FAQ's

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! Walkers and runners have expressed not feeling safe when having to contend with people on wheels. That being said, strollers and wheelchairs are always allowed!

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 should line up at the end, to ensure safety.

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

Where do I pick up my bib?
We will email all participants with information about this year’s bib pick-up. Watch for an email to arrive about a week before the event.

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!

Fundraising

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.

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 11:59 pm. Donations will be accepted through December 31, but if you're competing for prizes, please make sure your donations are in by Friday night. 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 11:59 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.

How do I login to edit my 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. A few dollars of your registration goes towards supporting Safe Passage's programs. 

When you fundraise, you're helping us run an emergency shelter, staff a 24/7 hotline, and to provide legal advocacy and bilingual counseling services to survivors all year round.  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!

Registration

Do I need to register my child?
Here's the rule: If your kid is old enough to want their own mug of hot chocolate, they must be registered. Thanks!

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! But because our permits with the City of Northampton and the Northampton Police Department specify a cap of 6,300 participants, we cannot change this year’s number at this point.

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.