Hot Chocolate Race Review

What can I tell you about the Allstate Chocolate 15k/5k race? For starters, they’ve got the best race swag in town! Check out the jackets, you guys.  I will run this race JUST for that jacket…

This a national race series with events in several major cities. Each Hot Chocolate race features both a 15k (9.3miles) and 5k (3.1miles). You get the jacket / chocolate snacks either way (along with your entry fee). The medals vary based on which distance you complete. The race benefits the Make A Wish Foundation.

The snacks at the end of the race are hard to beat. We’re talking real melted chocolate, hot cocoa, a banana, a rice krispy treat, a marshmellow, a cookie straw, a nuun wafer… they also recently upgraded from a plastic mug to a biodegradable one. Bravo!

This is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier, so it attracts a lot of the ‘serious’ running crowd in Atlanta.  This is probably NOT the race to bring a tutu or your dog, just FYI.  You might get run over by Jerry who is going for a PR and ain’t got no time for anybody’s fun-having… But hey, we can blend in with the serious runners when necessary!  Tips to blend in with the serious crowd: wear leggings (it’s cold!) and your new jacket, and break out that fancy running belt that you got in your stocking last year. They’ll never know you’re in it for fun, and not a very serious goal-crushing time of living out all your unfulfilled highschool track dreams.

strava map hot chocolate race

Here’s our Strava map of the 5k course (2020)


I can’t finish this post without mentioning that this isn’t our first Hot Chocolate race. Back in 2017 Carol Anne, Scott and I signed up for the Hot Chocolate 5k… but I never made it to the start line. Instead, a complication of my chronic illness (Addison’s Disease) landed me in Adrenal Crisis and in the Emergency Dept at the hospital only 2 nights before the race. Adrenal Crisis is life-threatening, and I was far too sick to get out of bed, much less walk or run.  Josh, being one of the best brothers in the entire world, took my bib and ran in my place with Carol Anne. He wasn’t even really into running at the time, but he didn’t want her to run alone or miss out. Few things have ever made my big sister heart so proud as tracking the two of them on the live course map. I swore I’d come back and finish the race the next year… and not only the 5k, but the 15k. This race had become my white whale. The one I had to conquer. Come rain, frost, 36 degree weather, puddles, and numb fingers…


So in 2018, we completed the 15k.

Did I mention it was pouring rain and 36 degrees outside??

This was the hardest, wettest, coldest race of our lives. But we were determined to finish it — and we did! When we took this photo at the end of the race we were so cold and so soaked with rain that we could barely smile. This run has gone down in history as our worst race experience ever, and we will never ever run in such bad conditions ever again.

But if we are honest, we are very proud of that race. Because of that race, we feel we can do anything. 


Photos below are from the 2017 Hot Chocolate 5k, the one I missed. These pictures still make me so very proud!


To sum up: Do we recommend this race?

YES, just be aware that it’s cold in January / February (check the race schedule for Atlanta) and dress appropriately.  Stay home if pouring rain (because that one time was the absolute worst).  Expect serious runners, not tutu-wearing fun-runners. The course is well-organized, the end of race snacks are awesome, and I don’t know of any other races that can beat the swag.  Also, shout out to Nuun for sponsoring and giving out lots of freebies!

Sad you missed this one this year? How about signing up for this race instead?

Chik Fil A’s Moo’ve It 5k 2017

Early morning Chikin Biscuit – is there any other way to fuel up for a Chik-Fil-A 5k?

Finish Line Bananas

Race: Chik-Fil-A Moo’ve It 5k in Canton, GA benefiting Cherokee county schools & the Special Olympics

A well-organized race enjoyed by cows and Chikin fans alike! Special props to the runner in the cow tutu pushing a stroller decorated as a box of Chikin nuggets (with 2 “nuggets” inside!).

While the temp wasn’t as high our July race, it felt hotter because of the thick fog and heavy humidity. We were melting by the end, but really enjoyed the course at Etowah River Park. This was our first time to run here, and we liked the [flat] course.

For bonus points, our shirts are homemade, ya’ll… crafted in 15mins with on-sale Target tees and some all-purpose black paint. #WillRun4Chikin

Also, we ate Chik-Fil-A for 2 meals today. It only seemed right.

