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Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Will Not Return to National Harbor

After a disastrous race debut last year, DC was kept off the list of participating cities this year.

Local runners might remember the disastrous Hot Chocolate 15K/5K race at National Harbor last year—or maybe they’ve blocked it from memory by now. Well, it appears the race organizers would like to forget the fiasco, too, since DC has been left off the list of participating cities this year.

On Twitter, local triathlete Victoria Anderson directed us to this year’s lineup of the eight US cities holding the annual Hot Chocolate 15K/5K. Any Washingtonian who wants to race will have to travel to seven hours to Columbus, Ohio, the nearest participating city. 

In case you forgot, last year’s race at National Harbor suffered a host of problems, leading angry participants to later call it a “hot chocolate mess.” Runners complained of the terrible traffic, the delayed start time, the poor directions on the course, and, worst of all, no hot chocolate at the finish line.

Runners were even more infuriated after race organizers blamed the long lines and delays on traffic accidents. We received multiple traffic reports from WTOP, which made no mention of any accidents. Prince George’s County Police Department also had no reports of accidents.

And it appears as if other cities continue to have issues with the race, too. A Well+Being commenter from Chicago recently had this to say about the November 4 race: 

“The Chicago race this year was probably worse than what you described. They have not been able to post correct times, (4/7 people I knew who ran have wrong or no time); no phone to contact. Unable to view from anywhere as a spectator at the start and very difficult to get to finish line with very limited access. Incredibly poor organization who is running it, and not having learned from prior mistakes makes it even worse. USATF should seriously look at RAM and consider not allowing them to sponsor races.”

We double-checked with organizers, RAM Racing, to find out why DC was left off this year’s list and received the following response:

“Thank you for your e-mail and your interest in Hot Chocolate 15/5k! Unfortunately we were not able to schedule DC this year, hopefully we will be able to in the future! Please keep checking the website for announcements of additional cities! Thank you! We hope to see you soon at a Hot Chocolate 15/5k event!”

We want to know your thoughts. Are you glad the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K won’t be coming back to DC? Or would a second chance have made up for last year? Let us know in the comments section.

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  • Neil

    Today is 11/16/14, and I write from Columbus, Ohio, where today's race involved no advance announcements of road closures, no map of the route, and no detour or diversion signs. There were just umpteen police cruisers parked at the many road closure points, dealing with (other) irate motorists who could not work out how to get to their destinations. We were delayed half an hour extra on what is normally a 7-minute ride, trying to get to the University Medical Center to visit a family member who had undergone life-threatening surgery. The ride back was no better. I had to make a huge detour to encircle the race route, which, idiotically for a mere 15K run, extended far north and far south, cutting off all the east-west routes to and from the University Medical Center. This was a massive failing of organization intelligence, foresight and consideration for the general public. I hope the City of Columbus bans these idiots from holding the race here in future.

  • Keith in nj

    I have been constantly emailing about hotel accomodations in Philadelphia. I signed up months ago. They said watch the website. Last week they finally posted that rooms are available at the Philly airport hoterl 7.8 miles form the starting line.I asked if the there was shuttle service and no one got back to me. So now I will have to drive 60 miles to center city philly the morning of the race and be at the starting line at 8 am. The race is in 3 weeks and there is still no location for the bib pick up. I am going to just say that this was a waste of $60 and be done with it. should not allow races like this to list on their website. This is a disgrace.

  • Walking Tom

    How can we get to quit listing ANY race put on by RAM?

  • Runner

    RAM a should stand for run amok. Or really awful marathon.

  • Runner

    Never run a race with RAM. The lack of professionalism, boardering on negligence, will leave you disappointed or angry, or both. Check out the lack of accountability, where they blame everyone else. To compare themselves to NYC marathon is laughable. RAM couldn't organize a run to the potty.

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