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!
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.