Tampa Bay Hot Chocolate Run: Annual St. Jude Hot Chocolate 15K

Meghan Reyes, Features Editor

  Like many things in 2020, Tampa Bay’s annual Hot Chocolate Run was moved virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, St. Jude’s Hot Chocolate Run, hosted by Ventures Endurance, is back with in-person running. 

   Every year, the St. Jude Foundation hosts races in over 15 different cities nationwide. This year’s race in Tampa will take place at  the Tampa Convention Center, where participants will take part in either a 15K or 5K. All runners must be eight years of age or older on race day to participate in the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k. The race will take place Dec. 19 , with the races starting at 7 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. It is preferred that all runners keep a 15-minute mile pace. The race will also be hosted virtually for those who are not comfortable running with large groups. 

   On Saturday, Dec. 18 , Ventures Endurance will host a pre-race expo where runners will receive their personalized official race jacket as well as their information packet. In addition, participants will get to meet their fellow runners and experience the vendors during the expo. The expo will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

   Dubbed the nickname “America’s Sweetest Race,” a post-race celebration will feature the event’s signature drink, hot chocolate. Runners will receive a cup of Kosher hot chocolate along with cookies, fondue and kosher marshmallows. All refreshments are nut-free and dairy-free. In addition, all finishers will receive a 5k or 15k official Hot Chocolate medal to commemorate their achievement

  Not a runner? The Hot Chocolate 15K/5K is seeking energetic volunteers to assist with Expo & Race Day events. Volunteers will provide critical support to the thousands of participants as they run for chocolate. To be considered a volunteer group, every organization must be able to provide 15 or more volunteers. Group volunteer opportunities are great for schools, clubs, sports teams, fraternities and sororities. All volunteers are required to register through the official registration process on the EnMotive volunteer registration page. The signup page shows all available volunteer opportunities.

   Can not run or volunteer this year? No need to worry. The Hot Chocolate Run hosted by Ventures Endurance is a charity run for St. Jude’s hospital. The foundation and race are always accepting donations. For those who can not run this year, there is always a way to help a child in need.

   To sign up to volunteer or register to race, go to https://hotchocolate15k.com/city/tampa/.