Don't like to work out unless there's a sweet reward at the end? Boy, do we have a mini-marathon for you. At the Hot Chocolate Race, participants in the 5k or 15k earn a steaming hot mug of delicious cocoa at the finish line. Thanks to scientific research, chocolate milk is now all the rage as an optimal post-workout beverage -- proof that there's nothing better to end a wintry run than warming it up and tossing in some marshmallows. Runners and walkers will also enjoy a post-race party complete with apples, bananas, pretzels, and crisped rice treats to dip into silky smooth chocolate fondue.
This sweet race starts and ends at Salt River Fields, beginning at 7:30 to 8 a.m. on Sunday, December 9. The event began in Chicago 10 years ago and is now held in eight states; this will be its inaugural year in Scottsdale. In 2012, RAM Racing's Hot Chocolate Races have raised over $360,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities. All proceeds from the local race will go to the Ronald McDonald House program of Phoenix and to Salt River Community Children's Foundation.
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In addition to two kinds of chocolate, all participants will receive a black water-resistant running jacket emblazoned with the Hot Chocolate Race logo. Registration is $45 for the 5k, or $65 for the 15k, and both runners and walkers are expected to keep a minimum pace of 15 minutes per mile.
Volunteers are also needed to help set up the event and keep things running smoothly. Don't want to volunteer? Become a Chocolate Ambassador to earn prizes for registering a certain number of people: 25 earns free entry to the race; 100, a free pair of shoes; 250, a $250 Visa gift card; 500, an iPad; and 1000, an RV day with a personal chef and the Hot Chocolate boys. All that's required is enthusiasm and a love of chocolate.