How I Won the 24th Erin Award at the Hot Chocolate 15K

By November 7, 2011 culture No Comments

That’s right, people. I won an award at the Hot Chocolate 15K in Chicago this past weekend. According to my ZumTri results, I won the 24th Erin Award.

Out of 79 racers named Erin, I was the 24th to finish. In the 2010 race, I placed 44th out of 79 Erins—and I mentioned that perhaps my 2011 goal could be breaking into the Top 25 Erins. ha! See what you can do when you set random goals and then forget about them?

There was no actual award for the Top 25 Erins, as you likely guessed, but ZumTri has this nifty race results simulator that transforms your race results using video, charts, graphs, and fun facts (such as how many people you beat using your name or hometown as the measure). Here are my race results in full:

  • Finish time: 1:22:40 (8:53 average per mile)
  • 1st 5K:  28:27 (9:09 pace)
  • 2nd 5K:  27:26 (8:49 pace)
  • 3rd 5K:  26:47 (8:37 pace)
  • Overall place:  4,069/13,430
  • F35–39 age group place:  278/1,316
  • Female place:  1,889/9,067
  • My time would have won the following age groups: F1–19, F65–69, and M70–98.
  • I was the 4th finisher out of 20 from Bloomington, Illinois—oddly, I don’t know any of them.
  • I was faster than all entrants named Veronica (15), Bertha (4), and Ingrid (5)—good to know.

Besides my hope of crushing all other Erins in the field, Rosa and I did want to beat last year’s time, which was, admittedly, not too tough considering we were crawling in 2010. In the 2010 race, the too-tight course made it more of a delightful jog, rather than a race, along the Lake Shore path. The new course through the city gave us plenty of space to do that! We were ahead of last year’s time by almost eight minutes; our pace per mile was almost 50 seconds faster this year. The hot cocoa, chocolate fondue, and chocolate squares at the post-race chocolate party were delicious as expected. (It has to be impossible to mess up Ghirardelli chocolate!)

Better than all that, I got to run with Rosa! We loved running down the middle of streets that are typically crammed with traffic. Rosa and I gawked at the architecture and gushed at the brick townhouses. (Great distraction.) When the course turned us back toward the Lake, the view was spectacular: the trees above with their autumn finery then opening up to the city skyline, complete with the El suspended between the buildings—wow.

We also ran down Monroe, where some friends of mine live—and they were there to cheer for us! Sherry even made me a sign. I felt loved, and it was a huge boost to my mental state. (Thanks, Sherry and Michael!)

All in all, the Hot Chocolate 15K was a great experience, full of running, friends, and chocolate. A perfect trio in my estimation!

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