Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon, class of 2013!

Enough of the pre-race day talk and lets get right into RACE DAY! Have I talked enough about how much I love this half marathon, oh yeah, I did!

Anyway, I had set my usual three alarms on my phone and this time since I was staying at the hotel by myself, I requested an additional wake up call just in case. The race started at 7:00 and since I had to check out of my hotel literally minutes after I got back, I had all my stuff ready to go the night before, that way I could just get back, take a quick shower and check out.

I decided to wear the cool racerback tank that I had bought the day before to the race and my crops, I'm not a fan of running in shorts, they always ride up on me and that makes it for a very uncomfortable and chafing guaranteed race. If you are runner, you know what I mean, right? I made sure I had my Chip chip on my shoe (Chip is the founder of Lululemon and they put his face on the chip you put on your shoe, its a play of his name), my wrist band on tight and off I went. Like I said before, it was about a half an hour walk to the Vancouver Conventions center, which was the start of the race from my hotel, so I made sure I had plenty of time. I saw a ton of people who were racing walking towards the starting line.

Once I got there, they didn't really have much to do. Unlike other races where they have refreshments and food before the race, they don't at SeaWheeze. I could see that they were setting up for the finish line festival already and there was a table with bananas that I'm sure I could have went and asked for one, but I thought that might have been a little awkward. The cool thing about the SeaWheeze is that they actually have bananas and oranges throughout the course. Having run that race the year before I knew they had that and I wasn't worried about not having eaten anything that morning. I don't like to eat anything but a banana race morning anyway, so I was going to be fine.

They did a little warm up routine at 6:40, before the race started, that's always so much fun, they have a few different people doing stretches, warm up and yoga. I even made it to their video they posted on their website SeaWheeze.com. The race started a little bit late, I think because they changed the way you get to the starting line and the racers who had been there the year before were all trying to get in one way and they were trying to re-direct people and it was a bit confusing.

I have to be honest, this the most beautiful course I've ever ran, most of it is on the water and Vancouver is an amazing city. The support is great through out the race, they have set up huge cheer stations and this year the water stations were well managed with each station having Vega electrolytes drink and Vega energy gels. The gels were amazing, I even scored some extras to take with me, hopefully I can find some in the States. On the course they had tons of people dressed up in costumes and they had a little drag show going on and each mile marker had a very cute quote or a thought on it.

Its the finish line that had all of the excitement going on. The cool thing is that Lululemon always has some surprises, they don't release a picture of their medal and this year it was completely different from last years medal. I actually ended up breaking my first medal and I had to go back and ask for another one, I told them that I worked so hard for this and they gave me another one, they had a whole bucket full of broken ones, they were kind of fragile. The medal was made out of wood and carved with the SeaWheeze 2013 logo. it opened up and on the inside it said "sweat once a day" and on the other side you could put a picture in it. They did a great job with it, after receiving my medal, there was another section set up with Saje, who gave out little clip pouches filled with two little roll on bottles of natural medicine for pains and aches and another for headaches. Next they had volunteers handing out wet towels, these were real towels, wet and wrapped in plastic, also I've never seen at a race before, but it was so nice and refreshing to be able clean my face and hands after a long race. Finally as you were leaving the finish line area Scull Candy was in the house!!! They were handing out a pair of headphones with a case that had the SeaWheeze logo on it.

They had a huge runners brunch set up for all the runners, the line was so long though and I had to head back to my hotel so I could check out in time. My hotel would not let me do a late check out since they were fully booked. I was really bummed that for the second year in a row I didn't have time to enjoy that. I headed back to the hotel, I even had a guy ask me about my medal and what was happening in the city. On my way I picked up my last Blendz milk chocolate hot chocolate (the best hot chocolate you will ever have, I promise!), some pastries from Starbucks and I was good to go. I literally had enough time to take a five minute shower and gather my belongings and I walked out of my hotel room at 10:59AM, the check out time was 11:00PM.

I made a quick pit stop at my favorite book store in Granville called Chapters, I picked up a few things and headed home. The border line was crazy long this time, I don't know why since it was a Saturday afternoon, who knows??? I probably waited for about an hour or so and once I was across the border I was clear to go all the way home. I ended up getting home around 4:00PM after making a few stops on the way.

Overall this was an amazing experience, this will be my annual race that I hopefully will never miss. I love, love, love Vancouver, love, love, love Lululemon and love, love, love SeaWheeze.

                                                         Photo from SeaWheeze.com
Hope to see you there next year!


No comments: