Hot Chocolate Run

This past weekend I packed a bag and hopped on a Peter Pan bus headed home to help out with / participate in an annual race called the Hot Chocolate Run. The Hot Chocolate run happens every year in December and is put on by Safe Passage, a domestic violence shelter and resource for victims of abuse in Western Mass. The run is Safe Passage’s main source of fundraising and much of the organization’s budget relies on it. My aunt is the director of Safe Passage and I offered to help out this year as a volunteer and runner.

12341562_10205938036435632_842810629543139641_n

My cousin Jessie came down from Syracuse Saturday afternoon and we all headed to the hotel. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Northampton located near the race. The hotel was built fairly recently I think because the facilities looked brand new. We checked into our suite, dropped our bags and headed to town for some shopping & cocktails before dinner.

We stopped in to the Tunnel Bar, which was apparently voted one of the bars you have to drink in before you die. To its credit, it was really cool. It was once used for passengers to board trains at a railroad that ran through the area in the late 19th century.

IMG_5669

We stayed for a a drink met some of my aunts’ friends who were joining us for dinner. We ate at a cute little thai place around the corner and turned in to the hotel around 8:30 to get some sleep before a very early morning.

I woke up the next day at 4:30am and headed over to the start line to help set up sound equipment. At 7 we went back to the hotel to pack up and have breakfast before going back to the race.

As you might guess from the name, runners are rewarded with a mug of hot chocolate after they finish the race. Around 400 gallons are brewed in the beer vats at the Northampton Brewery.

IMG_5671

IMG_5675
Jessie & me checking out the hot chocolate batch

I ran with my aunt. We kept a steady pace that was comfortable–slower than what would have been challenging for me but it was good because I haven’t been running much lately and I’m still working out the issues with my knees.

12311154_10208396477695299_90017908588854662_n

When the race was done I grabbed my cocoa and a group of us got lunch at the brewery.

IMG_5673

It was a great weekend and was so moving to see people come together against such a stigmatized and often secretive issue that victims struggle with. The best part? They raised over $100,000 more than they did last year. I’ll be back again for sure.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s