Friday, 16 August 2013

Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon

The Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon is a fairly new race, but very popular as it sold out in a few weeks of registration opening up.  This was the second year for the event which takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



I headed out early Thursday with my kids, cousin and mom in tow to the airport as we were flying standby to Vancouver. I will have to write another post on the adventures of travelling standby another day. We eventually made it to Vancouver after almost 24 hours of being up.

The package pickup/expo was on Friday  and features a "showcase store". Lululemon sets up a store with limited edition SeaWheeze themed clothing. I had hoped to head out to the SeaWheeze expo/showcase bright and early, but since the kids went to bed at 3am PST, there was no was I was going to try to wake them up at 7 to head out. My little guy was also burning hot with a fever.  It turns out he had Roseola. 

Thank goodness for social media as I found out an old friend from high school had also flown in to run the race as well and was able to connect with her. We kept in touch as she was on her way to packet pickup and was able to give me the details of the ridiculous line to get into the Vancouver Convention Centre to pick up her bib and the "showcase store". She told me that the line was around the building and that there was no separate line for the runners. I was rather disappointed to hear this as I had hoped that they would have a special line for runners. I heard that people had started lining up at 4 am to get first dibs on the limited edition clothing and many of these people were not even running the race. I'm sure I will see many of the clothes on eBay. I decided to wait until later in the day to go pick up my packet in hopes that the lines would die down. She told me that it took her 1 hour from start to finish to get her bib. I think this was appalling!! I was not going to drag my kids to wait an hour to pick up my bib. I hope Lululemon will resolve this matter for future races.


I decided to take my kids to the Vancouver Aquarium instead and wait out the lines for package pickup. It was a huge hit with my daughter. I highly recommend visiting the aquarium as it it right inside Stanley Park and is easy to get around and see all the animals and exhibits. I went to pick up my packet after the aquarium and there were no lines, but the showcase store was pretty depleted. They had sold out most items in my size, so I left empty handed.


Instead of bibs, all the runners got an all access wristband to the events that they had planned for us. They had yoga on the beach and an awesome concert the evening after the race.


I woke up bright and early race day to overcast skies and a very sick baby. I felt guilty for leaving him with my mom, but I had decided that I was going to aim for my sub 2:00 half marathon. Thank goodness for moms and baby Advil.

Ready to go, Olympic cauldron behind me

I tried to work my way up to the 2:00 pacers, but was met by walls of people. There were over 10,000 people running the race.  I finally wedged myself right in front of the 2:10 pace group.  In the midst of me rushing out of the hotel and worrying about my sick baby, I had forgotten to grab the pace band that I had made for the race. Luckily, I had my iPhone and was able to pull up the split times that I would need to get my 2:00 hour finish. I quickly memorized the splits and waited to start.



Heading into Stanley Park

I didn't take many pictures during this run as I was aiming for my sub 2:00 finish. I don't think I took my phone out until after 13km. I had been told by one or the staff (Thanks Tara) at my local Lululemon store who had run this race last year to enjoy the view and that the cheering squads were going to be amazing and she was right. I was quite surprised to see all the people out cheering the runners on. There were some awesome drag queens at a top of a pretty steep hill yelling at us to make it to the top. Musical acts, acrobats, a young girls cheer squad, lots of Lululemon staff, BMO Vancouver Marathon people cheering, people on boats in the water yelling from megaphones to motivate us, and even people on paddle boards. I was rather overwhelmed by all the positive energy.

The fuel stations were amazing. There was water, Vega energizer drinks and endurance gels, as well as bananas and oranges. This race had the best fuelling stations I have ever had in all the races I have run.


The nice KM markers on the road
The race course was absolutely stunning. We started by running through parts of downtown Vancouver and eventually onto the Seawall. The weather was perfect as it was not too hot or cold and a bit overcast. A few raindrops fell during the early parts of the race but stopped. I was never able to find the 2:00 pacer, but kept to the times that I had memorized while standing in the start coral. I felt that I was pretty strong and with the new marathon plan I had from my coach, I was going to give it my all.  I finished under my 2:00 goal.




My Splits from my Garmin

5.05 km - 28:40
10.04km -  57:30
15.03 km- 1:25
20.04 km - 1:52
21.25 km - 1:58

My sweet Swag

I must say Lululemon put on a FANTASTIC race weekend. It was not just a race, but a fun filled weekend. I wish I had dragged some girlfriends with me as this would have been the perfect event.  Even though the line up was long at the expo, they handed out Popsicles and goodies to those waiting in line. Lululemon had scheduled yoga on the beach and a huge party afterwards in the park with a concert and more yoga. There were manicures and pedicures and tattoo booths.  The swag was great as you get a pair of Lululemon running shorts and a nice canvas bag that was used for bag check. Vega was sponsor for all the fuelling throughout the race, which was a bonus for me as I love their products. The medal is one of a kind as you can see from my photos. They set up photo booths afterwards for all runners to take photos to put into their "medals".

There were free massages and an awesome brunch after the race.  All finishers were given a Saje runners reward package with their Peppermint Halo and Pain Release oils AND Skullcandy earbuds.


Surprise! It's a locket 
The Medal 


Post Race shot taken by my daughter, rocking
my Lululemon Outfit
I highly recommend this race to everyone. Vancouver is a beautiful city and the SeaWheeze is definitely one of the best races I have ever ran. I was not able to take part in any of the things/events that were set up as my little one was sick, but I hope to go back next year with some friends and rock this race again.

What is your favourite race that you have run?

Have a great weekend.

















5 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great race! Well done on a great finishing time in such a large race field!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. It was a super fun race. Lots of great energy

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  2. I want to do this race so badly! I almost signed up this year but just didn't have enough vacation days to get up there. Next year for sure! The schwag is so fun :) And congrats on your time - that is awesome!

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    Replies
    1. This race is totally worth saving vacation days for. I hope to run it again next year.. maybe I'll see you there.

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