Walking the Beat: Hot Chocolate Run

Last modified: Sunday, January 10, 2016
I had a lot of company on my walk today — runners of all sorts and descriptions warming up for the 10th annual Hot Chocolate Run to support Safe Passage. It was a perfect cold December day, gray skies but no “weather.”

The high-energy pre-event had everything: gaiety, laughter, an all-female drum corps, an oompah tuba, recorded James Brown belting out “I Feel Good”; children all over the place, some of them appearing to be pretty serious runners.

The 5-kilometer run/2-mile walk event supports Northampton’s shelter for women and their children who are fleeing domestic violence — a great cause. It draws all sorts of supporters, from elite runners to folks in tutus who were clearly in it for the fun and camaraderie.

It’s popular: The run had already reached its full enrollment of 5,500 participants by Nov. 12.

Thanks go to our former Mayor Clare Higgins, who started this wonderful tradition. Keep it in mind for next December (sign up early if you want to participate), and remember not to try to drive downtown until it’s well over.

Walking’s easy, though.