Hot Chocolate 15k/5K DC 2011

Saturday, December 3rd 2011 at 12:00 AM 137 National Plaza National Harbor, 20745 MD
5K and 15K
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Race Reports

  • Stephanie S.

    The Hot Chocolate Fail-K

    Ok, first a disclaimer: my friends and I fully expected this to be a full-blown cluster after reading about Chicago, but we decided to go anyway.

    I've seen events on the order of 15k - 20k at National Harbor. It's crowded and chaotic, but doable with good logistics. I live 15 minutes away, left over an hour early, and still spent almost two hours in the car. The parking attendants had no idea what was going on and wouldn't let us use our pass until we circled around to the Gaylord and found a person to flag us in to the first lot off the highway *after* they tried to get us to pay at the Gaylord $16 lot. We even had a MoCo cop ask us if we knew where people were supposed to park! Poor cop, she was so frustrated! No updates--nothing--about the race starting late until right before on Facebook. I was driving, so why not an update on WTOP? Also, a text or email would have been appreciated. We made it to the start too late to run, got our chocolate anyway, then ran our own 5k in Old Town, Alexandria, where we ran into several other race deserters. Solidarity!

    On a positive note, the port-o-potties were plentiful and clean, and the chocolate was very nice.

    Verdict: will not run again, especially given the cost.

    by Stephanie S.
  • Heather B.

    Very Poorly Executed

    This was my first event and I was excited about it, even nervous, but after starting an hour late in 30 degree temps and not being able to feel my lower half and then running in the traffic that was the course, I am highly dissatisfied. My overall time suffered because the first 1/2 mile of the course was mandatory walking because of the congestion of the narrow course, then there were the absolute stoppages because of the narrowing in some parts of the course. Not to mention the hazards of the waterfront portion of the race, and then finally being able to run near the first water station is unacceptable. I hope future events that I participate in are run more smoothly.

    by Heather B.
  • User_avatar

    Hot Chocolate 5K

    It was super cold, super crowded and started late. The jacket was cheap, I would have rather gotten a T-shirt.

    Deleted User
  • Colin C.

    Hot Chocolate 15k

    The Good: I ran fast for me. I made the same mistakes that I continue to make on races - start out way too fast, pay for it in the end. I was doing 7 minute and sub 7's for the first 4 miles. Killing it. Then I couldn't regulate my breathing and paid the price. Still ran a good race and I'm pleased with my finish time.
    The Bad: Horribly organized race. Parking was miserable. Start was delayed over an hour. Course was too narrow for the number of entrants. The switchbacks were terrible too. Self serve water at some stations? Parking lots a mile away from the finish line. Finish expo a quarter mile uphill from finish line? Poor poor planning all the way around.
    The Ugly: social media sites are showing these mistakes tenfold. RAM Racing is going to have to figure out how to take care of the 20,000 angry runners that are telling everyone to stay away from their events. I'm on that list - stay away from their events.

    by Colin C.
See All 8 Reviews <span class="more_arrow" style="padding: 0 10px"> </span>


  • Kevin B Q.
    Kevin B Q.

    Worst, most poorly organized race I have ever run.

    almost 7 years ago
  • Carol H.
    Carol H.

    Anybody run this one before? the chicago race got a lot of bad press from runners about the race jackets really just being hoodies and no chocolate! I was excited until I saw all of that....

    almost 7 years ago
  • Carol H.
    Carol H.

    sorry about the double post- deleted

    almost 7 years ago

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