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!
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).
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.
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.
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!
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!