Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Vancouver and Seawheeze Highlights

Hi everyone!  I have a packed post for you today.  I was originally planning on writing a separate race recap and Vancouver highlights post, but since it was such a short trip I decided to combine it into one post.  I hope you're ready for lots of pictures and highlights!  It was such a great trip and race, so there's lots to share.  Enjoy!



I've only heard good things about Seawheeze, and the race definitely lived up to the hype.  Everything from packet pick-up to the race itself and post-race felt like a special event filled with tons of surprises!  Here are some highlights:

The day before the race, I picked up my packet and checked out the exclusive Lululemon Seawheeze store.  This opens early in the morning just for the runners, then to the public later in the day.  We got there around 12:00 after landing in Vancouver, and there were no lines at all.  There were still lots of products available, but people were saying the more popular items were gone really early.  I didn't end up picking anything up, but I loved the special Seawheeze patterns!


There were also yoga classes, a DJ, temporary tattoos, hair stylists, photo booths, food and drink vendors, and more!  This was all held outside of the convention center (near the Olympic torch) which was a great spot.  Even though it was really crowded, there was plenty of room to get around, and the water and mountains in the background were incredible!


Race day morning there was another yoga session.  There were pace groups for every 15:00 (which started around 1:30:00 I believe), as well as a few different corrals.  These weren't regulated at all so you could go in any corral you wanted.  I ended up at the back of the first corral, where the goal pace was 2:00:00.


The crowd support was AMAZING!  The entire route was filled with cheering people, as well as spinning classes (one of the coolest things I've seen during a race), police spraying us with water guns, a cruise ship filled with cheering volunteers, and more.  It really felt like a huge party that the entire city participated in!


The course itself was one of my favorites.  We got to see a lot of different neighborhoods and run by the water for most of the race.  I really liked how the course was full of rolling hills to keep different muscles working.  The biggest hills came around the halfway point, when we ran the only out-and-back portion of the race.  That was also one of the hottest parts of the course!

vancouver lululemon seawheeze half marathon 2016 recap

My favorite part was running around Stanley Park.  It was nice and shady, and the view was breathtaking.  This was the only part that didn't have many crowds, but I enjoyed the view and was just trying to take it all in!  While I didn't PR, I wanted to enjoy the view and the experience of the race.  I ended up finishing in 2:04:29 with a pretty big positive split (my 5k times were 28:21, 29:02, 28:41, and 38:41 for the final 6.1 kilometers).

vancouver lululemon seawheeze half marathon 2016 recap

After the race, we got a ton of goodies!  There were vendors from the finish line back to the convention center giving us water, granola bars, and more.  Back at the convention center, there was food set up for us- a breakfast sandwich, cherry tart, and grapes.  Best post-race food ever.

vancouver lululemon seawheeze half marathon review

The swag from this race beats anything that I've ever gotten before.  The race fee is on par with other half marathons I've done (around $100), but we got so much stuff!  A few months ago, we got Lululemon speed shorts, then at the race we got sunglasses, water bottle, duffel bag, Nuun tabs, hat, and Saje oils.  Knowing the price of Lulu items, I'm sure those things alone are worth more than $100, so this race really is a great deal.  Plus, the medal is absolutely gorgeous!  On Saturday night, there's also a music festival included with registration, but Dan and I decided to skip it.

2016 seawheeze race swag

The rest of our time in Vancouver was trying to squeeze in as much as possible!  We were staying near downtown in an AirBnB, and I loved the location. (PS, if you use this link you get a $30 credit!  And no, this post/trip is NOT sponsored by AirBnB!)  It was close to the Canada Line which goes to the airport, as well as the race start.  We ended up walking a ton on Friday, which might have been a cause of me shutting down at the end of the race.  Definitely worth it though! 


Seriously...how gorgeous is Vancouver?!  I have to admit that when I picture Canada, I think of a really cold place with not a lot of good scenery.  I was completely wrong and it's an incredible, beautiful, fun city!  Dan and I both loved it and could actually see ourselves living there.  It's definitely on my list of favorite cities that I've been to and I would recommend everyone visit!


Besides the race, the highlight of the weekend was getting to meet and hang out with Suzy, her husband Andrew, and Callum!  I've been blogging buddies with Suzy for a while now, and I was so excited to meet her in person.  Dan and I just clicked with them, and we ended up spending pretty much all of Saturday afternoon with them!  We had dinner at Cactus Club, met Christina from The Athletarian (who also ran in the race) then walked around Stanley Park for a while.  It was a beautiful day out, and we ended up talking about everything and anything.  I'm really sad that we live so far apart, but luckily I can keep up to date with her thanks to blogging!  I always love meeting blogging buddies, and getting to meet her and hang out was the best.


We ended up leaving early on Sunday.  We had a flight in Newark and ended up getting delayed for a few hours, but we found a beer garden and ended up staying there watching the Olympics!  It ended up being a lot of fun and a great end to the trip.



So- who's going to try to get into Seawheeze next year?!
Lulu just sent out an email hinting at a huge change for next year..can't wait to see what they're up to!
Have you ever met a blogger in real life?  Awkward?
I've become friends with a few Pittsburgh bloggers and also met Susie IRL!  Not awkward at all (at least from my point of view...they might have different answers)

linking up with Amanda!

46 comments:

  1. It looks SO gorgeous! I wish I thought I could get into that race! Looks amazing. I've always wanted to go to Canada. Congrats on a great race!

