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?

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