It was a race about a wonderful city, a beautiful path, smiling faces, and lots and lots of chocolate.
The Ooh La La Chocolate Half Marathon & 5k is an event that makes everyone feel like they are a part of the community and when the common end goal of all the participants is to satisfy their sweet tooth, that isn’t very hard to do.
The races start in downtown Geneva, which provides a wonderful, homey backdrop, even for those coming from out of town. The downtown area is very walkable and allows participants to spend some time with their families afterward, which is the reason a lot of cities allow running events to take place in the first place.
The route runs along the Fox River Trail, which at this time of year is very peaceful and full of color. The course has plenty of small hills to make it interesting- and one big one right at the end- but overall, the out-and-back course follows a straight path up and down the river and runners get to greet and cheer on their counterparts along the way.
Of course, the chocolate from Chef Roby’s All Chocolate Kitchen is the reason why this event sells out each year. After the finish, participants are given a cup of hot chocolate- which warms the hands ever so nicely- a chocolate filled pastry, and a chocolate covered pretzel. It gives you quite a sugar high to go along with your runner’s high, believe me.
At the end of the morning, the race is filled with runners and walkers that are proud of what they did and where they are from. At the awards ceremony, winners are able to state what city they hail from and they say it with pride. The city of Geneva has obviously inspired this mindset and also the friendly atmosphere that the event brings in.