Overall Rating
Overall Rating (23 Reviews)
4.3
(23 Ratings)(23 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
4.4
PRODUCTION
4.2
SWAG
4.5
Local Weather (Jan 08)
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
 
H (°F) 57 51 59 54 55
L (°F) 50 47 52 50 47
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Recent reviews

    padgtnbear FIRST-TIMER '17

    The course was shortened due to strong wins and rain. It is a hilly course, but that is to be expected in San Francisco. Very well organized. Love the Finisher's … MORE

    The course was shortened due to strong wins and rain. It is a hilly course, but that is to be expected in San Francisco. Very well organized. Love the Finisher’s mug filled with chocolate fondue and goodies.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Fabe FIRST-TIMER '17

    Quality jacket and unique runner swag. The course was shortened(5.9miles)for safety reasons. It was quiet windy and rainy before and after. During my actual run the weather was not too … MORE

    Quality jacket and unique runner swag. The course was shortened(5.9miles)for safety reasons. It was quiet windy and rainy before and after. During my actual run the weather was not too bad. The light rain felt good. A huge tree branch did fall on the course. Might be because the weather but the organization was pretty messy on race day. Prepaid for shuttle but no one even checked our tickets. Finding starting line,as well as other things, was a task. Race even began early.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4
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    Jason Lehrbaum REPEAT RUNNER '17

    My headline suggests that 2016 was much better and let me explain. Last year was my first year. Because i was one of the first to register for the race, … MORE

    My headline suggests that 2016 was much better and let me explain.
    Last year was my first year. Because i was one of the first to register for the race, it earned you a shirt with San Francisco embroidered on it. The jacket was awesome, but they somehow ran out of my size so i had to settle for one size larger with the embroidered, or my size with out it. Seems they should have figured it out who gets what.

    Fast forward to this year, and the jacket was disappointing, the colors i gather were voted on, but i guess i thought it would be a thin layered jacket. That and there was no special embroidering for registering in the first day when it opened. They were suppose to send you a special hat, but that didn’t happen.

    So starting this race i was already a bit annoyed. that along with it being hard to get to, being in San Francisco.

    Leading up to the race, i wondered if it would be cancelled because of the horrible storm. Instead of cancelling it, they shortened it to a 9.8 k. They couldn’t even make it into a 10k.. What is up with that. They should have just cancelled this race and refunded the money, or figure out how to make it into a 15k or at least a 10k.

    Then at the end, the medal was cool, but not as interesting as last year, and their plastic mug of treats was the exact one from the previous year. Recycling old stuff? At least, AT LEAST stamp it with the year.. If its intended to just be thrown away, don’t advertise it as a perk of the race.

    Anyway, its a bit of a pain in the butt race, and i don’t think i will do it again without changes…

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    The 15K had to be shortened to something like 9.5K due to weather. I was looking forward to running the Great Highway, but that part of the course was closed … MORE

    The 15K had to be shortened to something like 9.5K due to weather. I was looking forward to running the Great Highway, but that part of the course was closed due to high wind and heavy surf. The weather during the run was certainly not ideal, but not as bad as it could have been. Still, the last 2-3 miles back through Golden Gate Park were tougher than I had prepared for–uphill the entire way. Nothing terribly steep, but still tiring. This is definitely a positive-split course.

    The 2017 race was as well-run as it could be considering the weather. There were no mile markers because the wind would have knocked them down, so it was difficult to pace myself, especially since I had prepared for a 15K and had to adjust to a weird new distance. Post-race chocolate and goodies were well-done, but the increasingly worsening weather had everyone chugging their hot chocolate and getting out of there.

    The worst part of this race is the logistics of getting there. There’s a convoluted shuttle system that requires you to find parking at Union Square or SF State and then pay additional money to catch a shuttle to the park. I opted for a parking lot in the Richmond which required a 2-mile walk to get to the park. So we were soaking wet long before the race began. Even worse was the 2-mile walk back as our body temperatures started to drop and the shivering set in.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Michelle L REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Registered way back in November for earlybird pricing, and chose to sign up again since race day 2017 fell on my 31st birthday...did not get the promo code for the … MORE

    Registered way back in November for earlybird pricing, and chose to sign up again since race day 2017 fell on my 31st birthday…did not get the promo code for the free visor this time.

