Virtual Racing the Hot Chocolate Style

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K DENVER to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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Let’s face it. 2020 has not been the running year anyone had anticipated. And while virtual races have been a thing as long as I’ve been racing; 2020 has given rise to some creative (and some not so creative) virtual events.

Personally, I really liked using virtual events when I was a new runner to stay on track with goals and ensure I was working toward something. Virtual events, for me, were less about PR’s and more about rewarding myself for the hard work I was putting in.

As I became a better runner and more serious about it, I tended to stray away from the virtual events and the rewarding the hard work, because I got the reward from the in person races. There was actually a point in which I would have said virtual races don’t have a place in running…even though I knew I was wrong.

Lately, with there being no in person events, and my work schedule taking a nose dive, I have like using virtual events as a way to force myself out of the house. This made me realize that virtual events still have a place in the racing community. I have been working from 2 pm to 2 am since July; and I really lack the motivation to run at 2am… BUT knowing that I have a race to log miles for makes me get creative with how and when I run.

BUT you came here to learn about the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k, not my life…

If you have never run a Hot Chocolate themed race (an enMotive event, none of those imposters….) then you need to. I have run an Allstate Hot Chocolate event in several states, on both coasts, and the one thing I can say, enMotive understands how to put on an event which is accessible for all, fun at all levels and has really good swag.

When I say accessible, I mean that really fast runners can enjoy a premium racing experience while at the same time, normal and beginner runners can enjoy that same event at their speed, without the two clashing.

Fun at all levels is the same concept. Runners who enjoy the post race atmosphere have a place to bring their families and its more of a celebration and a party then a cattle run after the race. I realize what I am about to type may be controversial, but the end of any Allstate Hot Chocolate event has been much more fun the the end of the New York City Marathon…

And finally, really good swag is understood at any level and by everyone. I would be fibbing if I didn’t say I looked forward to the newest Hot Chocolate sweatshirt…

I’ve said a lot about Allstate Hot Chocolate, and I haven’t addressed what made 2020 such a great experience compared to other virtual races.

With each of my other virtual races this year, I had to create the course. That makes sense.

I had to submit my results. yep, gotcha.

UNLIKE the other races, I had a Virtual Finisher Celebration.

What?

If you engaged with the Allstate Hot Chocolate Denver 15k Facebook event page, you would have seen prizes being given away; music being played, trivia, interviews with the official charity sponsor…you name it! This was kind of a game changer. I’m not saying this because I won anything…I didn’t. But I think the simple engagement took the virtual race experience to a new level. It took the participant into an experience, not just “post a pic”, but real engagement.

That’s why there are 21 Cities around the US that hold events.

That’s why over 4000 lbs of chocolate are served at each race.

That’s why I run a Hot Chocolate event each year…

Don’t take my word for it, Check out what other BRP’s are saying about the Allstate Hot Chocolate Denver 15k

Mike

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