Tag Archives: Dallas

Hot Chocolate 5K, Dallas, Texas

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!

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.

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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.

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We passed the area where you pick up your goodies at the end and saw an odd sign:

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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.

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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!

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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!!

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We finally got to the start and were able to get the party started.

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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.

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The trail mainly went around the streets surrounding the Cotton Bowl area.

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We had an overpass with a view of Downtown. To infiniti and beyond!

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Toward the end there was a live band playing…that was pretty awesome!

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Finally, we reached the finish line with a time of 49:40. Amy beat me by 1/100th of a second! šŸ˜€

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It was after we crossed the finish line that I understood the “No Sitting or Standing” sign!

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The line was well managed to get your hot chocolate. We didn’t have to wait at all.

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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!

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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!

 

 

ChocolateĀ andĀ Steers

My mother and I went to Dallas/Fort Worth a few years ago to explore the Stockyards. I had been to Dallas a few times, but I had never gone to the Stockyards, so this was going to be an interesting trip.

On the way, what did we see?

We couldn’t very well pass up the opportunity to see all of the yummy … smooth … delicious chocolate!

With our bags and tummies full of the sweet stuff, we continued the rest of the way to Fort Stockton and the stockyards.

The stockyards were originally called the Union Stockyards and were open for business in 1889. Once the railroad came through that area (1878) it was decided that that area would be good for the shipping of livestock. Unfortunately, the builders didn’t have enough money left to fill the pens with enough livestock to make local ranchers want to invest in them. So, they reached out to Greenlief Simpson, a well known Bostonian, to see if he would be interested in investing into the stockyards. By the time Mr. Simpson arrived, the pens were overflowing with livestock due to harsh rain and road conditions keeping the train from arriving on time. He decided it would be worth the purchase and included some of his other friends as investors, including a meat packer. Together they paid $133,333.33 for the Union Stockyards in 1893 and changed the name to the Fort Worth Stockyards Company.

The new Livestock Exchange building, pens and barn were erected in 1902 and still stand today.

The Stockyards has become one of the top tourist attractions for Texas. There are several shops that line the main street and a couple of restaurants. Unfortunately, most shops don’t like you taking pictures!

Part of the attraction of the Stockyards is the fact that it’s still active and at a certain time of the day they move the longhorns from one pen to another and make a show of the cattle run through the streets.

There are riders on horseback to make sure the animals don’t go crazy and start stampeding. After all, they are still wild!

But, they’re beautiful animals!

While you’re there, you also have the option of taking a picture sitting on one of the longhorns. This is just outside of the original Livestock Exchange Building. They still have auctions originating from this building via video and satellite feeds. Welcome to the 21st century!

Historical information gathered from The Stockyards website.