Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hot Chocolate 10-K - From the Other Side This Time

The Hot Chocolate 10-K is the biggest fundraiser for Sam's school.  It's  grown to about 1200 runners, and it's a lot of fun.  Last year (due entirely to my own lack of figuring out where exactly the finish line was) it was also the site of my most spectacular racing meltdown of the year.

Now, let me clearly state that the end of the race last year was entirely my fault.  I should have figured out where the finish was - that's kind of a baseline requirement for racing.  But still, I saw this giant graphic on the website and it made me laugh:

Seriously, that's what it says on the website.  And the crazy part is - it's true!!!  But kind of mainly in a technical sense, as in the middle 4 1/2 miles are totally flat - but the beginning and the end are a different kettle of fish.  Here's  the elevation profile:

So, you see that, while technically true, it should also come with a warning that it's the flattest race, with the steepest finish, in town.

This year, due to the cranky foot, I decided we'd volunteer instead.  Note that *I* decided *we* would volunteer.  Clark loved that one.  Especially when we were put on the parking crew, and were told to be there at 6 in the morning.  That included Sam - normally I might have let him con a sleepover with a grandparent, but there weren't any readily available, and besides that I told him it was his school after all - if any of us were going to be there it ought to be him.  So we got up at 5:15 and slogged over to the Chamber to direct parking.  At which point Sam taped two parking signs to himself in a sandwich board, plugged in his iPod, and commenced dancing like a much younger, much whiter Usher.  The kid never fails to surprise.  And people definitely noticed the entrance to the parking.

Turns out parking duty is pretty fun.  Although my favorite are the people who arrive 25 minutes before the start of a 1200 person race and are shocked to find out the closest parking is full.  "What?  It's full?!?" Um, yeah.  It's full.

At any rate, the heavens opened with a major league cloudburst just as we were finishing, and I'll admit some soft, weak part deep inside me thought "I'm so glad I'm not running today!!!"  And what the hell, it's not like I was going to run anyway, so I took that soft, weak part home and fed it bacon and sausage.  Live a little.

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