Recap of the Allstate Chicago Hot Chocolate Virtual Run Experience

Disclaimer:  I received an entry to the Allstate Chicago Hot Chocolate Virtual 15K/5K to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews.

For years I’ve wanted to run the Hot Chocolate 15K, but the dates never worked out for me. I was so excited when I saw the lineup of race dates this year, as the Chicago race fell on a date I was (for once) available. But alas, Covid. The race went virtual, as have so many others this year. Still, I was excited for the virtual option and I opted in as soon as the opportunity arose.

One of the many things I like about this race is that its charity partner is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an organization that is near and dear to my heart (you can still donate using this link). The Allstate Hot Chocolate race series is run by RAM Races, a top-notch race organization that sponsors many of the races I have run in recent years, so I expected only good things. I had a question about my race packet a couple of weeks before the virtual event, and I received an immediate response and was very happy with the results. They are always responsive and truly do care about their event participants.


The race swag was amazing, including a gorgeous zip-up jacket with a removable zip-off hood. My race packet arrived about two weeks before the event, and also included hot chocolate mix (duh), dark chocolate candy (double-duh), Nuun Sport tablets, a Honey Stinger waffle in yummy salted caramel flavor, and a sample of Sacred CBD ointment. Fun fact:  Prior to this race, I’d never tried CBD products! The day after the race, my back was so sore and stiff, I decided to try it out. In a word:  MAGIC. I’ll definitely be trying out more of these products in the future!

One of the great things about running virtual races is that you can pick your own date, but I do like to run on what would have been the in-person race date if possible. So on the chilly morning of November 8th, I laced up and headed out the door. I haven’t run a 15K in quite a while (hence the back ache), so there was no question this would be a slow run/walk event for me. I didn’t map out a route, but instead decided to head out the door and see where my feet would take me. I planned to complete the first five or six miles on my own and then swing back home and take my pup out for the remainder of the distance, but I felt good and decided to keep on going. I wound around my neighborhood, then around the lake path, and then back through some nearby neighborhoods in order to complete the distance. However I did it, I landed back at my front door with an exact 15K distance on my watch.

Virtual or not, I loved this race. RAM Racing does an amazing job with their in-person races, and their virtual race options are no different. Their races are fun-themed, include great swag, and their customer service is excellent. Here’s to hoping we will soon be back to in-person racing but for now, I hope to virtually see you at an upcoming event!

Have you ever run a Hot Chocolate race? Let me know how you liked it!

Check out these additional reviews by my fellow BibRave Pros Nicki and Riley!

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On (or off) my 2020/2021 Race Calendar:

January 9 – 12, 2020:  Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge, Orlando, FL

March 1, 2020:

Tokyo Marathon DEFERRED to 2021 or 2022

March 15, 2020:  Amita Health St. Paddy’s Day Half Marathon, Bolingbrook, IL POSTPONED until September FURTHER POSTPONED until March, 2021

May 2, 2020:  Cinco de Miler, Chicago, IL Gone VIRTUAL

May 23, 2020:  Soldier Field 10 Miler, Chicago, IL Gone VIRTUAL

June 21, 2020:  Wonder Woman 10K, Chicago, IL Gone VIRTUAL

July 12, 2020:  Across the Bay 12K, San Francisco, CA Gone VIRTUAL

September 12, 2020:  Run Mag Mile, Chicago, IL CANCELLED

September 14 – 20, 2020:  Race to Wrigley 5K Gone VIRTUAL

October 4, 2020:  Bucktown 5K, Chicago, IL CANCELLED

October 11, 2020:  Chicago Marathon DEFERRED to 2021

November 8, 2020:  Allstate Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K Gone VIRTUAL

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