    Chose to have my packet mailed rather than pickup in person at the race expo, which included the bag, jacket, and bib (mine was missing the safety pins). Jackets could be exchanged at expo or mailed back if the wrong sizing. Women’s Small fit me well, as with the 2016 jacket, but 2017 has a hood, thumbholes, and more embroidery. The women’s were light grey, while the men’s were dark gray. 5Kers only get the jackets; 15Kers receive the jacket and the medal upon finishing the run.

    Shuttle passes available in advance for several shuttle stops, parking passes as well. We did the same as last year and chose to park at SF State University garage and take the shuttle bus to Golden Gate Park. No one checked our papers which indicated we paid for the passes. Super lame.

    Due to the crazy storm weather January 8th, 2017, 15Kers were given the option to run the earlier race (shorter distance) with the 5Kers, or do the longer distance at the scheduled time. Turns out, race morning, the 15K course was shortened to exclude the Great Highway coastal portion, which meant the run only totaled 5.9 miles — less than 10K in all, hilly. About 10,000 people still showed up (both distances combined total) and finished the run, which is still impressive considering the conditions.

    Race organizers decided not to cancel the race. Not sure what happened to all those who stayed home — whether they got their jackets/medals or not. No remote/virtual or transfer options.

    Ponchos, garbage bags, gloves, etc. adorned the field of runners. Pacers, aid stations, volunteers still out there…even an official race photographer out on the concourse near the hot chocolate distribution area. Mile markers and inflatables other than the start/finish were not displayed due to gale force winds though. Eucalyptus tree bark and branches did fall, waterfalls/lake levels high, some mud and puddles.

    Race bling is still an impressive candybar medal, this year all gold except for the “chocolate” in brown, SF-specific. Hot chocolate was piping hot, with marshmallow, banana, rice krispie, pretzels, biscoff for fondue dipping in the mug. Bag check and store for more HC gear were open but I did not avail. The open-air concourse was quite rainy and exposed, so most sought shelter post-race. Also, finding the shuttles again was a bit confusing/challenging, but we made it.

    Race results posted very quickly (live runner tracking available too to update via text or Facebook through Chronotrack timing), and official race photos free downloads.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Barbara REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Second time running the Hot Chocolate in San Francisco. This year, I was supposed to run the 15k, but due to a heavy winds and rain, the course was shortened … MORE

    Second time running the Hot Chocolate in San Francisco. This year, I was supposed to run the 15k, but due to a heavy winds and rain, the course was shortened to 5.9 miles. They removed the portion that we run on the Great Highway. We stayed in the protected areas of Golden Gate Park. Don’t get me wrong, we were still subjected to wind and rain and large puddles and tree debris. We definitely had to be aware of where we were placing out feet, but the full force of the storm didn’t come in until the race was over. Golden Gate Park was still beautiful even in the rain.
    Due to the weather, the timing clocks at every mile were not out. There were no Hot Chocolate inflatables. Aid stations were scaled back a little due to the wind. They still had plenty of volunteers handing out water and Nuun sports drink. Aid stations still had chocolate chips and marshmallows. There were plenty of course monitors to direct us and cheers us on. I give a lot of appllause to all the volunteers that stood out there for hours in the rain and wind.
    At the finish, I still got my 15k medal. Most importantly, we still got our finisher’s mug filled with hot chocolate, melted chocolate for dipping, a banana, marshmallow, rice krispy treat, pretzels, and cookies. The hot chocolate tasted especially yummy after getting chilled off from the rain and wind.
    I feel that the Hot Chocolate 15k race directors still put on a great race despite the terrible weather. They made the correct call to shorten the race because the Great Highway was just too dangerous. I will definitely run this race again in 2018.
    Bib pick up took place on Friday and Saturday at the South San Francisco Convention Center.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    aretha hampton REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Fairly flat. Beautiful with trees running through the park then along the Great Highway. A few slopes. Well supported course. The Expo was not as good as last year's. But … MORE

