Hey there! I can’t believe just a few weeks ago I ran SeaWheeze in Vancouver. I signed up for the race nearly a year ago so the fact that it has already come and gone seems totally surreal. Not to mention, so much in my life has changed since I registered for the race last fall. (For those not aware, I moved from Kansas to Portland!)
Oh and yep, you have to sign up for the race many months in advance to secure your spot. Registration is quite the event. The date is released via social media and when it opens, it is a mad dash to snag a spot. With approximately 10k spots open, the race sells out in less than 20 minutes each year. I promise you though, it is all totally worth the sweat of registration. Before you even start training, lulu sends you a special edition SeaWheeze short to get you pumped for race day.
Now, let’s take a look at my most recent half marathon 🙌.
SeaWheeze, lululemon’s half marathon was my first half outside of the United States. Since I conveniently moved to Portland, my running buddies flew to PDX and we drove to Vancouver, B.C. for the race. The drive was not bad at all. We left early Friday morning and skipped all the Seattle traffic. When we arrived, we went straight to the expo to grab our packets and check out the exclusive race gear. Expo went super fast, I was really impressed with how hassle free it was. I also appreciated that there weren’t loads of additional booths inside with peeps trying to sell me things. Outside of the expo you could find a nail art station, SeaWheeze inspired photo ops, yoga, temporary tattoos and loads of free goodies + takeaways. The only downer was that by the time I got to the exclusive gear shop, most of the items were picked over. I did manage to find a pair of coral shorts in my size though so I’m not totally disappointed. It was probably a good thing for my wallet anyhow.
After the expo, we ventured to Gastown to find some grub. Since I’m now on a planet based diet, we landed at Meet. This super cute vegan joint tucked away. All of their sandwiches and burgers were super tempting but I ended up getting sweet-chili cauliflower to nosh on and a quinoa bowl for lunch. Do yourself a favor and get the cauli if you ever go. For reals people. They are life.
After lunch we checked in to our hotel and took a nap. We were totally exhausted from the drive and expo. Because it was so adorable, we ventured back to Gastown for dinner and landed at Chill Winston on their cute patio. My friend and I split the flatbread of the day and a salad. It was a great spot to sit and watch all the action + people watch. Post dinner, we went to the store for race fuel and hydration. After that it was off to bed to catch some Z’s.
The next morning, we got up early to start hydrating. We took a taxi to the start line around 6am. We had zero issues getting to our destination and the area around the starting line was super chill. We had 30 minutes and no issues using restrooms or finding our pace groups. Around 7am, we took off like lightening and half number 16 for me began.
The first few miles of the race took you through downtown Vancouver, which is where most of the hills occurred. At the 5k mark we hit the seawall and started seeing views of the water and Kitsilano. We then cruised past English Bay and entered Stanley Park. The park route was relatively flat but this is where some of the most fun + interactive scenery occurred. On the route we saw mermaids, people on paddle boards and several hydration stations. For me, this race was all about the fun and less about the fast so I really made a solid effort to be present and enjoy myself. The flat section was actually very difficult for me. Contrary to most, I actually enjoy hills. You work hard going up but you get to cruise down and enjoy the view. Hills keep me engaged and focused. I tend to zone out on flat courses. It is harder for me to push myself if that makes any sense at all?
The last few miles went past Lion’s Gate Bridge and Lumberman’s Arch finishing up near Coal Harbor. The finish was pretty crowded. After I finished, I grabbed my medal, a water and kept with the line towards the post race festivities. Once out of the shuffle, I got my free breakfast (yay for gluten-free vegan options!). I noshed on some sort of banana bread and over night oats + my first apricot. For sure kept me from getting hangry.
After the race we socialized and snapped some victory photos before heading back to the hotel to freshen up and hit the beach in Kitsilano. We grabbed lunch at The Local and took a snooze on the beach in the sun. The beach was darling and I loved all the giant logs on the beach used for designated lounge spots. The beach was lively – friends, families and sand volleyball. The perfect spot to enjoy the day.
Post beach we got ready and headed to the Sunset Festival in Stanley Park to watch Cold War Kids and Young the Giant. They offer sunset yoga, but we skipped out due to our long stay at the beach. The backdrop of the festival was breathtaking. I was starving (per usual) so I went straight for the sushi and post race victory beer. We found some bean bags and lounged while we listened to the tunes. As dusk faded to night we laughed and watched the fireworks before heading back to our hotel to call it a night.
Lululemon freaking nailed it. Best runcation evah. Overall, the race had excellent swag, organization, volunteers, cheer stations, fueling stations, and A++ scenery.
So what’s next? I’m running Hoot to Coast this weekend and then planning to run the Vegas Rock ‘n Roll this November. What does your fall race schedule look like?
All images via lululemon