The annual Hot Chocolate Chicago 15K and 5K, one of the city’s most popular fall races, went off smoothly Sunday with. The first stop on the race series, runners sped through Chicago under ideal conditions and posted impressive times.
Plenty of fresh faces took part in this year’s event, bringing new names to the top of the leaderboard. Tanner Chada, only 15 years old, beat the field in the 15K with a blazing time of 50:08. Being the youngest runner in the top 15 didn’t slow the teenager who has shown steady improvement on the year. Chada, from Aurora, beat out second place finisher Ryan Richert by 35 seconds with a time of 50:43. Cameron Rieger, Nicholas Modlin and Michael Moore rounded out the top five in the 15K.
The top overall female finisher has a bit more experience breaking the tape than her male counterpart. Fleet Feet Racing’s Pam Staton continued her impressive running season with a 56:08 time and a first place finish. This was Staton’s fourth victory since August with both the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the Chicago Triathlon added in for good measure.
The 27-year-old Ingleside resident dominated the field. Alyvia Clark, the next finisher after Staton in 57:21, crossed the line more than a minute after Staton. Clark narrowly beat Megan Janezic who crossed a second later. Meshelle Rich and CARA’s Meg Sullivan finished off the top five, all coming in below the one-hour mark.
The perfect running temperature and flat, fast course aided 5K runners as well. The top 32 men all finished the race in less than 20 minutes. First place overall went to Gedion Yitref from Chicago in 16:12. Jonathan Weatherly finished second in 16:48, followed by Simon Ricci, Roger Pinon and Etienne Najman. Half of the top 10 finishers in the 5K are still teenagers.
For the women, Samantha Polock held off her competition with a 19:00 win, just six seconds ahead of Kelsey Seiler. Sophia McDonnell, 13, came in third, Jessie Mescal finished fourth and Karen McDonnell closed the top five.
For complete results and post-race information, visit Hot Chocolate’s website.