Woo, that was a crazy couple of weeks! The Hot Chocolate 15k was on October 4th, and the Rock and Roll 10k was on the 18th. Normally I like to space my races out more, but sometimes you just don’t have the option. If I had to pick only one to do again, I’d pick the Hot Chocolate 15k, but they were both excellent races and I’d do both of them again. I know the Rock and Roll Denver Marathon had some complaints of smells and a shitty course, but the 10k (which went along with the half most of the course) was just fine. No bad smells (besides the usual portalet odor that permeates EVERY large race) and no issues with the course. Actually, the 10k and the 15k used fairly similar courses. Both started and ended at Civic Center park so if you live near the Lightrail lines, it is really easy and convenient to get to the starting line. The corrals were well-organized, the medals are both great, and the Expos were pretty decent. I got a new pair of Brooks at the Rock and Roll expo because there was a discount if you test drove a RAV4. I was planning to test drive a RAV4 anyway so hey, bonus. (I bought Brooks Ariels, if you’re wondering).
One thing that, for me, puts Hot Chocolate ahead of Rock and Roll is the free race photos. Rock and Roll uses the evil empire (Marathonfoto) so you have to sell your firstborn and a kidney for three photos. Hot Chocolate they were included, along with an awesome medal and a hoodie that is also great but unfortunately has a really weird chemical smell? I’ve washed it 4x and it STILL smells weird.
Rock and Roll included a very nice, very Colorado tech shirt that I really like but I just always seem to wear tank tops when I run, unless it is winter, then I wear long sleeves.
Also there was chocolate fondue at the end of the Hot Chocolate. Need I say more?