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 atÂ http://www.racingtales.com/Â #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.