Northampton, MA does an annual Hot Chocolate Run (and walk) to benefit Safe Passage, an agency that helps victims of domestic violence.
I signed up for the 2 mile walk (the other option was a 5K run), knowing the event would be held regardless the weather. In December in New England, that could mean rain or snow or anything in between.
Today was cold but very sunny! I wore two fleece jackets, a hat, and gloves. I was toasty warm, for a change.
The web site promised lots of free parking. The lots had either filled up or were blocked off (or both) by the time I got there. I parked 1/2 mile away and walked to the event.
The walk started 1/2 hour before the run. We hadn’t quite finished the walk when the run started. The runners had a slightly different route (as it was a longer route), so the only worry was blocking the road at the end of the race.
The walkers included women and men and children and dogs. The dogs did not have numbers, so I assume they were unofficial participants. There were strollers and at least two people in wheelchairs. And lots of cool hats (I wore a felted hat I had made!). At least 4 participants were knitting as they walked (I wouldn’t dare – I’d drop the yarn or the stitches or both). Two participants were dressed as cows – they were representing a local dairy, it turned out. One participant was dressed as a Christmas present, with a prettily wrapped cardboard box around her waist.
Out of all 5,500 participants, I found one I knew. She was one of the knitters, and she was part of a local yarn store (the same store where I’d bought the pattern and yarn for my hat).
At the end, we got hot chocolate mugs with a design by my favorite cartoonist, Hilary Price. And we got hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes. And I visited the vendors who had set up at the start/finish and picked up some free goodies.
I can't take a picture of the mug and get the whole design in, as it wraps around the mug. If you go to this site, the design is about halfway down the page, as part of an ad: it's a polar bear carrying mugs of chocolate.
I used my pedometer, and I had logged 3.05 miles by the time I got back to my car.