This is Sweet News!
Today it was announced that "America's Sweetest Race" is coming to Tampa on December 18, 2016. Yep, that's right — it's the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k. Hooray running and chocolate!
I've been eyeing this race for awhile. Sadly, the closest event was in Atlanta, and conflicted with another race on my schedule. Now I can run it right here in my own backyard.
15k and 5k Races
There are two distances: 15k and 5k. The course starts and finishes in the same place. The exact location of the USTAF certified course in downtown Tampa hasn't been posted yet.
There will be pacers for 7 min. up to 15 min. per mile runners. Sign up for live runner tracking during the race.
Swag (Stuff We All Get)
According to the website, all participants receive a zip front Hot Chocolate Race hooded jacket, AND a keepsake finishers mug filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and dippable goodies. There will be DJ playing music and a kids play zone at the finish line. Free race photos will be available for download.
15k Finishers Medal
Only the 15k finishers receive the unique candy bar medal shown below. It has a removable Tampa insert you can pop out and use as a fridge magnet.
Register before 8/14/16 for the best prices
Registration begins at $69 for the 15k, and $39 for the 5k if you sign up before August 14th. After that prices increase a couple of times and top out at $79/15k and $54/5k. You can register for the Hot Chocolate Run here. #HC15kTampa
While it's true you don't have to buy a bike, boat, clubs or a racquet to become a runner, you will need some equipment. My recommendation is to get the right shoes, socks and clothes to improve your chances of success.
If you fall in love with running, you'll get plenty of use out of your new gear. If you decide you don't like the sport, you can look fast while running errands.
Must Haves for New Old Runners
1. Real running shoes.
Not walking shoes, not yard shoes, not plastic molded shoes. Real running shoes.
• Go to a specialty running store and get fitted.
• Don't be shy, everyone there wants to help you. They love new runners.
• Learn about your stride and what shoes work best for your feet.
• See what size you need for running. You'll need a larger size than everyday shoes.
• Expect sticker shock. You don't have to buy the shoes today. Think about it.
• Right now, you just need information specific to your feet.
• Once you know your size and type of running shoes, research deals online and at other stores. Watch for discounts, closeouts and tent sales. I've purchased $110 shoes for $30 at end-of-season tent sales.
2. Socks that wick away sweat.
These used to be hard to find in mainstream stores, but I see them everywhere now.
• Materials that are a combo of polyester, nylon and elastane.
• Look for cushioned heel and toes.
• A heel tab prevents the sock from sliding down into your shoe.
• Names like Drifit, Hidden Dri, Friction Free.
• Synthetic socks will wick away sweat and prevent blisters.
Bonus Tip: I always wear two pairs of socks and have been blister-free for years.
3. Clothes made from performance material.
Lose the cotton. Seriously. I don't care if the shirt has a hilarious saying about running on it. Cotton is not your friend when you are running and sweating.
• Performance materials are synthetic and lightweight. They help pull away sweat.
• Why is that important? Because wet cotton next to your skin will lead to chafing and blisters and overheating.
• You can find affordable performance active wear in outlet stores, discount stores, and online.
• Enter a race and they usually give you a performance wear t-shirt. Boom! Now you have another workout shirt.
Okay, so what is this going to cost you?
These are generalizations on pricing. I've found terrific deals at specialty store tent sales, and outlet stores. Look for good prices at the end of season sales.
Socks, 2 Pairs: $6-$20
Remember, these purchases are an investment in your success. You are so worth it!
This is where you'll find me writing instead of running. (But, you know I'll be writing about running, right?)
Remember, I am not a running coach. I don't even play one on TV. Please ask your doctor or professional for advice specific to your body.
I just want to share what has worked for me. It's my hope that this website informs and inspires so you can enjoy an active, healthy and happy lifestyle.
Please feel free to contact me by email or social media with any questions or concerns.
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