PictureStandard corral selfie!
The Hubbo and I recently ran the Hot Chocolate 15K in Dallas. We've been in a bit of a running funk lately, so when Bibrave presented me with an opportunity to run this race, I thought it might be a fun one to get us back in the swing of things. I mean, there was chocolate everywhere and that's a pretty nice motivation to cross the finish line! 

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Hot Chocolate 15 Dallas thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

The Medal

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I always put my thoughts about the medals towards the top of my race reviews. Medals are my favorite part about races. They're an automatic souvenir of the race, the training, and the adventure that got you to the start and finish line.  The 15k finishers got a cute finisher medal in the shape of a chocolate bar that looked like someone took a bite out of it already. It has the city we ran the race and spots on the back to engrave your time! I've seen pictures of these on Instagram and Twitter, but I didn't really notice how big they were until I got my own. Definitely a nice sized medal. 

The Swag

PictureNom X3!
Here's a quick list of all the swag we got:
  • Medal - For 15k Finishers
  • Nice Gender Specific Jackets - Lined so they are nice and warm
  • Spike Bag - Cute blue bag
  • Chocolate - At the Expo, On the Course, and after the race!
  • Mug - Full of chocolate and other goodies! 
  • Buff - If you used the code you got a free buff! See below for codes for upcoming races.


All participants in the 5k and 15k got a really nice finishers jacket that is lined so it's nice and warm. 
At the expo we picked up our cute printed bibs, got a blue spike bag to hold our important race day stuff, and they even had samples of hot chocolate, mini chocolate bars, and chocolate dipped marshmallows. So. Much. Sweetness!

Then at the finish line they handed out bottles of water, we got in a short line and go out Hot Chocolate mug that had a cup of Hot Chocolate, chocolate to dip marshmallows, pretzels, a banana, and other goodies into. So much yummy chocolate!

The Expo

PictureJust hanging out with this guy!
The expo was about the size I would expect for a 15k. A few vendors, some race branded gear, and a DJ playing some uplifting music while you browsed. They also had a few inflatables that looked like Hot Chocolate mugs or marshmallows. On Friday we left Tulsa and drove straight to the Expo. Traffic wasn't too bad so we were pleasantly surprised there. The Expo was at Fair Park in Dallas and we had to pay $5 for parking. It was easy to get in and out of the expo really quickly because everything was so nicely organized.

The Course

PictureGot to quickly meet some Twitter pals &Bibrave Pros!
The course wasn't very hilly. There were a few rolling hills after mile 3, but not too bad at all. It's mostly flat. The scenery wasn't much to write home about, but there was chocolate or marshmallows on the course in 4 different spots! So that was nice to look forward to.

Aid Stations - they were good. Plenty of water and Nuun on the course. You could even sample a wide variety of Nuun at the Expo.

Parking

PictureThis pic is not relevant to parking soo....
Parking on race day was a little hectic. But we were warned at the Expo and in Pre-Race emails that we needed to get there at 6:00am. I know that sounds early for an 8:15 race, but I agree, they were right. We didn't listen and tried to show up at 7, and didn't have much time to spare. But once we got into Fair Park and found a spot, all we had to do was follow the big crowd of people walking towards the starting line. The walk from our car to the start/finish line was probably around a mile. 

Overall Thoughts and Upcoming Races

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Overall this was a wonderful, fun, and very sweet race! 
Everything was organized really well, we got TONS of swag, and had a good time. I highly recommend this race. If you aren't motivated to run for a medal, run for all the chocolate you get at this race!

If you want to do a Hot Chocolate Race, check out the pic and see if one is coming your way.  You can also use the following codes when you register to get some free swag!

City       Date        Code
Vegas - 2/28/16 - BibRaveLV
Seattle - 3/6/16 - BibRaveSEA
San Diego - 3/20/16 - BibRaveSD
Philly - 4/2/16 - BibRavePHI
Minneapolis - 4/16/16 - BibRaveMIN


What's the best swag you've gotten at a race?