Event Day

Why wasn't my hot chocolate hot?
Hot chocolate + cold mug = lukewarm chocolate.

Are bikes allowed?
Please leave your bikes at home for the Hot Chocolate Run! Bikes, scooters and skateboards present a safety risk to runners and walkers. Of course, we welcome participants in wheelchairs and strollers.

Will there be a place I can leave my bag or jacket?
We’ll offer free and secure bag check compliments of our friends at ToolBox Handyman & Remodeling Services. No valuables are permitted.

How do I know where to line up for the run?
The start chute will have signage showing anticipated finish times. Please self-seed and line up in the proper chute. This will greatly improve safety for all.

When does the event begin, and where is it?
The walk begins at 9:00 a.m., the fun run at 9:30, and the race at 10:15. The start line is at Old South St. and Crafts Ave. Please allow plenty of time for travel, parking, and picking up your bib if you plan to do that at the event. The GPS coordinates for the start line are: 42.31702, -72.63108 See the top of the Race Day page for helpful links to online maps, race routes and parking lot locations.

Are strollers allowed?
Yes! They are allowed on the run and the walk. Runners with strollers are required to line up behind the rest of the runners.

Are dogs allowed?
Leashed dogs are allowed in the walk only–they are not allowed in the road race or fun run.

What's the difference between the Road Race and the Fun Run?
The Fun Run and Road Race are both 5k and follow the exact same route. Road Race runners get ranked by time and are eligible for age- and gender-graded awards. Fun Runners are not ranked by time and there are no awards. If you're still not sure which to sign up for: anyone who anticipates finishing a 5k in under 25 minutes must do the Road Race. If you expect to finish in over 40 minutes, you must do the Fun Run.

Where do I pick up my bib?

Bib numbers will be sent out by email on Friday, December 6th. You have two choices for bib pickup:

1. Pick up your bib early on Saturday, December 7 (date, time, place TBA)

2. Pick up your bib at the event itself beginning at 8:00 on Old South St, Northampton

Can I pick up my friend’s bib?
Absolutely. Just be sure you have the full names of everyone who has asked you to pick up for them. And please make sure you let them know you have their bib!


What do I do with cash/check donations?
Log in to your page and then choose "Manage my page" from the menu on the upper right. Then click "Raise Money Today" on the left side of the page, then "Enter cash/check donations." Follow the instructions on that page. You will need to fill out this form to record your cash/check donations.

What about donations I raise through a Facebook Fundraiser?
These donations are processed by Facebook, and are completely separate from your fundraising page. Please follow the "check donation" instructions above so your fundraising page total accurately reflects your fundraising total. And please also send us a note letting us know you're doing this, so we can keep track: hotchocolaterun@safepass.org. Otherwise we won't have any idea you're fundraising for the Hot Chocolate Run.

What are this year's prizes?

We will recognize our Top 3 individual fundraisers and our Top 3 fundraising teams at a ceremony at the event. We have wonderful prizes for our top fundraisers - gift cards to downtown Northampton! Please note that our deadline for purposes of our top fundraisers is the Friday before race day at 9:59 pm. Donations will be accepted through December 31, but if you're competing for prizes, please make sure your donations are in by Friday evening. We'll contact the top fundraisers and teams on Saturday to make arrangements. Thank you!

How do I get my hat and button?
Everyone who raises $150 or more by 9:59 PM on the Friday before the race will receive one of our special red knit hats and a commemorative button on event day. Please note that for planning purposes, we can only award one hat per fundraising page. Thanks!

How do I find my friend's fundraising page?
Search for their name here. After searching you can click on their name to take you to their public donation page.

I want to fundraise, but don't know how!
Thank you for taking this step! Start by sending a quick email to your friends and family with your fundraising page link. You can also post your link to Facebook with a short message about why you're participating this year. Check out a list of more tips here...and don't hesitate to get in touch at hotchocolaterun@safepass.org if you have any questions!

Why are you asking me to fundraise? Doesn't my registration fee support Safe Passage?
Most of your registration fee covers the cost of your participation - mainly public safety, equipment rentals, and the other details that make the HCR the well-oiled machine our participants love. Only about $6 per participant's registration fee goes towards supporting Safe Passage's programs. 

We rely on you to fundraise to help us run year-round services to survivors: an emergency shelter, a 24/7 hotline, and legal advocacy and bilingual counseling services. Our fundraisers are the reason we're able to do more each year to meet the needs of our community. That's why it's important for you to get involved.

Have questions about how to start? Check out our fundraising tips here, or email us at hotchocolaterun@safepass.org. We'd love to help you get started or talk to you more about the programs that you support with your fundraising. Thank you!


What are the registration fees?
Through October 27:

Adults: $30
Students/Seniors: $21
Children (12 and under): $15

October 28 until we sell out:

Adults: $35
Students/Seniors: $25
Children (12 and under): $20

Do I need to register my child?

All runners and walkers must be registered. If your child will participate in a stroller or carrier, there's no need to register them unless they'll want their own mug of hot chocolate!

Is there a waiting list?
Sorry, we don't keep a waiting list. Since our race registrations are non-refundable and can't be cancelled, we won't have any extra spots.

I didn't sign up in time. Can’t I just run/walk anyway?
No. Please understand that we work very hard to provide a safe and fun experience for our registered participants. We have a set amount of resources for the event and cannot accommodate unregistered participants. We’d love for you to support the event by sponsoring another participant. Thank you very much for understanding this policy.

Why is there a cap on registration?
We arrived at our current cap (6,300) after careful analysis of a number of different factors, with an emphasis on hosting a safe and enjoyable event for everyone. We work with local law enforcement to help us determine how many people can reasonably be accommodated. We factor in issues like parking, car traffic, foot traffic, and of course, how much hot chocolate we can make! Please trust us: we don’t take limiting registration lightly. We wish we could make the event big enough to accommodate everyone.

I already registered, but now want to join a team. Is it too late?

Not too late! Log in to your page and then choose "Manage my page" from the menu on the upper right. Then click "Individual Participant" on the left side. Then you'll be able to join a team, or create a new one.

How do I register a team?
The best way is to have each individual follow the "Register" link on the homepage. Everyone will have an option to join an existing team or form a new one. If you've formed a team and want people to join, just be sure they know the name of the team.

I've changed my mind and want to do a different event (Road Race, Fun Run, or Walk). What do I do?
No problem! If you change your mind after registering, there's no need to contact us--just line up for whichever option you feel like doing on event day. We asked you on your registration page just to get a sense of how many people to expect in each event. Please pay attention to the different start times, listed above.