Race recaps

Chocolate 5k Recap (22:08) *

I wasn’t going to do a race recap for this one because I’m still a little turned off by this race but I’ll do it anyways to ward off those who consider doing this race next year.

The Chocolate 5K was a race that was put on by some directors that were from Indiana. When I first saw it listed as a race coming to the area I hesitated to sign up for it. If you know me, you know that I heavily warn against themed races. They tend to bail at the last minute and leave people out their fee money. I waited on this one until I saw that it was a race I could use for the Charleston Running Club Grand Prix race series. Basically a contest between those of us in the running club based on points we earn for how we do in races that give the running club a discount. Once I saw I could use it for that, I decided to sign up.

I mean, could you blame me? I had visions of chocolate overload based on how this race describes itself. There were promises of chocolate stations, as well as chocolate before & after the event. If anything, it would be a way for me to try out something new and this race was benefiting a local charity.

This race was bogus to me. It was exactly what I feared it would be. A cliche, poorly organized, “out to make profits off me” themed 5K. I arrived that morning a little early to get my race packet. It had my bib, my timer chip that went on my shoes, two ghiradelli chocolate squares, and my t-shirt. I was pretty skeptical at this point as the people in charge of handing out bibs were children who were writing what number bib they gave us next to our name. So clearly this stuff wasn’t taken care of before hand which led me to know they weren’t going to have live results either. I hung out in my car for a little bit until I saw Reyna show up.

We talked for a bit about how empty everything was… I didn’t see any prizes anywhere. Normally when you pay $30 for a timed race they have overall awards and age group awards. Most races like to show these off before the race, it helps pump people up when they see what they can win! So as I went to the bathroom before the race was going to start, Reyna asked the race director if there were any age group awards and he laughed at her and snickered “no.” I found this a little interesting and it led me to slack off during the run too. 15 minutes before the race started, the director raffled off 3 lazy boy couches that I guess were donated by QVC. Also very strange. These obviously weren’t at the race either and based on the picture online, were extremely hideous. How about instead of raffling off 3 lazy boy chairs you ask for cool age group prize donations. I mean, this was a chocolate 5k, couldn’t they at least have given the overall and age group winners a big chocolate bar.

Apparently the original course was very muddy, so they decided to change the course the night before the race. The course was at Laurel Hill Plantation, so it was basically a muddy trail run. We headed to the starting line and mentally I had already checked out. I wasn’t going to kill myself on a muddy trail run with no prizes when I have the i5k on Thursday that I want to rock.

Melissa was at this race and she’s much faster than I am. I decided to just try and keep her in my sights for the race and get it over with so I can have lots of chocolate. The race advertised “Chocolate stations” on the course. Apparently that means a volunteer handing you two more ghiradelli squares. At the water stop and at the turn around at the halfway point you could get 2 more chocolate squares. Not exactly what I expected out of chocolate stations. The whole race I had to spend looking at the ground so I didn’t fall over the tree roots or the rocks. At the end of the race a guy in front of me face planted pretty hard after tripping. Thankfully he was alright. I kept Melissa in my line of vision for as long as possible and then just started thinking about my goals for Thursday’s race.

I came up on the finish line as the second overall female winner. I think the race director overheard some of us complaining that there were no awards because he gave Melissa and I  a certificate to use at RaceID website for $15. I don’t think he had originally planned on giving those to us since he did tell Reyna there were no prizes. The end of the race you were allowed 3 more small chocolate squares, 1 KIND chocolate granola bar and some weird chocolate flavored drink. They also had bottled water available. Here is another place I think this race could have done so much more. All together I got 5 chocolate squares ( I didn’t grab any on the course because I didn’t want to hold and smoosh chocolates in my hand as I was running) that I could have got from Publix for $1. I really expected this race to be chocolate overload. You can’t advertise yourself as a Chocolate 5k and then give people a hand full of chocolate squares as your only chocolate. It wasn’t any special chocolate or anything, just the same kind we get in the grocery store.

This race didn’t really draw out a large competitive running crowd. There were only about 200 people there. I got 2.98 for the distance of the course, so I’m not counting my time at this one as a real race time. Some people claimed to have gotten 3.4 on their gps and a bunch of us that I know had a short course. The chip time for me was 22:08 regardless, which would be a post pregnancy PR for me but again, I’m not counting it because I don’t trust it. I did ask on their facebook page how much of the race proceeds went to the charity because for $30 I expected a lot more out of this race. Only 15%, which means $4.50 of my $30 went to the cause. I much rather have slept in and just donated $30 directly to the charity. I made a few comments on their facebook event complaining about it and I was caught with a lot of push back from others. I don’t think these people race a lot or do a lot of runs or else they would have been a little annoyed at the lack of stuff for the runners.

