Hot Chocolate Shirt Giveaway

This is possibly the most talked-about race ever. From the chocolate to the parking to the race-day logistics, there are a lot of people weighing in on the inaugural Hot Chocolate 15K & 5K. Let me say up front that I am not running the race and am therefore in no position to add my personal commentary, but will just report what I’ve heard. There are a lot of unhappy people right now who are stuck in traffic trying to get to National Harbor. The race has been delayed by 15 minutes to 8:15 (and as I’m about to publish this, heard that people were still waiting to start at 8:47) but from what I’m reading on Facebook, people have been stuck in traffic for up to 3 hours and won’t even make the delayed start time.

Organizing races is hard work. I know. I have helped organize the Stone Ridge 5K for the last 4 years, and it’s a lot of work even for a small race. I imagine that many runners have no idea of what goes on behind the scenes. From permits to policing to organizing hordes of volunteers, the effort of orchestrating such events is immense. That being said, when people pay a substantial amount for a race such at Hot Chocolate, they expect – and deserve – smooth organization. They shouldn’t be sitting in traffic because those issues should have been thought out and planned for. Granted, there is only one way in and out of National Harbor which is a huge problem. Maybe this isn’t a good location for a large race. There is no public transportation to National Harbor so, unlike those running National Marathon, which is staged right at the Armory metro stop, Hot Chocolate racers don’t have any options other than driving or taking a race shuttle.

Huge road races in the DC Metro area are not uncommon. Marine Corps Marathon has about 30,000 runners. Army Ten Miler attracts 20,000. Cherry Blossom 10 Miler selects 15,000 lucky applicants from its lottery. These races are known for being well-orchestrated and are popular for that reason. It’s a shame when a race attracts so many negative comments before it has even begun. I really hope, for their own sake, that RAM Racing is listening and will do something for the many runners who are unable to make the start. And for those who did make it (and let’s remember that we’re always more vocal when we have a complaint rather than a compliment) and are having a great time running (which of course is what it’s all about), perhaps take a moment to post what was good about the race. That post-race party looks delicious!

OK, onto the giveaway. I worked the expo yesterday for Potomac River Running. I had a blast because, well, I got to talk about running! Although, I was at the Nike booth and I know nothing about Nike shoes! More about that later….I promised a giveaway, dammit! So I’m wearing this orange volunteer shirt which is a good thing because people can find me even though I’m 5′ 1″ and often scrabbling around on the floor picking stuff up. Two people asked me if they could buy the shirt. Alas, although there was an array of cute Hot Chocolate shirts, orange was not on offer. So, I am giving away my shirt. It’s a size S although very generous and much too big for petite moi. I will wash it although I wore it over an Under Armor shirt (chilly in that tent!) and did not spill anything on it…surprisingly.

Here’s a pic of said shirt:

All you have to do to enter my contest for one slightly used Hot Chocolate size S volunteer shirt is:

– Like racingtales on Facebook

– Tweet, “I entered @racingtales Hot Chocolate volunteer shirt giveaway at #hotchocolate”

– Comment below that you did what I told you to do!

Winner will be randomly selected and announced shortly after giveaway ends on 12/8.


  1. Ashley G. says:

    I tweeted and liked you on facebook 🙂 I’m super excited for this!

  2. So glad to have found this site. Hope to win the shirt. 🙂

  3. marybeth papiese says:

    Liking you and your shirt on facebook!

  4. I liked you on facebook – and I’m about to tweet as well!

    • Well, I will tweet as soon as I’m on a regular computer and can cut and paste from above – I’m too lazy to have to retype the words! But I still want the shirt!!!!!

  5. Karen Fleming-Michael says:

    I tweeted and liked and I covet your shirt, washed or unwashed.
    BTW, My running pal and I really wanted to run the race today but making the trip to the expo and the race, as well as the parking situation, made it seem like a logistical nightmare. Feeling sorry for all the runners who got caught in traffic. Hope they got chocolate and the cool jacket.

  6. Not on twitter, but I liked you and your shirt on Facebook. Crossing my fingers!

  7. Joan Koss says:

    It was great to travel to the race with friends and share the experience and I like the race area for the last 5k of the race. I have other items I was disappointed with and will just stop there.

  8. Lauren M. says:

    I liked you and your story on Facebook. I’m not on Twitter though but if I was I would post it on there too. I hope this counts enough to get me in the drawing as well. Enjoyed reading your article and appreciate the idea of the shirt giveaway. 🙂 As far as the race goes – I made it and ran/walked the 5k which was painful due to course congestion and run/walking on a path way too small for a race of this size. But it’s over and the chocolate was at least good. 🙂

  9. Hey everyone, thanks for entering the contest and sharing your thoughts on the race. I will still enter you if you’re not on Twitter, as long as you like racingtales on facebook! Thanks and please share the link with others.

  10. I did both (@starzskymoon).

    Even though the DC race was a complete chaotic mess, I still like the shirts 🙂


  11. I tweeted and liked! @natjones9 😀

    Thanks for doing this!

  12. Great post 🙂 I ran the race today, and it was a MESS, but I do have to say that the chocolate was tasty. I’d love to win the shirt! 🙂

  13. Laurie Luczak says:

    Did you what you asked, and since I’m not on Twitter I have shared your FB page with friends! I was jealous of the orange, considering our jackets were not too satisfying!

  14. Crystal Raines says:

    I liked racingtales on fb. I don’t have twitter!

  15. Done. I do love that shirt.

  16. Liked you on FB

  17. Like you on FB – thanks for the Blog – this is my first time visiting and I’ll definitely be back. Love the volunteer shirt – wish I had volunteered instead of running! Volunteer swag was much nicer! 🙂

  18. Sarah McBride says:

    Nice post…it’s too bad the race had such problems because the Chicago version is SO popular! Anyway, I liked you on FB; so hope I win!

  19. Diana Swindell says:

    I tweeted and liked…thanks!

  20. Liked you on Facebook. Sorry I don’t have a Twitter account.

    As far as the race this morning….
    sit in traffic for 3 hours to finally get to the harbor at 8:30. Tried walking to the start of the 5k (which was a significant distance from the parking garage they directed us to – without even checking for the pass we paid for) only to be stopped short of the start line and told to just join the race from there. Ended up only running 2.9 miles but didn’t get a recorded time. The fondue was really nice and the line was smooth, as was the hot chocolate line. The course itself could have been very dangerous if we had started on time, but since we were so late it was empty for the first mile until we caught up with the crowds. Overall I would agree with all of the complaints, however I am extremely laid back so I didn’t feel as frustrated as most others seemed to feel. Would not sign up for this race again, though.

  21. Kevin B. Quinn says:

    RAM Racing, Hot Chocolate 15K – worst race ever. After running I had to wait over 2 hours for the RAM sponsored bus to take me back to the parking lot. Race was late, traffic was a nighmare. The whole experience sucked a big egg. Never again RAM Racing, never again.

  22. I like you on FB and tweeted. Going to link on my blog for good measure

  23. I covet-eth your shirt-eth!! LOL 🙂

  24. And I tweeted. Liked on Facebook.

  25. I did it all!!

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