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The Hot Chocolate 15K - Run15k

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Chicago, Illinois
United States
RAM racing
35F / 2C
Total Time = 1h 12m 35s
Overall Rank = 907/12368
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 110/824
Pre-race routine:

Got up around 5:45 had breakfast, walked the dog and then my wife and neigbor and I hopped in the car and headed down to the race. Parked in Grant Park underground lot.

As we were walking to the race we ran into Coredump and Whizzzz and a couple of their friends. Hung out with them for a while and then headed to gear check. The gear check was really crowded but they did actually have a decent amount of volunteers this time. The biggest issue was they had the gear check and the entrance to the corrals to close to each other. 30k people in that small of an area made it tight.
Event warmup:

Was too crowded for any type of warmup. Got into the corrals and pushed my self up to the front of the open corral with Anne (my wife) and Coredump. Did some jogging in place and stretched and then waited for the gun to go off.
  • 1h 12m 35s
  • 9.32 miles
  • 07m 47s  min/mile

I used the first 2 miles to warmup as I didn't get a warmup in and it was really cold. This is a very very crowded race. I spent a lot of time running around people. If you can't run a fast pace or are walking please do not start in the front of the corral and walk 5 across. It is a huge pet peeve of mine.

Once I got a couple of miles in and my legs loosened up I was able to start running some. I felt good running. If I was able to get a warmup in I probably would have been able to go faster. With how cold it was I didn't want to let loose in the beginning and pull anything.
What would you do differently?:

Get a warmup in. Only do this race again if I can get an A Corral start. Otherwise it was way to crowded.
Post race
Warm down:

Got my gear (only had a to wait a few minutes). Met up with my wife, Coredump and my neighbor. Grabbed some fondue and Hot Chocolate and headed home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

No Warmup, too crowded of a race. Course was very narrow. Need to ensure I get an A corral if I do this race again or I won't be back. It was too crowded and bordered on being dangerous.

Event comments:

Last year I was very harsh on this race and RAM in general. I still don't have much respect for RAM races and think there is a lot they can improve on.

However, they were fairly organized this year. The biggest issues were the gear check again. They had it too close to the start corrals and it was a massive congestion. I was lucky enough to finish quickly and only had a few people in line to retrieve my gear. I heard it was really bad later on.

The other issue is the overall size of this race. The course was too narrow for this many people and they didn't do a good enough job stressing that you need to start in the proper corral for your pace. You shouldn't start in the 8 minute corral if you are going to walk.

I'm on the fence if I will do this race again. There is a lot they did improve on from last year, but they have a ways to go.

If you are going to do this race, be prepared for the unorganized aspect of it and the crowds. Do not expect a PR in a race like this as it is just too big.

Last updated: 2010-09-20 12:00 AM
01:12:35 | 9.32 miles | 07m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 110/824
Overall: 907/12368
Performance: Good
Course: Started on Columbus and headed south down to LSD. Cut under LSD to McCromick Place. Through the tunnel there and onto the running path. Turned around at the Museum of Science and Industry and headed back north. Ran on a gravel trail with some big rocks. Was a little dangerous. Headed around the Shedd and back up to Columbus to the finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2010-11-07 11:22 AM

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Subject: The Hot Chocolate 15K
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