Have you ever done a destination half marathon or dreamt about doing one? I was registered to run Seawheeze this year with one of my best friends but unfortunately I was unable to attend. I’m was super bummed but it is now on my bucket list to do one day and the reasons below make me want to do it even more. Sara was nice enough to put together at great list of why SeaWheeze is the race to run. She has run 13 half marathons and 2 of the 4 Lululemon SeaWheezes.
Amazing, inspiring, and epic are all words that tend to be overused, in my opinion. I read recently, “If everything is amazing, nothing actually is.” If I made dry chicken, soggy rice, and burnt veggies, I wouldn’t want my husband to say, “Thanks for another amazing dinner babe.” With that in mind, the Lululemon SeaWheeze race weekend truly is AH-MAZING, inspiring, and you guessed it, pretty epic!
The 2015 SeaWheeze was my 13th Half Marathon. And I’d like to share 13.1 reasons why the Seawheeze should be your next, or first, destination race!
Here we go, in no particular order…
#1 – The Schwag
The special edition shorts. You pick the size and style (speeds or trackers) Lulu picks the print. These are shipped to your door in early May, for you to train in.
Every once in a while, someone will recognize you in your SeaWheeze shorts (or gear), you’ll bond over your mutual admiration for the SeaWheeze half, and boom, you’ll have a new running friend for life.
Additional Schwag: Zippered pouch messenger bag, Lululemon water bottle, Saje runners reward with essential oils, a pimpin’ hat, the finish line game changer – a cold cloth to wipe sweat off post race, Kind bars, coconut water, bottled Whistler water, and of course, a unique medal to fit Lululemon’s annual race theme.
#2. Race Locale
Vancouver is a shopper’s paradise and offers endless sightseeing possibilities: The Capilano suspension bridge, Granville Island Public Market, Gastown, Grouse Mountain, Stanley Park (Rated the best park in the world by Trip Advisor in 2014), coal harbour, and, oh yeah, the Pacific Ocean. Plus, if you like food as much as I do, there are a TON of gourmet restaurants at your finger tips.
#3. The Expo
Package pick-up is located in the Vancouver Convention Centre with a made-for-runners carnival happening right outside. Overlooking the ocean, surrounded by a bunch of excited like-minded individuals, you’ll find great music, and lots of pampering. Think free cotton candy, frozen yogurt, and temporary SeaWheeze tattoos! The SeaWheeze team has hairstylists French braiding your hair so it won’t move on race day. Does your man need a trim while he waits for you? Men’s cuts are available too. Aestheticians are ready to give you race day nails. Vega, Kind bars, Saje, Whistler water, and David’s Tea, have booths set up handing out freebies. It is a guaranteed good time!
#4. Showcase Store
“Run swift as a rabbit. Like you do. And don’t forget to take in the view!”
A huge ballroom filled with exclusive, special edition SeaWheeze run gear! All your favorite styles in fun colors and prints. Yes, Please!
#5. The Route
The course, it’s beautiful! Over 11 km of the route is next to the Pacific Ocean = BREATHTAKING views. The rest of the race course showcases downtown Vancouver. If you live in the prairies, there are a few hills, a couple short steep climbs, some elevations, and lots twists and turns to keep you on your toes.
#6. The App
The SeaWheeze team created a training-based app specially designed to help you crush your running goals, keep track of your progress, and connect with friends. Other helpful features include a playlist, videos – to give you pointers for speed training, hill training and long runs, resistance training exercises, photo booth, the list goes on.
#7. Cheer Stations
The SeaWheeze offers complimentary shuttles to three designated cheer stations so your friends and family can cheer you on along the course and then get back in time to catch you finish! How awesome is that? In true Lulu fashion, each station had a theme and your fans were more than welcome to dress up and join the party! It’s roller derby time! Break out the helmets, elbow and knee pads. Tailgate party! Break out the old football jerseys and cheerleading gear. Mad science! Break out the nerd glasses and the lab coats.
Other notable cheer stations included a spin class (that appeared to be working harder than me), mermaids, transvestites at the top of a short but steep climb, on the Seawall, where there was no room for a cheer station, stand up paddle boarders were giving us the motivation we needed to get to the finish! This race also had no shortage of hilarious race signs, “Half marathon? Half impressed.” was my personal fave.
#8. Pace Beavers
“I’ll Pace, You Race.”
Pace beavers will get you across the line in time, no matter what your goal pace is. The Beavers are inspirational Lululemon run ambassadors from all over the world, offering support, encouragement and big laughs through all 21K.
#9. Aid Stations
If stopping for fuel is your jam, this race is for you. Whistler water, Vega electrolyte drink, bananas and Vega energy gels are available at the ample aid stations.
#10. Runners Brunch
Post race brunch of a Belgian waffle, organic yogurt, mini quiche, and organic fresh fruit. Yes please!
Plenty of yoga by some of North Americas best teachers. Friday’s nooner yoga, and sunset yoga are the perfect way to relax and stretch out before a big race! Following the race, head to Stanley park for a giant yoga class at the Sunset festival.
And, my personal favorite was an awesome 45 minute yoga practice for runners found on the SeaWheeze app and website. Find the video here
#12. Discounted Flights and Hotels
Partner airlines offer discounted flights to and from Vancouver. A number of partner hotels, close to the start line, offer some sweet accommodation deals. A few people checked into their hotels rooms to find a note that said, “Welcome to Vancouver! Your first night is on us, Enjoy the race! Sincerely, the SeaWheeze Team.” Ah, Lululemon you never cease to amaze me.
#13. Sunset Festival
The Sunset Festival is the post-race celebration held Saturday evening after the race. Imagine the best lawn party of the summer, with thousands of friends gathering for live music and outdoor yoga. Beer gardens (also serving wine, and cider), local food vendors, froyo, a trapeze, (yes, a trapeze) and an artisan market selling cool stuff by local craftspeople and exclusive Lulu Sunset Festival merch!
#13.1 The Beer
Any race that crafts its own beer is an A+ in my books. Lululemon collaborated with, fellow Vancouverites, Stanley Park Brewery to create a crisp, clean lager. Curiosity Lager is the perfect beer after a sweaty run on the seawall. Partial proceeds benefit the Stanley Park Ecology Society. And contrary to what my husband says, the beer tastes nothing like yoga pants.
To make a long story short, Lululemon gives you A LOT of bang for your buck in both treatment and freebies. If you’ve ever been to any Lululemon event, you know they put on a great show. And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?
To date, the SeaWheeze Half Marathon is my favorite race of all time! Bucket list it, baby!
Check out SeaWheeze.com for registration information or “like” them on Facebook for up to date info!