Saturday, February 20, 2016

Chocoholic Frolic Race Recap

About a year and a half ago, I ran the Hot Chocolate 10K in Austin, TX.  It took us around the parking lots and the parameter of the Circuit of the Americas F1 race track.  I wanted to run that race again last year, however when I emailed them about the 2015 date they said they had no foreseeable plans to return to Austin and that I should look into the Dallas race.  Hoping to find something chocolate related and closer to Austin, I discovered the Chocoholic Frolic 5K/10K.  They were having a special on registration when I discovered it and it was $29 to register…so I did!

I was originally going to stay at a hotel in San Antonio the night before the race, but due to finances, had to cancel my reservation.  It was only a 1.5 hour drive each way.  I did practically the same distance drive to packet pickup and then for race morning when I ran the Army Marathon last year.  So, Saturday afternoon, I drove down to Sports Authority to pick up my packet.  Instead of the standard t-shirt for participants, we got fairly nice ¼ zip pullovers!  On the left breast area is an embroidered logo that says “I run for chocolate” and then on the back is the logo for the race…not embroidered, though.  It has 2 zip-to-close pockets.  My only issues with this pullover is 1) the sizing.  It’s unisex so I ordered a medium, but even though I don’t have a super hourglass type figure, it’s very shapeless around the middle and a little billowy.  And 2) no thumbholes.  Seriously?!?!?!  No thumbholes in a pullover?  Despicable!
Since the packet pickup was at Sports Authority, they of course had 15% off coupons for all participants.  However, the 2 items I found that I just could not live without (a purple running skirt and a yellow-green tank top) were on the clearance rack so that coupon didn’t apply.  Boo!  All participants also got a nice reusable shopping bag with the Chocoholic Frolic logo on it.
Race morning, I got up around my usual time to get up for a local race as the start time for the 10K wasn’t until 9:30!!  Whoa!  But, it was freaking cold out (below freezing) when I left my apartment shortly after 6am to make the drive down to San Antonio.  I put a long sleeve white shirt on, then put my INKnBURN Miko top over that, then just one pair of red long capris and one pair of socks.  To wear until it was time to start the race, I put on one of my Old Navy jackets with thumbholes and a pair of track pants.  I was leaving so early because I was hoping to exchange my medium pullover for a small one and wanted to get there before anyone else to have the best chance at getting a small.  Well, sad news, they had no more smalls.  Ugh.  So, I’ll just sew the sides in, but have to be careful not to accidentally sew the pockets shut as I would really like to keep those as usable.
There were port-a-potties, but not many and they were not well stocked with TP.  I now (about time, right?) understand why people bring their own tissue when they run races.  Duh, there’s only so much TP in the portas!  

When the 10k start time rolled around I was sooooo ready to go.  I had a lot of nervous energy to burn off.  At this point, I am only a week until my attempt at a major marathon PR at the Austin Marathon, so nervous doesn’t really begin to describe how I am feeling during this time.  Anyway, the plan was to run at or near marathon goal pace. 

The course for the 10K was a double loop of the 5K course.  It wasn’t a super scenic course.  The first 1.3-ish miles were across a parking lot and part way down the frontage road, then back across the parking lot and then we ran through a series of soccer fields…that was nice and green and some trees.  The whole area is sponsored by Toyota so all the soccer fields were named after Toyota products (ie-Camry Field, 4Runner Field, etc).  Then we ran around Morgan’s Wonderland (a small amusement park and also the charity beneficiary of this race) and then made the loop again.  The course was short by 1/10-2/10ths of a mile.  So, it’s a good thing I wasn’t going for a new 10K PR…however you wouldn’t be able to tell that based on my official average pace of 9:29 min/mi (Garmin pace of 9:46 min/mi).  That’s about 30 seconds faster per mile than I meant to run it at.
My official results…I placed 48th out of 129 in my division (I’m not sure if this is age group or not) and then I placed 98th out of 333 females and 136th overall (393 total participants).

After you cross the finish line they hand you a water and I completely missed the chocolate bar handout (was able to go back later after I realized I didn’t get one and they gladly gave me one).  You are funneled to the events center where there are bathrooms (with TP!!!) and then you can get your chocolate fondue with dipables (pretzels, Nilla wafers, an Oreo, and half of a banana).  Since my friend Jennifer wasn’t able to run this race due to not feeling well, I didn’t hang around.  I did enter the drawing for a Yeti cooler. 

Would I do this race again?  Maybe.  I think if I had to choose between this race and the Hot Chocolate 15K in Dallas (which was the same weekend, this year at least), I would choose the Hot Chocolate.  I do love that they gave out pullovers instead of t-shirts.  I am not happy that I didn’t get a medal.  If I had run the Hot Chocolate, I would have gotten a medal.  But, if I had run the Hot Chocolate, I wouldn’t have had the option of canceling my hotel reservation as it’s about a 2.5 hour drive each way to Dallas.  So, there were pros and cons to each.  The race was fairly well orchestrated, so I have no complaints about the race itself.  I hope they consider issuing medals in the future.  They could really compete with the Hot Chocolate series if they did that.
 Got a chocolate bar instead of a finisher's medal.
 And, of course, fondue!

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