    Fairly flat. Beautiful with trees running through the park then along the Great Highway. A few slopes. Well supported course. The Expo was not as good as last year’s. But the medal,jacket and chocolate bowl are awesome!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Linda FIRST-TIMER '15

    This is definitely a really well organized event. Email communication started well before the event with information about parking. Bib pick up was in the south San Francisco conference center, … MORE

    This is definitely a really well organized event. Email communication started well before the event with information about parking. Bib pick up was in the south San Francisco conference center, which has free parking!! However, the expo was quite a bit smaller than expected, especially for such a large race. I pretty much just got my swag bag and left. They have an area to try sweater sizes and option to exchange. I wanted to trade my small for an xsmall, but they ran out of the xsmall. I also used someone’s affiliate code and got a free “will run for chocolate” tech hat with my entry. I liked the design and look of the hat but wished they had it in different sizes; it’s way too big even with the Velcro adjustability feature at the back.

    Honestly, I only did the race this year because it was the first time they were giving out finisher medals for the 15k. I am glad they only had medals for the 15k runners as I feel that having the same medal for 5k and 15k would not be fair as 5k is only 1/3rd the distance! The medal did not disappoint! It’s heavy, huge, and has the Golden Gate Bridge on it!

    Race day:
    -I was coming from the South Bay and had purchased the shuttle ticket. I parked at SF state which had plenty of parking and then boarded the shuttle to get to the start line in golden gate park. They had a ton of shuttle buses and the line basically was a steady stream of ppl boarding; it never stopped!
    -lots of porta potties at the start and along the course; though the lines for the potties on the course were really long
    -many chocolate snack and water stations. I didn’t take any of the chocolates or marshmallows during the race as I knew it would dry out my mouth. They always had a sign ahead of time to let runners know that sweets and water was coming up; the sweets station ALWAYS came up before the water station; which makes sense as I’ll bet runners would really appreciate the drinks right after biting into the dry chocolates
    -very scenic course! Loved it. The beginning was nice and easy downhill. Middle portion along the waterfront was really flat. But the last couple miles-ALL. Up. HILL. lord have mercy.
    -Gatorade right when u cross the finish line.
    -Got my fondue afterwards and the lines were super fast! They also had little plastic baggies so you could take the fondue to-go easily and mess-free. Had banana, Rice Krispie, pretzels, and marshmallows to dip in the chocolate fondue. They also had cups of hot chocolate (hot chocolate, dipped marshmallows, and dipped strawberries were also being handed out at the expo to give a sneak peak taste!). The chocolates were all really yummy!
    -went to the shuttle station to get back to my car and this area was SO WELL organized. They had lines clearly organized, labeled with flags, and roped off according to which destination the shuttle was going to (they had shuttle stations at SF state, San Mateo, east bay, and maybe 1-2 more options which was nice because there were runners from everywhere near and far! They had a constant stream of buses running so lines went super fast!

    I just wish the fondue cups were designed more like a real mug without the center hole for chocolate , and in ceramic, so that people could reuse them as coffee or tea mugs.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Michelle L FIRST-TIMER '16

    B2B or knowing Brand Ambassador got you a free running buff. 15K swag also included embroidered jacket, medal, finisher mug. Packet mailing cost extra, otherwise go to the Expo. Shuttles … MORE

    B2B or knowing Brand Ambassador got you a free running buff. 15K swag also included embroidered jacket, medal, finisher mug. Packet mailing cost extra, otherwise go to the Expo. Shuttles ran from 5 locations, with prices for parking and shuttle passes additional $9-$10. 5K started before 15K, assigned corrals, 3 mins between waves. Mile 1-3 hilly, 3-7 flat, 8-end hilly. Aid stations had water and Nuun but also sweet treats. Each mile marker had a race clock on it (gun time). Free race photos.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    BayBritt FIRST-TIMER '15

