Did you know: Hershey offers two sweet race weekends that comprise the Chocolate Town Challenge? I was treated to the sweetest opportunity a blogger could dream of: a hosted trip to Hershey PA and learned all about the race weekends Hershey offers. Here are five reasons why runners love Hershey.
Runners are a funny breed of people. If you know one, you know what I’m talking about.
We willingly push our bodies to endure miles and miles of pain in all kinds of weather for the glory of a “free” t-shirt and to earn a medal.
Doesn’t sound logical, does it?
But to all you runners out there: I see you. I know you. And logic is low on the list of why we do what we do.
There are many reasons we run, and everyone has their personal thought process behind it.
For me, running is the worst. But I still do it. Lawd help me, I still get out there and put the miles in because at the end of the day, I need it. And sometimes I “need” a gorgeous medal to show off too.
And if you throw a destination race in there, I won’t complain either.
Hershey, Pennsylvania offers a fabulous destination for you racecation lovers.
5 Reasons Why Runners Love Hershey
I only spent a weekend in the town but I quickly fell in love with it. If you haven’t been to Hershey, PA before and are looking for tips to plan your first trip, I’m here to help with these tips for visiting Hershey PA.
I’ve heard great things about the races held in Hershey over my running years but never thought I’d actually be close enough to make it happen. With the move to the east coast, it’s a distinct possibility that a Chocolate Town Challenge race could be in my future.
I think I have a few girlfriends I could talk into running with me!
Here are 5 reasons why runners love Hershey.
THE Hershey MEDALS
Let’s just get right to it, shall we?
Runners love a good medal. And the Chocolate Town Challenges offer some mighty sweet bling.
Who wouldn’t love to have a medal in the shape of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup hanging from their neck?
And the 2017 Hershey 10K medal featured one of the highlights of that race: running through Hersheypark Amusement Park. Roller coasters and chocolate on this one, y’all!
Which brings me to my next point…
RUNNING THROUGH THE TOWN OF HERSHEY PA
While there is a trolley tour I highly recommend, I know runners like to do things the hard way: on foot. (Man, we are weird, aren’t we? Ha!)
You’ll get the highlights of this town if you run the Hershey half marathon this fall.
Hersheypark, the Milton Hershey School, and the world-famous Chocolate Avenue are on the route. If you like distractions during your run (raises hand) then this is the race for you!
The Hershey 10K, which runs every spring, starts and ends at Hershey Stadium, with a race through Hersheypark as well.
On the Hershey 10K course, you’ll receive the typical runner assistance with medical, water, and chocolate bars.
That’s right- you’ll have the chance to get some chocolate pick-me-ups during the race. Pretty sweet, eh?
And did I mention that these races support the Children’s Miracle Network? I should have mentioned that FIRST because, well, it does.
You know that means a lot to this former Children’s Miracle Network hospital momma.
One thing to note: these courses are hilly. “Rolling hills” really means lot’s of ups and downs, y’all!
Train your quads accordingly.
My friend Christy gives 10 non-theme park reasons for visiting Hershey that might just sway you, in case the sight of roller coasters is not your jam!
RECOVER AT THE Hotel Hershey CHOCOLATE SPA
You trained hard, you ran hard, now you need to relax easy.
This is my favorite part: I’m all for a little after party in the Spa at the Hotel Hershey, lovingly known as the Chocolate Spa.
You can pamper those tootsies with a Sweet Feet Pedicure treatment or enjoy a full body Cocoa Massage after the race.
There are also seasonal treatments available- be sure to check out the Pumpkin Treatments if you are there for the half marathon.
The spa features:
- Massage, Facial, and Wet Treatment Rooms
- Soaking Tubs, Hydrotherapy Baths, and Vichy Showers
- Steam Rooms and Saunas
- Inhalation Room and Silent Meditation Room
- Quiet Room
- The Oasis, restaurant, and lounge
- Nail and Hair Salon
- Teen and Bridal Services
- Spa Boutique
- Indoor Pool and Jacuzzi
- Fitness Center
- Outdoor Pool Complex
And hot chocolate.
Don’t forget to enjoy a cup while you are waiting for your appointment.
Plenty of amazing goodness for any runner to enjoy!
Check out the review my friend Tonia gave the Spa during our visit. I’m sure you can see why this is high on my list of things runners will love about Hershey.
Where to Stay In Hershey PA
Runners need their sleep before the big day. At least this Princess and the Pea runner sure does.
I’m happy to report that the hotel offerings in Hershey are awesome!
During our visit, we stayed at the Hershey Lodge and loved every second of it. This bed was divine and I practically dove under the covers at the end of each evening.
Here are a few more reasons you should check in on your next visit from Tania.
We toured the Hershey Campgrounds: camping folk, this place is popular for a reason! I’m dying to stay here with my family soon.
I’m dying to stay here with my family soon.
We also had a cool history tour around the Hotel Hershey where we learned how the Hotel came into being. Milton Hershey made sure to start plenty of construction projects during the Great Depression to keep his city working and this was one of them.
I love that the lodging options offered can cater to any comfort and price level a runner may have.
I honestly can’t say I have a favorite since they were all simply charming and delightful.
If luxury is your preference, then the choice is clear. The Hotel Hershey has you covered.
It’s truly a stunning hotel!
THE FOOD In Hershey PA
Real talk here: runners like to eat. And drink.
Some of us run for the bling, but I think all of us run for the carbs! And what better carb is there in the world than chocolate?
There is not one: I’ve tried them all. Trust me, folks!
When in Hershey, you’ll have plenty of options of fantastic food to indulge your rungry self with.
I have to suggest a stop at the Hershey Grill for S’mores French Toast and a Blood Orange Mimosa.
This is the breakfast of champions, my friends!
And be sure to stop by Fire & Grain for a chocolate martini at the end of the night.
After all, we runners sure do love to celebrate our races (and maybe numb the pain just a wee bit!)
Here are 4 reasons to run the Hershey 10K in 2018!
Have you run any of the Hershey races? What tips do you have for a first-timer?
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)