Monday, March 21, 2016

Gimmie the Hot Chocolate!

The Seattle Hot Chocolate 15K took place on March 6 this year... I hitched a ride with a friend down to the race and we arrived in plenty of time.  The weather was not sizing up to be great. It was cold and a little drizzly by the time we had parked and got to the corral area at the Seattle Center.  The 5K started well before the 15K and we saw that some of the corrals for the 5K had not even began the race yet as we walked onto the grounds at the Seattle Center.  So we headed over to the Center House to use the flush toilets and stay warm.   We made note of the large bag check area near the Center House on our way since we both planned on checking bags before the start.   We used the potties and got warm and realized it had started raining outside... it is Seattle after all but I am not excited about running wet and being cold... for over 9 miles.

My friend decided to use the restroom one more time so we parted ways and said "see ya at the finish line!"  She is way faster than me and had been placed in a further up corral.  I was in corral J... I didn't realize my placement would be so far back... but I am a rule follower so back to Corral J I went.  I had decided to ditch my jacket at bag check at the last minute... I knew even if it started to rain hard that I would regret having it 5 minutes into the run.  I am not sure I made the right choice.

After a slow move forward we were off... The weather was all over place... first a little rain and then the sun would break through for a bit.  Then as I hit the middle of the mileage the weather took a turn and got worse.  There were moments of diagonal rain and inches of water on the roadway.  Needless to say I was soaked!  Then the wind... geez... really?  My strategy to finish well was to turn off my trusty Galloway timer around mile 7 and go for landmarks.  This basically means... run through the next two cones... walk one cone... run through the next two and so on.  

Finally that finish line was in view (up another hill but that is Seattle for you).  The sun broke out a bit for my big finish.  I was just so glad to be done and all I wanted was my jacket!  I had picked up some little kids hat that had dropped it right in front of me as he and his tiny sister jumped in with their mom on the home stretch to finish with her.  Now I am all for cheering and celebrating someone's accomplishments... BUT... the volunteers handing out medals gave these two kids 15K medals.  REALLY?  I am not sure they were suppose to do that and at the time it bothered me A LOT.  I guess it still bothers me.  Would that upset you?  This wasn't a cheap local 5K... I EARNED (and paid for) that 15K medal... and you just gave two little kids the same thing I EARNED (and paid for?).  Hmmm.  I know these were volunteers and they probably thought it was cute... two little kids running across the finish line with their mom... it was cute and HIGH FIVE would have been enough.  Hand their mom the medal she earned (which they did) and simply high five the kids.  Oh well... 

So was this race worth it this year?  What drew me in again? (This was my 3rd Seattle Hot Chocolate 15K)  I have to say it is the challenge.  A 15K is not my favorite distance... it is far... did I say far for me on a good day  and this year the weather presented not so perfect conditions.  I do like the medal... that is part of the draw for me.  Time with a great friend on the ride down and back.  Participating in a large race... next to Disneyland this is probably the largest race that I do.  A lot of people like the spread at the end... the hot chocolate and snacks. 

Not my photo ...but this is almost exactly 
what we received at the Seattle race.

The snacks are good and plentiful... but seriously a water and a banana would have been enough for me.  I did appreciate holding the hot drink but it was SUPER sweet and REALLY thick for my liking so I tossed that pretty quickly.  I ate the banana (I did dip that thing in the hot fudge) and brought the rest home for my kiddos.  I have heard that some people find fun uses for the cups but I tossed it in the recycle.  It is pretty cheap and a really thin plastic.

So... would I do this race again.  Probably.  The biggest reasons... the challenge for myself and I do like that medal.  Lets hope the weather is better next year!

My great friend Merritt and I at the finish!
Bless her for waiting around for my slow #%*!

What would be your fun snack of choice at the end of a race?

Have you seen medals handed out to people who didn't actually participate in the race? 
(I am okay with a volunteer receiving one... this wasn't a cheap local 5K... this race was long... hilly... and that medal was earned!) wah wah

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