I recently did one called Rails to Trails that was a half which before the beginning of the race they told us how last year they were able to buy a fire truck for the community and it was parked onsite. I thought that was really cool. And the support and organization was top notch!
That's good to know about Hot Chocolate! How do you feel it was terribly organized? I am sucker for a cool medal and their's looks cool, lol. I also hope to use it as training and motivation for the Bjorklund Half in June.
As for pace, well, I don't tell them either way, hehe. Right now I am around 15 min pace I think but would like to get to 12 min pace by June/July.
The Cal City Mini was two weeks ago. http://www.mycmpd.com/Recreation/Special/C al-City-Mini-2015.asp.
It is south of Chicago, near my hometown. I learned about it from a CARA runner in another Chicago HM. Many CARAs come out for it.
I was the last runner until mile 10, so the follow van had my back most of the way.
It is a park district race, and I am not sure they make any money on it. There were more volunteers than runners, and since I was last, I did get a lot of support! The police were terrific and directing traffic, pleasant, accommodating and cheering the runners.
This was their 43rd year. Great race, and not just because of the price. That was a bonus!