Originally, Momma K and I were running the Atlanta Track Club Peachtree City 8K as a part of our Glass Slipper Challenge simulation weekend (5 miles on Saturday and 15K on Sunday). Well, due to severe storms anticipated for the area at race time, the 8K was canceled early that morning. Did that stop us? Heck no! After looking at the radar, we knew that we had enough time to get 5 miles in through the neighborhood before the storms made their way to us. We headed out at 6:30 with our Knuckle Lights and got it done. #NoExcuses
Originally the plan was to stop by the Hot Chocolate 15K expo on the way home from the 8K, so plans had to change a bit. We arrived at the Georgia World Congress Center right around lunch time. Lucky us, there was a HUGE cheerleading competition happening in the GWCC today as well so we made our way through the sea of cheerleaders, parents, and of course all the glitter and hairspray. Once we saw the giant inflatable hot chocolate mug we knew we had made it to the expo.
The flow of the expo is very well done. When you enter the expo hall you first walk past the bib pick up. With the way the bibs are assigned (you get assigned to the bib number at pickup), you can go to any line. That means people like me who always end up with the longest line don't have to worry because you can pick any available line. You show you confirmation email, they scan the bar code, a sticker prints out and is placed on the bib, and BAM! Congrats, you now have your bib and are on your way!
SHOPPING! Seriously, you name the piece of apparel or accessory and Hot Chocolate had it in the official merchandise area. Some of the biggest hits were turtle-necked shirts which were perfect for the chilly race conditions expected. I forgot to snap a picture, but they even had some awesome Hot Chocolate 15K/5K fleece pajama bottoms! The prices were good on the official merchandise as well.
As you exited the expo area, you were given another little taste of chocolate before heading out. Chocolate dipped cookies? OF COURSE! That bit of gooey goodness couldn't get in my belly fast enough. Seriously, expo-ing is tough, and the snack was greatly appreciated.
We headed out of the car a bit before 7 to head to the start line area (we had to be in the corral by 7:30). The directions to getting to the corrals left most of us confused, but we all made it there.
I won't lie, I was a little disappointed in the post race area this year. In the past there had been a kids zone with inflatables for kids to jump/play, DJ, and photo ops with chocolate themed things, but there was nothing this year. Besides the finisher mug area, there was a merchandise area and a nuun tent, but that was it. I have a strong inclination that it was the overnight storms that prevented them from getting set up, so hopefully they return next year.
The 15K finisher medal was also awesome as always. This year it reminded me of the Golden Ticket Wonka Bars. The Hot Chocolate 15K medals definitely stand out in my medal collection.