Half Marathon #98
Race Name: SeaWheeze Half Marathon
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Back in late 2012/early 2013 when I was new to half marathons I came across the 2012 SeaWheeze highlight video. My initial thought was "Wow! One year I'll go!"...a few days later I thought why not this year? I signed up and made SeaWheeze one of my 36 half marathons in 2013! Instantly one of my favorite get away weekends in beautiful Vancouver Canada.
While registering for SeaWheeze 2014 it was evident everyone wanted in on the fun....we crashed the website! Registration re-opened weeks later and I got in. Word has spread and once again registering for the 2015 event was stressful...but I got in.
So what is it about this race that makes it so special?
It is the only race I know of that ships you a pair of exclusive print running shorts a few months before the race...the idea is to motivate participants to start training. That perk alone gets everyone excited!
Expo? Nope! No expo! You are not required to walk by vendors trying to sell you the latest running shoes or headphones... Instead the Convention Center has 3 sections for runners the Friday before this Saturday race.
The first section is the SeaWheeze Showcase Store - completely optional, but a must for every lululemon fanatic! The store opens at 7am but every year the line starts earlier! I was in line at 10:30pm...the first ones in line were there before 9pm! What's inside? lululemon SeaWheeze edition shorts, shirts, tops, hats, socks and bags! All exclusive prints - not available anywhere else. It's basically a mad dash to get your shop on!
The second section is packet pick-up. You are handed a participant bag with a SeaWheeze edition water bottle inside, a timing chip and a participant wristband (for access to all that is SeaWheeze). There are no race bibs in this race - your wristband is the "bib".
The third section outside the Convention Center is all about fun. Temporary tattoos, girls can get their nails painted and hair done....guys can get haircuts....yes this is all included. There was a golf swing station with a net to catch the ball this year, a cotton candy cart and other goodies....yes, all for runners and all free.
There are 2 free Yoga events that take place on Friday....one at noon and one in the evening, both at the convention center with a beautiful view of the water (don't forget your yoga mat).
There was a warm up session sometime after 6:00am and the race started at 7:00am! High energy everywhere and so many colors to be seen as everyone shows off their favorite lululemon pieces! The course goes through the city and the Seawall! Although there is some incline...well more than some...course entertainment will keep you distracted! This year I saw a spinning class in full swing (yes actual spin bikes with people exercising and cheering), drag queens, cheer stations, actors and of course mermaids! The Seawall section is beautiful!!!
After crossing the finish line I was handed a beautiful, heavy, golden carrot finisher's medal! Instantly one of my favorite medals! I was also handed a men's lululemon 2015 SeaWheeze hat...Saje oils...water....a towel and lots of smiles!
I proceeded to the runner's brunch line where I was handed a covered tray with 1 fresh waffle, strawberry jam, grapes, cherries, yogurt and quiche (I hope I'm remembering this correctly). The race has always been very selective about the food that is given to runners - organic and fresh are important! Very rare for a race event to care that much....it is very much appreciated!
What now? Thank you goodbye? Nope! Shuttles start moving at 3:45pm out of the Convention Center taking runners to Stanley Park....
Gates open at 4:30pm for the Sunset Festival! Part of Stanley Park (bigger than NY's Grand Central Park) is quarantined for the final chapter of the SeaWheeze experience! Select vendors sell food (burgers, burritos, yam fries, chips/salsa, pita bread/hummus, toasted marshmallows, frozen yogurt, etc.), other vendors are also there selling goods, a few lululemon items on sale as well! Beer stations are ready to serve happy drinks! A trapeze was set-up for the second year for those seeking a thrill! The spotlight is the main stage! Don't forget your yoga mat so you can join in at 6:00pm for yoga - this really helps runners stretch out their sore legs! At 7:00pm the concert starts and everyone proceeds with relaxing, talking and dancing! When you are ready for bed or after the concert, free shuttles take everyone back to the Convention Center! That, in a nutshell is SeaWheeze!
Enough reading....let's enjoy some pictures!
What now? I stress and worry about making it into next year's event! Thank you SeaWheeze team for another amazing event!
Gear used for this race:
Shirt: lululemon Metal Vent Long Sleeve
Shorts: lululemon Pace Breaker
Compression socks: Pro Compression
Sport Camera: GoPro HERO4 Black
Selfie Stick: GoScope Clutch