Happy August, friends! Are you ready for Fall yet?


Braves Country 5k

For our June 5k, we completed the Braves Country 5k – the first race in the new Suntrust Stadium & the first we’ve completed since March as a full team of four! It was HOT, and not without hills, and did I mention hot?

Here is a snapshot of the Strava map when we were halfway through. At the end of the race we looped back and INTO Suntrust Park to run around the outskirts of the field.

Running bibs also included tickets to that evening’s baseball game, which the Braves lost terribly, but let’s be honest… we were mostly there for the ballpark food anyway. “Go Braves! Now where did they say those tacos were located?” 

This is a “serious” run in terms of attendees. There’s an abundance of trained track athletes, and high mileage runners [read: “faster than us” runners]. Many of the participants are aiming for the Peachtree Road Race, and run this race as a qualifier. We made good time, and kept a decent pace, especially considering this is the HOTTEST run we’ve completed yet! This makes #8 for me and Carol Anne. To see some of our runs over the past year check out this one, and this one, or (our favorite so far!) this one.

Go Braves! And happy summer, friends! Have you had a hotdog yet?!

5K Foam Fest: 2017


Josh, Carol Anne and I recently completed the 5k Foam Fest at Lake Lanier in Georgia. Scott had to sit this one out to recover from a muscle injury, so this race was all about the sibling teamwork! Or sibling competition, as the case may have been at certain obstacles…


The highlight of this 5k are the 22 obstacles that include “foam”, mud pits, rope obstacles, slippery slides, and wading in Lake Lanier. We went from bubbly, to muddy, to wet, and back again several times; and loved the whole thing!


I highly recommend buying some CHEAP running shoes (we found ~$10 pairs at Wal-mart) because getting the mud and foam out of the shoes is IMPOSSIBLE. It’s best to plan to ditch those shoes in the trash as soon as the race is over. Carol Anne and I also chose light-weight “quick-dry” running shirts.


This is NOT the race to try for a PR, because the terrain is quite uneven and rocky, and portions of the course are more like hiking than running. But if you’re looking for a fun messy time with great obstacles? We definitely recommend the 5k Foam Fest as a family event, or a team building activity.  All 3 of us plan to sign up again next year! 

February Fitness

Sister: noun, (sĭs′tər) — a person willing to share a fleece blanket and a banana before a race in below freezing weather at 7:30am on a weekend.


For our February Race, we ran the Cupid Chase supporting Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer. We may have failed to overtake Cupid, but it’s still a win!


Joshua ran with us too. Scott missed out on this one due to a Krav Maga advancement test (which he PASSED).

Next up: St Patrick’s Day Race! 

RunDisney Race Recap

This past weekend my sister Carol Anne, my husband Scott, and I all ran our first RunDisney event! We completed Mickey’s Holiday 5k, which is a part of RunDisney’s Wine & Dine Marathon weekend.

Since it’s RunDisney, running in costume was an absolute MUST for both Carol Anne and I.  Approximately 70% of the participants ran in costume; most of them holiday-themed or well-known Disney characters. We chose Belle and Minnie Mouse, with floral headpieces to top off the look.

Here we are in our corral at our very early arrival time of 5:30am. We boarded a bus to at 5am to report to our corral on time. Ouch! Luckily, we had planned ahead and stashed some bottled Starbucks drinks in our mini-fridge the night before. The sun wasn’t up, but we were ready to go!

Spoiler alert: we got finish line bananas! We did quite well in the actual run, although I would encourage anybody who participates to NOT try to make this a personal record race. The best part is the fact that you are running THROUGH a Disney World park, so take the time to enjoy your surroundings. Our race went through Animal Kingdom before opening. We enjoyed running through some behind the scenes areas & seeing the majesty of Mt. Everest at sunrise.



We had a magical time at the run, and somehow still managed to make it to all 4 parks in the same weekend (thank you, caffeine!). All 3 of us agreed that a RunDisney event is definitely worth the hype and a great way to “earn” those vacation calories.

Next up: the Hot Chocolate Run in Atlanta! Are you planning to run any races in the upcoming year?