picked up my bib and my racing packet at the Expo that is held for the Hot Chocolate 5/15K at Union Station. It was pretty cool just to be at Union Station, let alone the fact that I was here with so many others that were all set to run the race the next day.
Everything was so well organized at packet pickup.
Below is the volunteer area.
Below is the merchandise area. I could have gone a little crazy buying shirts/hats/sweatshirts in this area. It was a pretty neat little marketplace.
Below is another shot of the expo. There were shoe manufacturers and other running-centric companies that participated in the expo.
If you look closely, you can see my name and bib number in the middle of the screen. This was also taken at the expo when I picked up my bib. We all walked past an electronic device that validated our bibs. This was one of the most technologically advanced races I have been involved in. The timer was actually embedded in our bib numbers!!
So, at the end of it all.... I am so proud of myself. Running outside for 9.3 miles at under 9 minute pace is a huge accomplishment for me. I consider myself to be an actual runner now. I was thrilled to even be able to finish the race, let alone in such a decent amount of time. If you are interested in my entire race stats, you can click here.
Here are pics of me with some other runners I met at the race, as well as a picture of me after I crossed the finish line. I was ecstatic!!
Do you want to run the Hot Chocolate 5K or 15K? Or maybe want to just walk? Then go here for more information. This race has now gone national, so you could have the chance to participate very soon. Next city? Dallas, Texas on February 11th. Then San Diego, CA on March 25th. For more dates and information, please visit the Hot Chocolate 5 & 15K's website here.
You can like the Hot Chocolate 15K on Facebook here and follow all the latest news on twitter here!