Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Hot Chocolate 15K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
After months of training, or not training that is, race day finally arrived and the results were pretty great all things considered.
I went to the expo on Saturday and packet pickup was a breeze. The expo, like last year, was a bit small. Lots of Hot Chocolate 15k merchandise, a bunch of local races and my favorite booth Tiger Tail! If you haven’t heard of them check them out. I browsed for a 45 minutes or so looking at all of the booths. On my way out I sampled the chocolate covered marshmallow (which were awesome!) and then headed back home.
The goodie bag this year was great! The hoodie is so soft and true to size. I can’t wait to wear it everywhere. I also picked up some Nuun vitamins at the expo and a sweet Nuun Seattle water bottle.
Getting to the race was pretty was easier than I thought. My boyfriend found a close parking spot and then we walked to the Seattle Center Armory. I found my lovely Oiselle teammates, Shannon, Cassidy, Jen, and Tiffany then stretched out. Right before the start time we walked over and squeezed our way into corral B. We had a difficult time getting into the corrals this year, there were very few entrances and we had to jump over a rope or two to get in. There were also way too many sets of pacers. It was very confusing and we thought we were in the wrong corral because of them.
Right at 7:55am the first corral started and then two-ish minutes later we started. The course is one skinny long loop that goes to Pike Place Market and then up onto Highway 99. The first half a mile is downhill which makes it hard to pace. We ran a 9:37 for the first mile and then a 10:10 for the second. The first four miles felt pretty good it was hard to maintain consistency because of the hills in course. But this was just the beginning.
The last portion of the race is rough. Mile 5 takes you up to the Aurora Bridge then mile 6 goes up to 46th Street and the miles are pretty much rolling hills. Mile 6 is a monstrous hill. It’s over a half a mile long. This is the hardest part of the course. I was so thankful that at the 46th Street Bus Stop a whole bunch of Oiselle Birds were there cowbelling. It was so amazing. One of them had Nuun which was a lifesaver too.
As we made our way down the hill to the last three miles of the course things were rough. I knew we didn’t have a lot of time to run the last 3.4 miles but I and my teammate could PR. We chugged a long and finally hit the last mile. This was go time. I knew there was a hill going up Mercer to Mercer and onto 5th Avenue. I ended up walking part of it but knew that I would PR if I ran the last stretch.
The best part was seeing Cassidy’s husband and then my boyfriend at the finish line knowing that it was all over and in fact I did PR by all of 30 seconds! Yes, that’s right 30 seconds. I will take as a good omen for my half in two weeks. What was great is I finally met fellow BibRave Pro Ambassador Jeannie. Check out her blog, she’s wonderful!
Overall, I did enjoy this race not sure I would run it again but it is great to finish a large mug of chocolate, free race photos, and a sweet medal.