Race #363 – Hot Chocolate 10k – Asheville, NC – 01/21/17

I last ran this race seven years ago (Race #71), all the way back in 2010, only my second full year of running. A year earlier in 2009 (Race #16) it was the first 10k I had ever run. It was a great race back then, and still is, but over the years I’ve become much less willing to drive 100 miles to run a race, especially in the winter.


I was glad I finally went back this year. It’s still probably the flattest 10k in Asheville, beginning and ending at the Isaac Dickson Elementary School. The 10k is a pretty big race with more than 500 finishers, and in addition to that, hundreds of kids also take part in the Marshmallow Dash (ages 8 and under) and the 1k Kids Hill Climb (ages 12 and under). The races are followed by entertainment and awards as well as plenty of hot chocolate in the school cafeteria and gymnasium.


This year I was about 5 minutes slower than when I ran the race in 2010, but that’s about par for the course these days. I don’t really like getting slower as I get older but that’s the way it works, so I’m glad I’m at least still running when a lot of other folks my age have been knocked out of the racing loop for one reason or another. On the bright side, I was about a minute faster than when I ran it as my first 10k in 2009. There’s something to be said for experience I suppose.


Race Number:  363

Race Name:  Asheville Hot Chocolate 10k

Location: Isaac Dickson Elementary School, Asheville, North Carolina

Date:  January 21, 2017

Race Rating: 88


My Age Group (60-64):

Course: Out-and-back course with about a half mile down hill at the start, traveling along the French Broad River for several miles for a loop around French Broad River Park before traveling back to the school. Nearly flat except for the huge hill (maybe 1/2 mile) coming back up the hill at the end. Almost all of the elevation gain is in the last mile of the race.


Almost completely flat except for the start and finish.

Weather at Start:  Cloudy, 46 degrees, 93% humidity, calm winds.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from “The 828” (55 pics)

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time:  48:23
Pace: 7:48
Age Group:  1 of 13
Overall:  75 of 531
Average Heart Rate: 163
Maximum Heart Race: 171
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 37:58 (70.38%)


3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

6 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
7 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
2 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes (*Saved $5 by not getting a shirt!)

0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
3 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

0 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
0 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
0 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

(*Parking is kind of a mess… We parked about a half mile away)

2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes (*Asheville Track Club Grand Prix)
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  88

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