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    1. Thanks Ciara! Hopefully next year you can get in :)

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  2. What an amazing trip/race/scenery/city. Need to get up to that part of Canada soon. No surprise about the delay in Newark, but I'm glad you had stuff to keep busy :)

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    1. Yes you do! it's so amazing. Luckily when I have delays it's only been on my return journey so it doesn't bother me. If I missed a connection it might stress me out more!

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  3. i have met quite a few bloggers in real life, only ones i became super close with online/through emails and it's never been awkward!
    this race looks super fun, all that swag! and you are right, it is absolutely gorgeous.

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    1. That's so cool! I hope I get to meet more (including you!)

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  4. I love how when we saw each other we already *knew* each other, like that totally warm and easy feeling, like old friends. Awe okay, don't get me all sentimental here. COME BACK SOON! I can't wait!!! xoxox

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  5. I want to do this next year SO badly. Vancouver is high on my list of places to visit, so I need to make it happen and just say yes. It looks GORGEOUS!

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    1. You definitely should! It's amazing and worth every penny :)

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  6. Sounds like a great time. Gosh, i need to go to Canada--everyone is going there this summer!

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    1. Yes seriously! It's the new hot place to visit :)

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  7. The sights, the swag, the dream! I definitely have this on my bucket list!!

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  8. Wow, that sounds (and looks) like an amazing race. I've read a couple of recaps and they definitely make me want to go be part of this next year. Is it hard to get into this race?

    You ran a great race and awesome time! :)

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    1. It's really hard! I have a friend who applied right when registration opened online and didn't get in. Definitely don't wait if you're hoping to sign up or it might be too late!

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  9. This looks like a fabulous weekend! Congrats on a great race! Was this your first international race?

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    1. Last year I did one in Copenhagen as well! This was the first official one though :)

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  10. Oh, there are parts of Canada that are very cold with ugly scenery! My husband used to have to travel to Windsor, CA for work (he lived in Detroit at that time) and it's exactly like that - cold and industrial. But like the US, Canada varies and the BC is gorgeous!
    How fun that you got to meet Suzy!!

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    1. I seriously had no idea and feel so dumb for thinking that way! I'm happy to be proven wrong though :)

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  11. Oh I love that you got to meet Suzy! We also had plans to meet, but then my plans changed and I ended up missing the race.
    I'm super pumped to see what the change it for next year, regardless - I plan on signing up!!
    Oh, and if you want epic scenery, definitely check out Calgary and Banff.

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    1. Oh man I'm so sorry you couldn't make it! What a bummer :( Hope you get to go next year! And thanks for the recommendations!

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  12. Sounds like so much fun! What was the weather like on race day? Vancouver is on my list of places to visit. Even though I haven't been yet, I definitely think I'd love living there...if it weren't so expensive! Shoot, I completely forgot until I read this post, but there is a famous veg restaurant there that's supposed to be amazing. Hopefully you found other good veg options though!

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    1. Weather was really hot, sunny and humid! Not idea conditions, but what can you do :)

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  13. I once met this blogger in Pittsburgh and it was SO AWKWARD ;D
    I am super jealous that you got to snuggle with Suzy. And go to Vancouver. I want in on that!

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    1. Yeah seriously..she sounds like a jerk ;)

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  14. Okay, I need to do this race next year! I saw the Vega hosted lunch for bloggers and decided that's it, I'm registering! Do you know when they're opening up registration for 2017?

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    1. They haven't announced a day yet! I believe it's usually in October? Just keep checking the seawheeze website!

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  15. Thanks for sharing your incredible weekend. What a great experience.

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  16. Looks like such a great trip! Also, UGH to Newark. I refuse to fly out of there ever, even though it's closer than AC for me. Nope.

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    1. I usually don't mind it! Even though we had delays it was still a fun time :)

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  17. AHH I have so much fomo reading this post! We just spent a week in Vancouver and flew out early Saturday morning. I wish we had planned better so we could have done the race. We saw all the set up and everything going on Friday. I absolutely LOVED Vancouver and fell in love with the city! We definitely enjoyed some great runs on the Seawall and around Stanley Park. I think I definitely need to do the race next year!

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    1. I'm jealous you got to spend a whole week there! A weekend definitely wasn't enough time. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip :)

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  18. What an awesome race! After seeing that swag bag you get I'm 100% doing this race next year!

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  19. Nice photos! There is an interesting race, a nice city, a happy trip... I love your sharing! ^^

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  20. Seawheeze is the sound I make when I get salt water up my nose in the ocean! ;) Hehe, love the name. But seriously! This sounds like such an awesome experience for you. Thanks for bringing us along with you.

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    1. Hahah!!! I never thought of that but so true!

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  21. I'm so glad you had such a great experience here! This is my second year living in Vancouver, but I still haven't been lucky enough to get into the race. We were away over the weekend in Seattle, but hope you come back to Vancouver again some time soon as it would be great to meet you. :) When I picture Canada, I always think of it being a cold place as well, because I grew up in Toronto and it IS cold there during the winter! But it's so much prettier here and the weather is more forgiving and mild, even in the summer. Definitely one of the prettiest places I've ever lived in.

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    1. We'll definitely be back, hopefully soon! I love the city so much.

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  22. That looks like a lot of fun and Vancouver is definitely a sight to behold!

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  23. I'm going to sign up for next year. FOR SURE! great post.

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  24. Vancouver is AWESOME:)Sure you had lots of fun:) and Sea Wheeze sounds Interesting ;)

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