    The swag is great, the chocolate goodies at the end are fun, the chocolate themed aid stations are unique. The last 3 or so miles were all uphill and tough! … MORE

    The swag is great, the chocolate goodies at the end are fun, the chocolate themed aid stations are unique. The last 3 or so miles were all uphill and tough! Such a good race.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Tami REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Other than starting really early, 7:30 in SF, this race is a good one. You run through beautiful Golden Gate part, smelling the eucalyptus and passing a waterfall. There are … MORE

    Other than starting really early, 7:30 in SF, this race is a good one. You run through beautiful Golden Gate part, smelling the eucalyptus and passing a waterfall. There are a few hills but nothing major. There are shuttle busses at UCSF to take you from the parking garage to the race, but it is an additional fee. That was very well organized with minimal waiting. The finish is also well organized and the hot chocolate and fondue was amazing. Best of all, instead of a race t-shirt you receive a really nice full zip running jacket as your swag.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    BayBritt REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Arrive early to get to your corral if you are in A-D. We were slightly early but ended up having to run in a lower corral because we could not … MORE

    Arrive early to get to your corral if you are in A-D. We were slightly early but ended up having to run in a lower corral because we could not physically get to corral B, there were so many bystanders and runners everywhere it was too congested to move.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Sierra FIRST-TIMER '16

    Awesome medal, very well-run. Wasn't a huge fan of the drinks they gave out in addition to water, called Nuun. Eating candy during was something I quickly decided not to, … MORE

    Awesome medal, very well-run. Wasn’t a huge fan of the drinks they gave out in addition to water, called Nuun. Eating candy during was something I quickly decided not to, but the cocoa and snacks after were often! Very cold in the morning, warmer later on. Wear layers!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Barbara FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was my first 15k. The weather was beautiful and the course was nice, too. Loved the stretch on the Great Highway which had a nice view of the ocean. … MORE

    This was my first 15k. The weather was beautiful and the course was nice, too. Loved the stretch on the Great Highway which had a nice view of the ocean. There was no race day pick-up, but the location of the Friday/Saturday bib pick-up in SSF was convenient. Some samples of chocolate at pick-up. I thought this race was first rate and well organized. Loved the medal and the post race goodies. Will run again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    thtgirl REPEAT RUNNER '16

    I've run this race 3 times in a row, and they are super organized! Tons of volunteers, getting to and from start line with shuttles is super easy and of … MORE

    I’ve run this race 3 times in a row, and they are super organized! Tons of volunteers, getting to and from start line with shuttles is super easy and of course the pullover/sweatshirt is awesome! And the medal for the 15K is a great bonus! Plus the hot cocoa mug at the end! They have yet to disappoint and I will continue to run this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Jim Kentris FIRST-TIMER '16

    This is a very well organized race. It is obvious by the production than they have done this many time and have made any adjustments to make the race a … MORE

    This is a very well organized race. It is obvious by the production than they have done this many time and have made any adjustments to make the race a very enjoyable event. The course is gorgeous, beginning with a down hill through Goldwn Gate Park. You then continue with a 4 mile out and back on the Great Highway. On this day is was sunny with a very minimal breeze! The final 2 miles are at a pretty tough incline but, again the beauty of Golden Gate Park is an excellent dis tractor. There were well run aid and hydration stations, with awesome volunteers, spaced appropriately along the course. Of course my favorite part of the race was the food at the finish! Chocolate fondue with a banana, rice crispie treat, and pretzels for dipping. I was thankful they included a wet wipe as my hands and face were covered with chocolate! I plan to run this again next year as it was that much fun!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    emcclendon FIRST-TIMER '15

    This race offers the best swag of all, a nice embroidered hoody. The race is held in Jan. in S.F. which means it is very nice and cool. This race … MORE

    This race offers the best swag of all, a nice embroidered hoody. The race is held in Jan. in S.F. which means it is very nice and cool. This race would make for a good 15k PR as the course is mostly flat and fast. You receive the event hoody and a tech hat instead of the tech tee and the medal is awesome as well. The course is fairly scenic due to the Great Hwy and G.G. Park.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    42kCookie FIRST-TIMER '15

    I wanted to do this event last year but had to rethink due to a severe Knee injury so I was really looking forward to the fact that it was … MORE

    I wanted to do this event last year but had to rethink due to a severe Knee injury so I was really looking forward to the fact that it was returning this year I signed up almost as soon as registration opened which then prompted friends too also.

