6 Reasons the Hot Chocolate Run is the Sweetest Race in Town


The Hot Chocolate 15K/5K isn’t just a sweet race because of the delicious treats doled out throughout the course. The race prides itself on a variety of seriously fun offerings that bring participants back year after year. 

In other words, the proof is in the pudding, if you will (or, in this case, the ooey gooey chocolate fondue). Here are six things to know about the iconic Hot Chocolate Run before you sign up.

1. Chocolate

The race’s namesake doesn’t skimp on the chocolate-y goodness. Chocolate is built into the experience from the moment you pick up your packets and race bib during the Hot Chocolate Expo, where participants sample the race’s high-quality dark chocolate squares free of gluten, nuts and dairy.

Don’t worry about meeting your week’s chocolate quota (if there is such a thing), as you’ll have your hands full on race day when the offerings are dialed up to level-10 deliciousness. At Sweet Stations dotted throughout the course, runners can grab fistfuls of sweets to fuel them to the finish line, where they’ll receive their Finisher Mugs loaded with fondue and hot chocolate, pretzels, Rice Krispies Treats, cookie straws and bananas for dipping in the more than 4,000 pounds of melted chocolate that is prepared for each race.

2. Goodie Bag

The Hot Chocolate Run regularly receives top honors for its race swag—a hooded sweatshirt that features a fresh design every year. There are even different color options.

The hoodie's fabric makes it perfect for wintertime running or casualwear. Even when the hot chocolate runs out, this is a race goodie that will keep you warm long after crossing the finish line.

3. Medals

Hot Chocolate Medal

Reminiscent of something out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, the finisher’s medal is shaped like a chocolate bar with gold or silver wrappings, depending on the distance you ran. The medals also differ every year, so you’ll have a unique way to commemorate the race you participated in.

Hot Chocolate Photos

4. Free Photos

If it’s not posted to social media, did it really happen? You’ll want to share this moment with your friends and brag about it later, and the Hot Chocolate Run supplies you with free high-resolution photos to do just that. Following the race, participants are emailed photos and videos of themselves from various points throughout the event. Now you have no excuses for not talking about it on social afterward. (We know you really want to!)

5. It’s a Serious Race

You’d be mistaken to call the Hot Chocolate Race a “fun run,” as it has all the markings of so-called serious races while also retaining its fun, festive aura. The USATF-sanctioned course has accurate timing chips, wave starts for larger events and preferred start corrals for qualified participants—among other things.

6. Training Plan

Chocolate is a universally beloved treat, but race participants span a variety of experience levels. The Hot Chocolate Run doesn’t want anyone to be left out in the cold, so its training programs are customized to participants’ fitness levels, goals and race distances. Created by running scientist and coach Greg McMillan, the plans span four to 12 weeks, depending on date of registration, and are emailed in digestible weekly chunks every Sunday morning.

Or, check out our 10k or 5k training plans.

Ready to sign up? Find your city below and register now to get in on the sweetness.

Denver, Oct. 2 
Chicago, Oct. 5 
Columbus, Nov. 20 
Phoenix, Dec. 11 
St. Louis, Dec. 4 
Tampa, Dec. 18 
San Francisco, Jan. 8 
Atlanta, Jan. 29 
Dallas, Feb. 11 
Nashville, Feb. 25 
Seattle, March 5 
San Diego, March 19 
Philadelphia, April 1 
Minneapolis, April 8 


Hot Chocolate Run FAQs

What is the purpose of the Hot Chocolate Run?

The 2022/2023 Hot Chocolate Run season will support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Can you participate in the Hot Chocolate Run virtually?

Yes! There are 5k, 10k, and 15k virtual options for those who are unable to attend the race in person.


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