Today, I officially kicked off my race-a-month resolution of 2013 with the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 5k!
My alarm went off at 5 a.m., and I immediately checked the weather – 63 degrees and 94% humidity. In January. I was really hoping for this race to be chilly, but oh well. In what would prove to be my best decision of the day, I wore my trusty cropped Nike Dri-Fits and a tech tee from Tarjay. I scarfed my standard breakfast of oats with almond milk, peanut butter, and cinnamon before Mom snagged me at 5:45. We hit the road, driving through a foggy downtown Atlanta on the way. Couldn’t resist a blurry iPhone-from-the-car shot!
The race sold out (19,000 people total), so unsurprisingly, there was a good bit of traffic getting to the parking lots, but we were parked by 6:35, no problem. The corrals didn’t open until 7:15, so to kill some spare time, we walked around, scoping out the post-race party area; the music was already blaring, and there was a group Zumba warm-up going on that looked like a blast. Before we headed to our corrals, we took a picture with the sign I made for Mom.
I was assigned Corral C but managed to sneak back to Corral D with Mom so we could start together – sorry for being that person, race organizers, but I just had to!
Roughly nine minutes after the race officially started, our corral crossed the start line. As we ran up Capitol Avenue under the Olympic rings, I could see the Atlanta skyline shrouded in fog while “Born to Run” played in my ears. A perfect start, I’d say.
My multitasking-while-running skills are still not that great, so I have no photos of the actual course – fail of the race. There were enough hills to make the course interesting, although it wasn’t particularly scenic. We ran through a lot of Georgia State’s campus, and I caught myself getting a little nostalgic. I graduated from State five years ago, and I can still remember where what my first day on that campus was like.
Mom and I crossed the finish line holding hands (final time: 34:57) and immediately hit the water station for some non-chocolate refreshments. I was so hot and sweaty that chocolate was honestly the last thing on my mind until I guzzled some water. After our H20 fix, we walked to the Finisher’s Mug area where we waited in a very short line before a super friendly volunteer gave us our mugs. Look how cute!
We popped a squat in the middle of the madness of the Turner Field Green Lot and enjoyed our chocolate. The pretzels seemed to suffer from the humidity, but the hot chocolate and marshmallow, banana, rice krispie treat, and fondue hit the spot!
Final verdict: even though I was hoping for much cooler weather, the Hot Chocolate 5k was a really fun and well-organized race, and I’m so glad we kicked off January and our next two months of half-marathon training by running it. Major shoutouts to RAM Racing and all of the friendly volunteers who made the race such an enjoyable experience!