Hot Chocolate 15k Minneapolis Has Been Cancelled

Disclaimer: I am promoting Hot Chocolate 15K Minneapolis as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Running a Hot Chocolate Race in Jan 2019

Attention: A Due to the concern surrounding the coronavirus, and the government’s rolling mandate around no public gatherings, we have made the unfortunate decision not to hold the upcoming Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Minneapolis race at Boom Island Park. Registration is currently closed, but you can register for the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Virtual Run here. is in effect for Minneapolis.

This news often brings a bit of disappointment for runners, especially if we’ve been busy training and preparing for a race for weeks and weeks. It can also bring further headache when flights and hotels are involved.

Unfortunately this is the season we are in.

The first thing to remember is that race directors are on our side. They are in this business for the same reason we are — the buzz of race day! A lot of work goes into putting a race on, so cancellation is not an easy decision for them to make.

In a lot of recent cases the decision is totally out of the race director’s hands and mandated by the town/city, or even the state.

When it comes to the Hot Chocolate 15k Minneapolis, I was only helping to promote it, not run it. However, at least five of my other actual races have been either cancelled, postponed, or converted to virtual. And that’s just through April!

The Hot Chocolate races are awesome! I’ve ran Hot Chocolate Charlotte a couple of times. It’s a huge and well organized event. Like any large event at the moment, it presents many opportunities for the COVID-19 virus to meet new people and travel back to new areas.

Fortunately, Hot Chocolate are offering all their runners a virtual option, so you still get all that amazing race swag, delivered straight to your door. You can then run YOUR race anywhere and upload your results to the Hot Chocolate website.

So, you still get all the gear and you can still (and should) run the distance — don’t let all that training go to waste!

What about flights & hotel? I have no personal experience with flights, but I did have a hotel booked for a half marathon in Virginia Beach this weekend. In fact, I’m supposed to be there right now, partying with my BibRave peeps at a Summit I’d been looking forward to all year.

I’ll be honest, when other races were starting to cancel, I was still considering driving up with my wife and having a quiet weekend at the beach. Then things started to escalate so quickly and it became apparent that it would not be a wise decision.

I was able to call the hotel and get my reservation cancelled and fully refunded, even though it was past the normal cancellation window. They were very understanding and took care of it without any issues.

I’ve heard similar stories for those who had booked flights. Airlines are being flexible and allowing passengers to re-book flights at no charge.

So I think the key is, to stay calm and make alternative arrangements to run your race locally. I do not encourage you to organize a large group run to complete your virtual race, but maybe throw on your AfterShokz, call a friend and have them support you throughout your run — from a distance.

And for no other reason, other than that last line reminding me of the song. Apparently even God is practicing social distancing. You’re welcome.

Marathon Training January Update

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I have only 7 weeks left until my first full marathon at Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary, NC. I’m using the Nike Marathon plan and in short, training has been going well.

At this stage I have confidence that I’ll complete it. But will I walk away with a great result? Will I walk away at all?

I know a lot of runners aspire to quality for the Boston marathon. I’m not shooting for Boston — not this time.

But my heart is not set on running Boston. In fact, there’s many other marathons I’d love to run first — Big Sur! New York City! Missoula! Honolulu! Chicago! Check out the BibRave 100 for more ideas!

BTW if you do wish to qualify for Boston, the Tobacco Road Marathon is one of the best marathons to qualify with. It’s a fairly flat course and helps send many runners to Boston.

On race day I’m hoping for as close to 4:00 as possible, which would mean a pace of 9:05/mi or faster for 26.freaking2 miles. I’m not there yet. Not for that distance. I do have some encouraging news to share though.

Upon examination of my last few long runs, I’m seeing progress. Even though the runs are getting longer, I am running them faster! I just need to shave off another 15 seconds per mile, which I think is doable.

Long runs are scary.

Just writing this post is making me think about my next long run and freak out a little.

I’m still experimenting with fueling, not having gone this kind of distance before, and it’s been hard to get it right. At the moment I’m using a combination of gels and granola bars.

I do know that Chicken Biryani the night before is a bad idea.

So while I have 7 weeks left until the marathon, the hard work is nearly over. I have really only 2 super long runs left. 18 miles again this weekend, a drop to 14 the week after and then the big one — 22 miles! 😨

There’s still time to sign up. At the time of writing, both the half and the full marathon have slots available. Use code TRMRAVE19 to get $20 off registration.

This Is Why We Darken Our Auditorium

6x17MovingOn

STORYCHURCH started in a Durham school gymnasium/cafeteria back in 2010. It was so great! The school was brand new, so everything was clean and shiny — and super bright — thanks to the myriad of windows along the side of the room.

It was often so bright in fact, that Pastor Jeremy and I regularly talked (and talked) about the excess of light in the room and how we wished we could control it.

A little over 18 months ago, when we started to renovate what is now our first permanent location, the first thing we did was block out all the windows and paint the roof black. I was absolutely giddy with the possibility of being able to control the lights, at long last. No joke.

While caught up in all my giddiness, I’ve failed to communicate properly the WHY behind it. Here are some thoughts on why we like to control the lighting in our auditorium.

Continue reading “This Is Why We Darken Our Auditorium”

Pursue Your Spouse. Never Stop.

It’s heart-breaking when a marriage falls apart. In recent years Liz and I have seen many marriages of people we know under attack, some seemingly beyond repair. The worrying thing is, this seems to be on the increase. Now more than ever, we need to be focused on our marriages to keep them as healthy as we can.

We’ve been married now close to fifteen years. Marriages take work. The pursuit of our spouse must never stop. Every relationship is different, but here are some things that we aim for and I think work well for us. Be sure to let us know what works well for you.

Continue reading “Pursue Your Spouse. Never Stop.”