5K Recaps: Hot Chocolate, Run4Steven and Jenny’s Light

PicMonkey Collage

I gotta be totally honest and say it’s really hard- for me- to write a good 5K race recap. In 3 miles, not too much can happen and 5Ks are over way too quickly for me to really want to bother with carrying my camera, so without miles and miles of photos, I’ve got nothing to create a good 5K recap with! However, I ran three 5K races in 3 consecutive weekends, so put them all together and here’s a 5K race post trifecta! WOO HOO!

First up was the Hot Chocolate 5K on January 12th in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. As an official blogger for the race, I was very happy to arrive and start snapping pre-race photos of the amazingly beautiful sunrise but BFF Amy’s photos came out much better!

Fantastic way to start ANY day!

Fantastic way to start ANY day!

Amy, myself and Lisa posing with headless Marshall the marshmallow!

Amy, myself and Lisa posing with Marshall the headless marshmallow! (Get it together, stranger photographers, geesh!)

The race organizers had sent out a ton of emails in the weeks leading up the race warning that the lots in the area would be closed and encouraged participants to purchase tickets for a shuttle service instead. I’ve taken race shuttles before, so I know what to expect- lots of waiting. But it’s a loop 5K course, it’s no point-to-point like Nike so we avoided the shuttle and decided to leave early, drive in ourselves, and easily parked on the street just a couple blocks away from the park’s entrance. And, to our delight, there was an open Starbuck’s. No problem.

After coffee we headed to the start, checked bags, then headed to the starting line.

Left to right: Lisa, myself, and Amy TOTALLY ready to run for chocolate!

Race started and we were off- as it is San Francisco and it is Golden Gate Park it IS hilly. Nothing crazy for the 5K here, just some good rollers, and I easily got up and over, up and over, not bothering at all to stop for water! It was a cold morning, just a tad overcast, really perfect running weather!

I truly hate photos of me running but still putting them in this post as punishment for not bringing my camera. Bleck.

Crossed the finish line in 31:27 and I was very excited to get my Hot Chocolate finisher’s mug filled with delicious goodies! (Of which I only drank the hot chocolate and ate the marshmallow, giving the rest to my daughter because she is just so darn cute! Next year, I plan to run the 15K and eat ALL the chocolate though! MINE!)

Thank you, Amy, for the cute pic of us! Cheers to all the chocolate!!!

The following weekend, on January 18th, I ran the 2nd annual Run4Steven 5K put on by my Team in Training friends Brian and May. As a husband and wife team, they joined TNT in 2010 to raise funds in honor of Brian’s brother, Steven, who lost his fight to blood cancer at the young age of 13.

May and Brian- road runners turned ultra and always raising funds for a good cause! (Photo credit: May)

May and Brian- road runners turned ultra, always Running4TheReason and raising funds for a cause very close to their hearts! GO TEAM! (Photo credit: May)

The race was held at Quarry Lakes in Fremont and it was a tad cold, but perfectly beautiful morning. I arrived, checked in, and reunited with Team in Training friends old and new.

The race started and I was off… having regretted not taking any photos along the Hot Chocolate course, after my 1st mile, I stopped quite a few times to pull out my phone and snap some shots of the natural beauty that is Quarry Lakes…

… as well as one photo of my natural idiocy attempting to run while posing for a race selfie:

Crossed the finish in 32 minutes, placing 5th in my age group and I was very happy with that! 100% of the $2,676 raised from the race went towards Brian and May’s fundraising goals for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society- such a great race and effort by them, they really know how to put on a good event! All runners received a finisher’s ribbon and age group winners got a medal- they even held a raffle after the run with over $1000 worth of sweet prizes! Such a great way to end a great morning!

Brian and May tell me they plan to hold their Run4Steven 5K annually so if you want to take part next year, please check out their website here and/or “like” their Facebook page here.

Andrea's first 5K post-baby! GO GIRL!!!

Andrea’s first 5K post-baby! GO GIRL!!!

And the weekend after that, on January 26th, I joined BFF Andrea for her first 5K after having her beautiful daughter just 3 months ago- I’ve written about Andrea a lot over the years, she is one of my closest friends and really an amazing runner! Andrea invited me to participate in the Jenny’s Light 5K that raises funds to help increase awareness of perinatal mood disorders, including postpartum depression. Being a new mom herself, the cause was important to Andrea and Andrea is important to me, so I happily ran YET ANOTHER 5K!

The start/finish line.

The start/finish line.

Again, I didn’t bring my camera and regretted it. The course wound through Vasona Park and had some extremely pretty views- a lake, a redwood bridge, tree canopies, children playing in parks, lots of paved trails and a small family of baby ducks- and I was constantly thinking, “Oh that’s a pretty shot! Oh look how gorgeous that is, that would be a great photo for the blog!” Oh well. You’ll just have to trust me- it’s pretty. I swear.

The course was fairly flat except for one pretty steep hill and because of the location and the cause, I would be very content to run this race annually. Not only does Jenny’s Light provide support and a community for new moms but it’s a great excuse to visit and run with my BFFs Andrea and her awesome hubby Josh!

L to R, myself, Andrea and Josh- happy 5K finishers!

L to R, myself, Andrea and Josh- happy 5K finishers!

Crossed the finish in 30 minutes flat and enjoyed the rest of the weekend hanging with my buddies, playing with the baby and celebrating Andrea’s triumphant return to running!

So there you have it! One good theme of chocolate, one great fundraiser for TNT, and one celebration of motherhood and friendship!  There are many, many reasons to run a 5K but these three, to me, are so far The Best and I plan to do them all again next year!!!

9 thoughts on “5K Recaps: Hot Chocolate, Run4Steven and Jenny’s Light

  1. Angelica Steinmeier (@Steinmister)

    A splendid recap, Laura. I felt no guilt whatsoever dipping my fruit in that hot chocolate after the race. But I gotta tell ya…and this may be TIM. But both me and my daughter got the runs after trying the fondue at the expo. And my stomach was upset again (but not violently so) after I got home on race day. I wonder if anyone else experienced the same…

    1. Laura Post author

      Amy & Lisa ate the fondue too yet the 3 of us spent the rest of the day drinking beer and watching football! So sorry you had to go through that!

    1. Laura Post author

      San Francisco is a great course- fingers crossed I’ll be chosen as one of their bloggers again next year but either way, I’m in for the 15K!

  2. Amy Teeling

    I enjoyed reading your re-caps, as always, Laura! 🙂 I loved doing the Hot Chocolate 5K with you and would happily do it again next year. I ate ALL the fattening but yummy chocolate goodies they gave us after the race (too bad Gwen & Aidan!) but I didn’t have any issues at all, Angelica!! Maybe the key is drinking lots of beer afterward… ha ha I’d like to do the Run4Steven and Jenny’s Light races next year too…


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