Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hot Chocolate Run

A few months ago, we were chatting in lab about the fact that the Hot Chocolate Run was coming up in December and almost everyone expressed an interest in participating. So we signed up as a group, "Beaker Full of Flakes", our name being a homage to our day jobs. We even had a slightly disastrous t-shirt making party using my Yudu machine (I've made countless t-shirts and never had problems with the thing before, go figure it has performance anxiety when I have to show a group of people). The race sold out a few days before Thanksgiving - a whopping 5,500 participants! I saw it featured in Rachael Ray Magazine a few months back, I'm sure that helped!

On Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early to get to the walk, which started at 9:30 AM. I considered running for a few minutes when I signed up. I figured 3 miles wasn't a bad thing and I could probably pull that off if I trained a little. I ended up signing up for the walk, what can I say, I've got bad knees. 

We were told to corral up at about 9 AM. I waited a bit for another one of my lab mates, Kasie to join me for the walk. All our other lab mates were doing the run, which started at 10 AM.

It was amazing how busy the walk was. I'd say that about half of the participants did the walk and half did the run. Out of the gate, we passed by the local news filming the run, apparently interviewing a polar bear.

Speaking of costumes, people really went all out. We saw everything from Santa to polar bears, to cows, to these guys. How they ran in these things is beyond me.

It was a super foggy morning, you could hardly see a thing.

The race started on the road that Herrell's, Osaka, and the Northampton Brewery are on and wound up and around Main Street in Northampton.

There were a few local groups scattered around playing music or cheering us on.

Up the hill we turned left and walked through the Smith College campus. A ton of people brought their dogs along for the walk.

So foggy.

As we were finishing up, we saw the runners on the overpass above the bike path.

I think this was the sign everyone was looking forward to. It was seriously freezing that morning. Hot cocoa was definitely a welcome treat!

Kasie and I picked up our mugs, which is the finishing prize instead of a medal, and headed towards the hot cocoa. The Northampton Brewery uses their beer brewing kettle to brew the hot cocoa the morning of the run. It was really really tasty.

We saw a few casualties from the run. So sad.

Kasie and I were searching for our runner lab mates as they crossed the finish line. Fortunately, we found two, Beth and Eva, but we somehow missed our other lab mate Ashley. As you can imagine, with 5,500 people, it was pretty crowded and easy to miss people. Our team shirts helped though!

I was so glad that I got to do this before I leave Massachusetts. It was great having people that I could participate with. I even had some amazing friends who helped raise some money for Safe Passage, the charity the Hot Chocolate Run benefits. Thanks so much guys, you're awesome!

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