Monday, August 17, 2015

Race Recap: SeaWheeze Half Marathon 2015



Race Registration:  Registration will happen on Weds September 16 2015 for the 2016 race and sells out quickly so you need to be ready!  It sold out in 35 minutes last year!  Follow @lululemon on Twitter or Instagram for updates and information.  Lululemon then sends you the limited edition shorts for this year's race in the size and style you selected at registration.    

Expo: The expo and package pick up runs all day the Friday before the race at the Vancouver Convention Center.  We got a great reusable bag to use as gear check, a shoe chip - no bibs, no race shirts- and some goodies like a lululemon water bottle.  The expo was held outside on the waterfront and had lots of free samples of vega, kombucha, KIND bars and more.  There were food trucks giving away free frozen yogurt and cotton candy.  There was a manicure station and a hair styling station!  The lines were a little too long for me so I didn't do it.  The entrance to the SeaWheeze shop is different.  We went in to see if there was any limited edition gear I wanted to scoop up.  We went to the shop at 5pm and it had been open since 7 am and it looked like a lot of things had sold out.  Which was okay by me, I don't wear bright colors and patterns too often anyway.  

Race Morning:  We walked the mile from our hotel to the Convention Center.  Jim waited in the short line to check our bag and I headed to the warm up to try and catch Sheri.   Lauren P. from San Diego November Project lead the morning warm up at 6:20am.  (shout out fellow Team Nuun).  After the warm up, Jim and I headed to the bathrooms.   They had pink porta potties set up that were women only and the blue were unisex.  Nicely done!  The line was a little long at the first set, so we went one block up where we had remembered seeing some from the night before.  No line!  We went and then found our way over to the start.  Jim was wave 1 and I was wave 2.  We were able to see Sheri as she was at the front of Wave 2 acting as a pace beaver for the 1:40 finishers.  Said hello, hugs, pictures, quick catch up and I let her do her thing.
 I backed up a little knowing I couldn't hang with the 1:40s.  I started talking to a girl next to me because we were both wearing lunarglides.  Her name was Jenna and so nice.  Turns out I would see a lot of her during the race!  I turned around and saw fellow blogger Greg from NYCsweat.  We chatted about goals and I mentioned is love a 1:45 but probably not going to happen as I haven't had a strong training summer.  I would see a lot of him along the course and after as well. 

Course:  One word: gorgeous!  Start at convention center and run through downtown.  Made my first bathroom stop at the first set of porta potties (mile 2).    There was a Hill to get on first bridge/ramp but we were rewarded with great views of skyline.  There was a group of Bikers on spin bikes cheering that were awesome!
We hit another bridge that was not as bad as I thought.  Long but not terribly steep.  It was nice to see runners on their way back.  I got to see Jim and my friend Cody along with the infamous "thong guy".   After crossing the bridge about 5 miles in I stopped for water and to suck down a Cliff Shot.  It was so much harder to swallow than my huma gels so I stood there by the trash can for a minute trying to get it down.  A volunteer laughed and said, "those things don't go down easy do they?".   Then we headed towards the Stanley Park seawall which was my favorite part!  So unbelievably gorgeous.  Unforgettable scenery, unforgettable support....cheerleaders, bands on a barge, scientists, and mermaids!
Hill coming off the seawall at mile 11.5 just felt mean as my legs were feeling spent at that point.  Finished with a run past the zoo through Stanley Parks gorgeous forests back into downtown and finish line at the convention center.  














Post-Race:  We were gifted a hat for finishing.  Handed a wet towel, water, Kind bar and an Herbal pack as we walked down the chute.  As I waited to meet Jim since neither of us ran with phones, I got to see Sheri and Lauren, Cody, and Greg from NYCsweat again.  Took pics, hung out.  They were all so supportive and happy for me about my PR.  I love that runners support each other like that!  Jim found us and we got the provided Runners Brunch that included waffles, jam, cherries, grapes and a small quiche.  

I changed into warmer clothes that I had placed in my gear check bag and the finishers hat was perfect for taming my crazy curlies after 13 miles in misty/humid air!  
My Golden Carrot Medal
Post race we grabbed a shuttle from the finish line area to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and spent a few miles exploring the temperate rain forest by foot.  We then returned to the hotel, cleaned up and got ready for the festival.  









SeaWheeze Festival:  We grabbed busses from the finish area/convention center that took us to Stanley Park.  The festival ran from 4:30-11pm and we attended 6:30-10pm.  We were a little late to the yoga but I jumped in anyway.
It was difficult to do yoga on an uneven surface and hard with my very slippery cheap mat that I brought along since it was so much lighter than my real mat.   I did a few poses and gave up.  We got our Curiosity Lager, checked out the food and artisan vendors and waited for the bands.


My picture was one of the photos taken from the race that was on the big screen loop!

I didn't recognize any of the bands by name and once they started playing, didn't recognize their music either.  Was still nice to sit and enjoy the weather and backdrop!  In the past they had bands like Fun and Capitol Cities.  Maybe next year they will have another big name. 



Overall, this was a great race and great experience!  I can't wait to run it again.  I loved the city of Vancouver, I loved the course, the energy, the festival....

My only hope is that lululemon keeps the date in mid August so that I can continue to attend.  In late August it conflicts with back to school time as a teacher.  Think of the teachers, lululemon!  ­čśë

View the video from this year here:  http://youtu.be/C93eVbvvPic 

8 comments:

  1. I'd love to do this race! I do the SeaWheeze yoga videos that Lululemon posts on YouTube. What a fun vibe!

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  2. This looks like an awesome race. I would almost train for another half to do this one :) Congrats and nice race report!

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  3. I really want to do this. I totally would have snagged something from the expo since I LOVE bright colors. It sounds like an amazing race-cation!

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  4. I'd love to do this race but it always conflicts with a annual camping trip I do. That manicure and hair styling station is such a cool idea and very unique.

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  5. I was in Vancouver last summer for a conference and loved the scenery on my runs - I can see whay the race sells out so quickly!

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  6. This looks like so much fun! Interesting that they don't have bibs, was there a specific reason for that? Congrats on finishing!

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  7. Do you know what time zone they use for race registration if it is at 10am?

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  8. What a super cool race. The race expo (hairstyling/manicures) sounded fun. And awesome to have yoga and music afterwards! Congrats!

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