Sunday, February 28, 2016

Chili Bowl Classic 5K Recap

Photos by OHventures

Nothing gets me fired up more in the wintertime than a hot bowl of chili (see my post containing my Award Winning Chili recipe)! So, needless to say, I was thrilled to learn about the Chili Bowl Classic 5K that took place in downtown Cleveland on February 27, 2016! This annual event made promise of 10 different varieties of chili at the finish line - which was definitely motivation to run faster!

The event kicked off at the Galleria at Erieview Tower (which was the same setting for the Tackle The Tower event last year). The place was jam-packed with hundreds of runners, proof that chili makes the people come together. The race packet consisted of a commemorative soup mug and a long sleeve race shirt (pictured below). 


The race began at 9:30 AM, which gave time for the sun to come out and warm things up a bit. The skies were sapphire blue, and the weather was just right as we started running the course, which took us past some of the best landmarks in Cleveland: the Cleveland Convention Center (which happened to be hosting a Comic Convention that morning, so you can imagine the war of the comic book nerds versus the runner nerds that ensued), the Browns Football Stadium (oh, sorry, I mean First Energy Stadium), and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! It was a looped course, so we were lucky enough to run by these places twice!

I finished with a time of 26:15, a respectable time especially with my lack of training. At the finish line, I had the opportunity to congratulate one of the few dogs who ran (and beat me, by the way). Sadly, the dog couldn't enjoy the next part of the race: the CHILI!

Photo by Hermes Road Racing

The lines for the chili were pretty much a free-for-all. I would suggest making things a bit more organized next year, as the huge crowds made it difficult to get served (the chili-tasting portion is open to non-runners for $5, so there were even more people here than before). But, after waiting patiently, and navigating through the troves of hungry humans, I managed to score me 6 out of the 10 chili dishes to taste.

Photo by Hermes Road Racing

Each chili was made by a different group, many police and firefighter groups from Cleveland. You were to fill out a ballot with your favorite and place it in the ballot box so that the votes could be counted and a winner could be crowned. Aside from not tasting all 10 chili entries, it also was just so hard to choose since they were all so different and all so good (save for one entry, which I shall not name here). The different varieties were: beef, bean, beef & bean, turkey, white, and veggie! So, as you can see, it was hard to choose which to vote for (thankfully way better choices than we have in the presidential primaries right now).

Photo by Hermes Road Racing

The winner of the chili trophy and cash donations was the Cleveland Police Foundation. But the real winners were all of us runners who had the chance to dine on all of that delicious chili!

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