Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K packet pick up/expo recap!

I haven’t been blogging much.  I suppose this is due to the fact I haven’t been ‘doing’ much other than trying to keep my head above water while juggling a career, kids, and home life while my husband travels a lot.  Some days go smoothly of course, while others seem to whiz by in a whirlwind of errands, running kids around, and trying to keep tasks complete at work. 

So although I momentarily thought of not running my scheduled race this weekend, I quickly reminded myself that I never quit anything I set out to do in life. 

Today I was fortunate enough to take a day off work so that I could head downtown to the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k packet pick up and expo.  I was more so fortunate to go with my dear friend Carolyn while making a new friend (Melissa)!  We had smart (so we thought) plans of getting downtown fairly early, but little did we know we would be met by HUGE lines, and said lines being formed up OUTSIDE.   This wouldn’t be a big deal for most runners across the U.S. but for us here in Chicago with blustery winds and dropping temperatures, these outside lines made things…well…interesting. 



We could have complained, and we did allow ourselves some negative banter…but for the most part we just enjoyed each other’s company while moving slowing through the lines.  About ¾ quarters of the way through we were delighted in the fact we got a tiny shot of hot cocoa but sadly by then my fingers and toes were numb. This packet pick up was POORLY organized we realized after heading inside the tent to find only 9 stations for 15k’rs, and 6 stations for the 5k’rs.  WHAT?  The tent was sprawled out with nearly 90% of the space being occupied by vendors, and only 10% being coordinated for packet pick up.  Once you got your packet in hand the space was nearly unoccupied.  This being said while thousands of people were wrapped around the parking lot near Solider Field.  (And to the guy who showed up in flip flops, I have to ask, REALLY???)


All said and done, we got our packets and headed back towards the burbs to find lunch…nearly dinner at this point, but laughed, talked, and shared funny stories while of course Jeep waving everyone possible.  Once home I started nearly immediately packing for the weekend festivities and my heart felt good…I know this race won’t be a PR, but it will be miles underneath my feet. 


I have missed running terribly.  I not only do it for the physical aspect of being in shape, but running truly is my therapy.  Although I am a bit out of the running circuit since the marathon, I hope this race is my jump start to redemption.  The best part of it all is that I get to stay downtown with some amazing women, and I get to run with some awesome people.  I have learned that if you surround yourself with amazing people, you in turn feel AMAZING.  Isn’t that what life is all about?

Last tid bit, I have to give kudos to the volunteers that helped out today.  I know they must have gotten pummeled by irritated runners, but I quietly thanked them with a smile and a nod, and one guy nearly got teary because he was so thankful for my positive attitude.  It can’t be easy to volunteer for such a huge event, so way to go guys and gals.  You may not have organized this event, but your diligence to put up with thousands of cranky people is amazing. 

8 thoughts on “Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K packet pick up/expo recap!”

  1. Someone came I to my store yesterday complaining about the pick up. He said he waited for an hour and a half in line, which is kind of crazy! Years ago when I did this race the pick up was in the UIC basketball stadium and last year I think it was in Union Station, wonder why they chose this location this year? Good luck and have fun! Don't forget to drownd yourself in chocolate afterwards!


  2. I agree the expo was awful. They did have some cute shirts…I really liked the purple one that I see you got, but I was so frustrated with them I didn't wan to give them more money. Hope you enjoyed yourself today!


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