Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hot Chocolate 15k (DC) Review

So my last minute decision to travel to DC and run the hot chocolate 15k will have 2 very opposite reviews. The race its self was a race directors disaster, while the overall weekend was a blast. First, I am not the only person who raced pissed off. Check out the facebook page Epic Fail Hot Chocolate 15k. Or search on twitter. Most of the complaints are very valid, here's an overview of areas in need of severe improvement before they consider hosting a race in the DMV region again.

  • The location is advertised as a race within DC but is actually National Harbor, which is actually in Maryland.
  • Like anywhere else within the DMV region, parking and traffic are a nightmare. There was only one way into NH which ultimately led to some pretty significant delays.
  • There was no on site parking, and while there were plenty of shuttles from the raceway to the race, that can't be said for the return shuttles for the people at crystal city or the Hilton hotel.
  • I'm still confused how this race would be accessed by locals with no car. (come on, there are metros here- use them. Races are already so damn. Not eco friendly!)
  • Race officials will claim there was an accident, although there have been no witnesses to confirm this, which ultimately lead to an hour delay start time.
  • Meanwhile, while we were waiting, we were freezing our tails off. There was no shelter against the 30 degree weather as we stood around. those of us that got there with appropriate time, ended up being there for almost 3 hours on freezing temperature.
  • The race finally began, after the crowd spent a few minutes chanting "start the race". The start was narrow and crowded. For whatever reason, we didn't start in waves. There was a z shaped zigzag within the first quarter of a mile, which was a total logistical nightmare as people figured out their pace. And then all 10,000 people ran on a 2 lane road. There was lots of weaving and plenty of rude runners that had started too far behind for their pace. The run was not scenic. We ran along side a road, with incoming traffic coming towards us. It reeked of car fumes. There were plenty of hills, which generally I don't mind but with so many people it was hard to find a rhythm.
  • Some of the aid stations were ill prepared and runners were pouring their on drinks, but that's not the first time that's ever happened in the race.
The only part of the race that was appropriately prepared was the amount of portajons. There were plenty and never any real wait.  There was A LOT of room for improvement.  I was not impressed by the run at all, and would never consider running another one of their events.

1 comment:

  1. holy cow... ive been at races where i had to pour my own water...what a joke! bummer you had such a bad experience...i heard those hot chocolate races are supposed to be great!