As early (late?) as the Jeff Galloway 13.1 in December, I'd thought about signing up for the Hot Chocolate 15K as a warm-up for the Publix Georgia Half Marathon in March. But after I set a new PR in the Red Nose Half Marathon a few weeks ago, I decided that a few weeks of rest were in good order.
So I decided to see if the wife would be interested in a last-minute entry to the race, as she also is training to run in the Publix half marathon. It also seemed like good timing on her schedule, as her longest run was 7 miles a few weeks before. (The 15K was her longest run since running more than 8 miles with me in Battersea Park in London in December 2011 when she was five months pregnant!)
Although we thought we were going to go to the expo on Saturday, we decided to go on Friday after she got home from work since it seemed at the time possible that the roads might be messy Saturday morning.
The roads were clear and the expo was a great treat, especially when local races that require packet pick-up increasingly have shied away from expos and instead have runners pick up their bibs from specialty running stores.
Lots around the Georgia World Congress Center were charging as much as $15 (!), we parked in the Yellow/Gold deck that is in between the center's Building C and the Georgia Dome. It only cost us $3 for the time we were there.
Almost as expected, the hot chocolate expo had plenty of hot chocolate. They had chocolate-dipped marshmallows and the little guy particularly loved drinking hot chocolate. We were able to pick up some race-day items at the Big Peach booth and I was able to sign up for the Big Peach Sizzler 10K on site instead of registering online.
|The little guy loved his hot chocolate!|
It was a good test of my winter gear -- I wore two long-sleeved technical T-shirts and a windbreaker and my Brooks Spartan pants. My hat came off around Mile 8 and while I wore gloves the entire time, they were two different kinds -- my index finger of my left hand was really cold wearing a fancier North Face pair while my right hand was very warm in a pair of simple cotton gloves The Weather Channel gave out at the end of the 2008 Thanksgiving Half-Marathon.
Race day worked well. I drove on Boulevard down to Atlanta Avenue and drove up Hank Aaron Drive from the south as far as I could go to avoid race day road closures and dropped off the wife. The race's text alerts worked perfectly and although my wife has only had time to run about 12 miles a week, she ran the first 5K and 10K portions of the race at an 8:20/mile pace and finished at an 8:31/mile pace!
Definitely sounded like a very well-put together race. It was nice to not be racing and I could just enjoy things like the expo without worrying about how I was going to do the next day during the race.