If this race wants to be  a “fun run” that isn’t about the time or prizes, then they need to charge a lot less. I’ve done races here in Charleston for $20 that have tons of food, tons of prizes, medals for all runners etc so I’m curious where this $30 fee comes from because it clearly did not go to having lots and lots of chocolate for me to go into a chocolate coma afterwards like I was hoping.

Okay enough of my ranting. I don’t suggest this race. To me, it’s just not worth the money. When I pay for a race, I want to get my money’s worth and I want more money going to the cause it’s supporting. I will never race this one again. Here is to a light week of prep for the i5k on Thursday night. I’m also working on a post about hydration with some of my favorite items that I use for training and races.







7 thoughts on “Chocolate 5k Recap (22:08) *

  1. Gah. Yeah, if they’re going to do a themed fun run, they need to go all out and lose the timing. Things like the Electric Run and the Zombie Run are fun runs with no timing or awards, but they go all out. Like crazy all out. There was a helicopter at the Zombie Run and even though I don’t really like themed runs, they did it really well (so did the Electric Run – that was amazing). But yeah, they should have just bagged the timing because it’s frustrating for people who expect a regular timed race. It’s like they had one foot in both race worlds and that doesn’t really work that well. Fun run or competitive timed. Pick one and do it really, really well. They also should have noted that it was a trail run (I figured it out based on the location, but there wouldn’t be a way for other people who aren’t familiar with that location to know that).


    1. That is the best way to describe it. They fell in the middle of each type of run. If they had described themselves as a fun run, I wouldn’t have been so upset about the lack of awards. I also probably wouldn’t have done it because $30 is a lot for a fun run. However, if they had chocolate overload there, then I could see the justification of $30. A handful of Ghiradelli squares and the chocolate drink they offered were not enough to call themselves a “chocolate 5k.” It was a 35 minute drive for me out to that race too, so I’m a little peeved I spent so much time driving to and from this race, wasting my morning, with high hopes of lots of chocolate and a fun race and didn’t get anything close to what I expected.


  2. I once ran a race that was so terrible I could not think of anything good to say about it, so I didn’t recap it. It only occurred one year, although the planner is a local and plans other events. It was also a themed race.

    I read your comments on the Facebook event, along with Reyna’s, and I liked both of them because y’all made good points. I saw the backlash because I was Facebook creeping (haha), but I didn’t see much of it from any names I recognized from other local races, either. I understand that this was a charity race, but that is no excuse. Almost every race in this area benefits a charity and the others offer awards and generally care about the runners. I think that’s what upsets me the most about what I’ve seen- it doesn’t seem like this race gave a rip about the people who came out. I’d be extremely upset to find that only $4.50 went to the charity. If a large percentage did, I’d understand or even appreciate the lack of amenities.

    I guess you have to pay for gas to go back to Indiana somehow, though…


    1. They definitely didn’t care about the runners. They said “thank you for coming out” before the walkers were even done with the race. If more of my fee had gone to the charity, I wouldnt be as upset. But for me, it was a 35 minute drive to the race. So the fact that only $4.50 went to the charity upsets me. I could have laid in bed and just donated that money straight to the organization instead. I could have saved time and gas money. It just didn’t live up to this big hype that they tried to make it sound like. It’s almost false advertisement to me.


      1. It sounded like it to me too and boy was that chocolate run talked up on the internet. The donut run looked like it was way more fun and well organized.

        I thought the recliner raffle was kind of weird as well. It’s not a huge deal now, but I could imagine winning that last year when I had the tiny car, and Clay had a tiny car, and we would have no way to get the prize home… haha.


      2. The recliner raffle sounds like it was super weird. What on earth did that have to do with chocolate? This race needed elaborate chocolate stations at the finish (at the very least) and if it was truly a fun, untimed novelty run, it needed several chocolate stations while participants ran, walked, or ate their way through the course. And chocolate medallions for all finishers because they shouldn’t be timing it. But all of that would raise the price, I’m sure. The Zombie Run was something like $40 or $50 and the Electric Run was about the same (but you got a freaking concert at the end of it, too). Side note: looks like the Zombie Run finally added medals for the survivors (I guess enough people complained about that one because it was hard to survive and I was pissed that I didn’t get anything for it!).


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