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Hot Chocolate 5k - Run5k


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United States
Ram Racing
35F / 2C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

let's see, where to start? After back-up on the highway due to exceptionally poor planning and a race field purportedly totalling 22,000, ended up in wrong parking garage due to misdirection. Walked about a mile to the start, only to wait 47 minutes past the posted start time because people were still pouring in.
Event warmup:

Trying to maintain feeling in my toes. Jumping the fence to get into the first corral to start, once we finally got going.
Run
  • 35m
  • 3.11 miles
  • 11m 15s  min/mile
What would you do differently?:

Not even bother!!
Post race
Warm down:

Big draw was supposed to be all the Ghiardelli chocolate post-race. We got nacho trays with a few snacks & the promised liquid chocolate..then told to "hurry along, move along, clear the area..." and if you really did as told, the chocolate started to solidify before you got to a place to stop! Hot chocolate was like swiss miss. No real post-race food like bananas or bagels, and heard there wasn't enough water at the end. Walked back to parking area to wait for carpool-mates, only to feel like salmon swimming upstream as my path back was now on the 15K course!

Event comments:

This was truly a clusterF on multiple levels, and without a doubt the most poorly organized race I've ever been in or heard of, from start to finish....so bad it's actually comical that a race organizer could find so many ways to screw up. The "race jackets" were glorified trash bags with sleeves, ran way too small, and some reportedly had logos from other cities' races....and apparently packet pickup was a nightmare. If you didn't have a car - as many in the city don't - you had to have a friend who did & could get it for you. Adding insult to injury, the 45-60 minute delays for both the 5K and 15K, 5K starting /ending before 15K started, and the organizers reportedly lied about some reportedly bogus traffic accident en route being the cause of the delays (that that had been a legit reason for delayed RAM race start in another city). Also they apparently deleted some negative posts on their FB page, yet with the hundreds of negative posts still there, can't imagine what they thought that would accomplish except to engender more ill will. Had some fun with my friends & shopping at National Harbor, but WILL NEVER PARTICIPATE IN ANOTHER RAM EVENT EVER AGAIN...tho happy to host a BYOC run for my friends in the park next year. Another friend reminded me that there are silver linings everywhere, and while I absolutely agree with that 100%, it doesn't change what a disaster of a race RAM put on.




Last updated: 2011-09-13 12:00 AM
Running
00:35:00 | 03.11 miles | 11m 15s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance:
Course: This is fun, too. Jumped fence, so presumably with folks maintaining under 10 minute pace. Started with short downhill, then quickly narrowed to very narrow (2-4 folks abreast narrow) gravel path along the Potomac River...the same path that the 15K-ers were using to walk in the opposite direction (towards/into us) to get to their race start! Needless to say, it was a total clusterF*. At one point we were maintaining a whopping 13:30 pace, and yet folks were still deluded into thinking they could maintain a reasonable pace and make an end run around the bottleneck - I'm only surprised no one ended up slipping into the river. Once the path widened, it went up a long steepish hill - surprising for a 5K, and a a few other hills to boot. (Did I mention the short, dark, narrow tunnel in which it was very difficult to literally see people in front of you if you happened to have sunglasses or transition lenses like me?). Last .35 mile or so was uphill - construction zone? Just lovely, really.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized? No
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2011-12-03 5:20 PM

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Extreme Veteran
643
50010025
metro DC
Subject: Hot Chocolate 5k


2011-12-03 6:26 PM
in reply to: #3925018

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Master
2563
20005002525
University Park, MD
Subject: RE: Hot Chocolate 5k
Sorry to hear it - there are countless similar reviews out there on the 'net by now, almost all just as annoyed. Sounds like a disaster. And their Chicago race got similar reviews.
2011-12-04 6:23 AM
in reply to: #3925070

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Champion
6503
50001000500
NOVA - Ironic for an Endurance Athlete
Subject: RE: Hot Chocolate 5k
Sorry that you wasted your morning.  Sounds like this race series is toast!
2011-12-04 10:58 AM
in reply to: #3925018

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Extreme Veteran
643
50010025
metro DC
Subject: RE: Hot Chocolate 5k
yeah, thanks. And I'm all for finding silver linings, but to spend that kind of money for such a series of successive cluster-f's, plus poor course planning - for both the 5k & 15k - that compromised safety (and couldn't have been deduced from the map of the course), including but not limited to standing around delays of an hour in 35 degree temps, is just nuts. Irony of it is, they posted on FB yesterday afternoon or evening that management was meeting and would have a statement soon, and still haven't followed up - they had (have?) an opportunity for damage control here and the passing of time seems to be eliminating the likelihood of that happening.... And yeah, read about the other cities last night too...what a shame. Could be nice folks with the best of intentions, but....
2011-12-04 6:17 PM
in reply to: #3925018

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Expert
1631
100050010025
Illinois
Subject: RE: Hot Chocolate 5k
Wow, that's a shame the race was so mismanaged. Looks like you made the best of it though!
2011-12-04 8:19 PM
in reply to: #3925018

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Expert
1358
10001001001002525
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Hot Chocolate 5k
I stopped doing RAM events two years ago. It sucks because they have bought up a lot of really good races around Chicago. They've been pulling the same crap for years here. I did do the South Shore Tri because I just really wanted to do the venue, and it was a bit better than the others so I thought maybe they were turning over a new leaf, but apparently not. It's all over Facebook, hundreds of people super pissed off...I think they are calling the Chicago stores to complain. Crazy.


2011-12-05 7:59 AM
in reply to: #3925018

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Master
2725
200050010010025
Washington, DC Metro
Subject: RE: Hot Chocolate 5k

Heard about this all day long... sorry you had to live it. 

2011-12-05 10:59 AM
in reply to: #3925018

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Regular
641
50010025
Chicago
Subject: RE: Hot Chocolate 5k
I'm sorry you had such a bad race - the Running Away Multisport store in Chicago is excellent, but the organization's racing team is terrible. I was really surprised to hear that they were taking Hot Chocolate national when the Chicago race has been considerly less than perfect the past few years.
2011-12-05 3:59 PM
in reply to: #3925018

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Champion
14401
5000500020002000100100100100
Gold member
Subject: RE: Hot Chocolate 5k
And to think I was jealous. Glad you got a silver lining from it at least.
2011-12-05 5:38 PM
in reply to: #3925018

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Extreme Veteran
643
50010025
metro DC
Subject: RE: Hot Chocolate 5k

It's funny, I've never been to a race that's perfect - hell, what's perfect anyway? It's supposed to be all about the run (or whatever you're doing), fellow athletes, etc, and we all know stuff happens even with the best of planning & intentions, so I generally take all this stuff in stride. And, I had a pretty decent day all things considered. BUT, this just wasn't right.. Nuff said. I just figured that adding my RR might help save someone else the hassle, bc hard to envision something could be so screwed up!

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