On February 9th, Amy and I decided to split the distance and travel to Dallas for the Hot Chocolate 5K! I originally wanted to do the 15K, but once I saw you had to maintain a 15 minute or better mile, I knew it was probably best to stick with the 5K this time around. I have driven through Dallas many times but have never stayed there. It’s fair to say, it wasn’t the best trip!
Amy and I went to the expo on Friday to pick up our race packets. I fully expected something fun but there were very few people there and not many vendors. Fail. The best thing that came from it was the swag!
The race bag was pretty cool. Mine was red and Amy’s was blue…we decided to switch! The only thing in the bag was the technical hoodie. I have to say, I really like this sucker! It’s quite comfy. The inside of the hood is orange to match “Chocolate”. There was a vendor there with Biscoff cookie spread. We had seen some people leaving with cartons of this stuff. We could either choose a carton (12 jars) of one type of spread or we could take 1 of the crunchy jars and 1 of the creamy jars. Amy and I opted for taking one of each since we weren’t entirely sure what it would taste like. It’s extremely non-nutritious! Basically, it’s just ground of cookies to make a spread. The crunchy was delicious and I swear laced with crack. That’s beside the point…
After the expo we went and watched “Side Effect” at an old mall that had half of their stores closed and the other half weren’t really worth shopping in. Oh, there was a tattoo parlor too. You know…just in case you want to get some ink done while you’re there. We also found a local BBQ place for lunch which was quite good!
The next morning we left earlier than planned, which was a good thing since the race organizers and Dallas Police really made a mess of things. Originally we were told we could use gates 5-12 to park. When we got there, they only had gates 9 and 10 open. They were funneling 12,000 participants through 2 gates. The police weren’t really directing traffic well either. On top of that, they closed down the extra lanes which forced everyone into one lane. Ok, fine…but did you really have to close them off so 3 lanes were merging into 1 in the same spot? Not very good planning…and, the police directing traffic? No where to be seen in those areas. Well planned, Dallas, well planned.
We parked a mile away from the start line/corrals…yep a mile! So, we got a bit of a warm-up in on our way! It was in the 40′s, maybe right at 50 (can’t remember exactly), so that extra walking at least got us a little bit of heat started on the way to the corrals.
We passed the area where you pick up your goodies at the end and saw an odd sign:
We were wondering if we were supposed to use that area to lay down in once we finished the race!
Since Amy and I are not the fastest of runners we were in the very last corral, Corral G.
We had just enough time to cool back off before the race started! Everyone was bouncing around trying to stay warm. This is us before!
They let all of the corrals go one at a time. Once A was gone, we waited 3 minutes and they let B go. While it is a good idea to allow a little bit of space, I was ready to go!!
We finally got to the start and were able to get the party started.
The horn blew and we were off. It felt good to get moving and start warming up some. The weather was perfect for running, not so much for standing around! We were a little packed together at the beginning, but much better than several of the other larger races I’ve done. This one was by far the largest I’ve ever done though.
The trail mainly went around the streets surrounding the Cotton Bowl area.
We had an overpass with a view of Downtown. To infiniti and beyond!
Toward the end there was a live band playing…that was pretty awesome!
Finally, we reached the finish line with a time of 49:40. Amy beat me by 1/100th of a second!
It was after we crossed the finish line that I understood the “No Sitting or Standing” sign!
The line was well managed to get your hot chocolate. We didn’t have to wait at all.
We threw caution to the wind and sat our happy butts right next to the sign and enjoyed our hot chocolate and various goodies to dip in the chocolate fondue!
While the route to get in to the park was a mess, the race itself was well organized. While I enjoyed the race, the stress of the traffic before and after left a bitter taste in my mouth. If I do this race again, it will be if it comes to Houston or Austin. I won’t be going back to Dallas!