    Distance:
    – 5k (3.1 miles)
    – 15k (9.3 miles)

    Expo:
    The Expo was better located from those who do not live in The City, still a long way for me to come from The Valley yet still much more easily accessible.
    The parking situation on the Saturday before was crazy! There didn’t appear to be enough spaces but then just driving around the parking lot turned out that actually there was, it was just that people were too lazy and wanted to park right near the entrance so that they didn’t have to walk too far. Uuurmm.. you’re picking up a packet for a distance Run people. Lol.

    The expo was packed with so many people and a few vendors but not much in the way of Chocolate, I only saw one table giving out Chocolate dipped Marshmallows and was disappointed I didn’t get my little Chocolate they had the previous year.
    The pick up itself was easy yet my Corral was not printed properly do I had to manually color it on with a pen.

    Swag:
    I love the cool Hoody which came in really useful on the cold San Francisco morning of the Run. I requested an XS yet it still felt a little on the large side though. I also bagged myself a Hat as one of my Running Club was an Ambassador and gave me a code to use. The Hat was big too (Boo)

    Course:
    Somewhat scenic though the Golden Gate Park and along the bay, the little Waterfall not even a mile into the course was killer though, I heard that water from far off and made me need the rest room for the next 4 miles. Darn it!
    Most of the course was flat with a few hills mainly towards the end. I seem to excel at hill Running so they were a breeze for me but if you’re unprepared these hills will slow you.

    Post Run:
    Lot’s of picture opportunities and as this was a Chocolate Run we got a Bowl of Chocolate Goodies = Hot Chocolate, liquid dipping Chocolate and a few bits to dip (Banana, Marshmallow, Krispy Treat, Pretzels and a Wafer) . I skipped the Wafer and Pretzels but did end up scooping out about 70% of the melted Chocolate with my finger before feeling really sick. I know a lot of Runners (myself included) swear by Chocolate Milk after a Run for recovery but this was something else. Great concept but not a good idea to even try consume that much Chocolate at 9:30am.
    I would have liked some more savory food options and only as we were about to leave I noticed a couple of food trucks that were not advertised as being there – Sam’s Chowdermobile, an Indian food truck and a stall selling Baked goods and Coffee. The location however left a lot to be desired, hidden behind the row of tree’s where the portable restrooms were. The smell coming from that area left a lot to be desired so even if I had seen the trucks sooner I doubt I would have got anything from there.

    I did the first 5k of this course with a friend and the last 10k solo, definitely more fun with friends if you all keep the same pace. I would definitely do it again as the swag alone is worth it

    DIFFICULTY
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    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
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    Rdeloso FIRST-TIMER '15

    Great Course with wonderful scenery - excellent Aid Stations - lots of porta potties - 5 Minutes between waves is too long. The goodies at the end were awesome - … MORE

    Great Course with wonderful scenery – excellent Aid Stations – lots of porta potties – 5 Minutes between waves is too long. The goodies at the end were awesome – bag check disorganized.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    daverunsarec FIRST-TIMER '14

    Who doesnt love San Francisco? Scenic course in Golden Gate Park. The year I ran it was very cold and rainy the day before and cold on race day. The … MORE

    Who doesnt love San Francisco? Scenic course in Golden Gate Park. The year I ran it was very cold and rainy the day before and cold on race day. The hoodie you get for entering is the best race shirt/sweatshirt I’ve ever gotten. for an ‘out of towner’ this is an expensive trip but any trip to San Francisco is pricy. Highly recommend this event if you’re in the area

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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