On Aug. 12, 2017 I participated in my first official half marathon. It was the most beautiful and most well organized half marathon I’ve ever been a part of. The SeaWheeze is 21.1 kilometres of awesomeness. The scenery truly takes your breath away, even if you’ve been to Vancouver before.
The insanely popular Lululemon half marathon sells out every year in a matter of minutes. Shortly after joining YYC Run Crew (Lululemon’s 4th street Tuesday night run meetup) in the fall, I was told of how amazing an experience Seawheeze is and how it is a can’t-miss run for everyone from serious runners to people who just started running.
Unfortunately I just missed out on initial registration for the event. Luckily YYC Run Crew had a few spots available for Seawheeze. You just had to get to the store early enough. Unfortunately I also missed out on this chance and thought my dream of going to Seawheeze 2017 had passed.
After a Twitter conversation with a friend about Seawheeze I received a DM from Lululemon Men giving me an entry to Seawheeze. They sent me the code, and just like that, I was officially going to Seawheeze! Lulu did an incredible job of staying in touch with people and keeping the excitement building. My special edition shorts arrived in May, and great training information was supplied, as was everything you’d need to know for race weekend. Two weeks before the run Lululemon also sent a package to my apartment full of Lululemon swag, a gift card to their store, gift cards to restaurants and bike rental passes to bike the Seawall. My entire weekend in Vancouver was set.
As soon as we arrived in Vancouver, I could feel the race energy and buzz in the city. While official events started on Friday, the plaza outside the convention centre was already set up on Thursday and had activities most of the day. I got a temporary tattoo, and there were also stations for manicures and hair braiding. Vendors were handing out free samples of Nuun electrolyte tabs, Vega smoothies, pressed juices, etc.
Friday: I headed to Jack Poole Plaza for The Third Annual Seawheeze Pop-Up workout put on by November Project YVR. I don’t even know how many people were at the workout, but there were a lot, and it was so great to meet so many people from near and far who were in town for the run and also a part of the November Project community.
After the workout, I took advantage of the bike rental pass and restaurant gift certificate with my fiancé. After riding the Seawall and downtown Vancouver and checking out some more booths set up for Seawheeze, I carb-loaded before Saturday morning’s big run. There was a sunset yoga session, but I opted for an ice cream cone on West Fourth Ave instead.
Race Day: SeaWheeze isn’t your average half marathon. It’s over 10,000 amazing people descending on Vancouver to sweat it out over a summer weekend of yoga, running, and, of course, one hell of an awesome party. The weather on Thursday and Friday after we got to the city was still smoky from the fires in interior B.C. Luckily, by race morning, the smoke had cleared, and made the view of the Seawall so picturesque for the last leg of the run.
The course is the most beautiful one I have ever done. There were some spots of entertainment, but honestly, this course is all about the natural beauty of Vancouver. Significant portions are on the sea wall and the perimeter of Stanley park, allowing you to take in the natural beauty of this city. It’s a fairly flat course, with a couple of moderate hills. Because of my extensive training for the Calgary Marathon 50K Ultra, I was quite experienced with hills and I was able to make up ground and pass many people on the Kitsilano bridge.
I came into the finish and was immediately given a medal. I just love how positive and excited everyone is for this race. It totally pushes you and helps you forget about actually running a half marathon. There were tons of people cheering us on along the way and many cheer stations.
This year, Young the Giant was the musical act that got people up and dancing for one awesome party on Saturday night. I’m not a big drinker, and the beers this year, Postmark were amazing.
The theme of the weekend is Yoga. Run. Party, and it did not disappoint.
I loved every moment of it. The cool breeze on the Seawall, the beautiful scenery, the people, music, the drag queens, mermaids, people on paddle boards, the hippies, the T-Rexes, and the cool signs. This year Lululemon hit a homerun.
SeaWheeze Half Marathon 2017 is a weekend I will never forget, and now I want to attend every year, whether as an athlete or just to volunteer. I was really blown away at this race. It was on my bucket list since I started running and hopefully I can continue to run it in the years to come. Thanks, SeaWheeze, YYC Run Crew and Lululemon, for a larger-than-life half marathon that I won’t be forgetting any time soon!