Right after I came home from the Princess Half Marathon Weekend, my friend, Lindsey, asked me if I would be interested in running the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver. This was different than the before-I-ran-a-half-marathon sign-up insanity. I had run TWO half marathons at this point, one in 100% humidity. I honestly don’t know why I said, “Yes.” Maybe a desire to see the beautiful Vancouver. Or to run a half marathon with my bestie. Or maybe the sunset festival sounded fun. Most likely it was the promise of yet another medal for my collection.
Regardless, I signed us up right when the registration opened and secured each of us a spot and we were well on our way to a fun ladies weekend that happened to involve running a half marathon along the shoreline of Vancouver, Canada.
**Warning** I’m going to rant about SeaWheeze 2014 and tell you why I won’t be attending another SeaWheeze event. You can skip down 5 paragraphs if you’ve just come here for the results and photos 🙂
The Showcase. One thing about larger running events is that there is usually some kind of Event Expo during packet pick-up. The event expo invites all kinds of running vendors, from shoes to headphones, to showcase and sell their products. The expo usually runs the day(s) before, and sometimes, the day of the race. Being that Lululemon put this on, instead of vendors they promised a Showcase with special edition Lululemon gear and clothing. Another thing to keep in mind, is that part of your entry fee gets you a pair of “free” Lululemon shorts, meaning that every runner provided Lululemon with clothing sizes well in advance of the race.
So, I was absolutely pissed off when I arrived the first day of the Showcase, in the afternoon, to find that they only had sizes 2 and 4 left. Meaning they SOLD OUT of all that clothing in less than 6 hours. There were handfuls of NORMAL SIZED women standing about, too afraid to ask if they kept the NORMAL SIZED clothing somewhere else. When I overheard the sized 00 sales associate casually mention to someone that all the LARGER SIZES had sold out hours ago, I wanted to punch someone. They had, in hand, the sizes of all the runners and they couldn’t manage to appropriately stock their showcase? I wonder why they are doing so poorly!
To add insult to injury, while waiting for our corral to be released to start the run, one of the race announcers said, “Raise your hand if you showed up 3 hours early to the Showcase. If someone has their hand raised and you don’t, they are obviously more dedicated than you.” Whoa and wait. I’m sorry, I was supposed to show up to an EXPO 3 hours early to have the privilege of proving I’m dedicated to purchasing clothing? I thought the weekend was a “yoga. run. party” not BLACK FRIDAY.
Yoga. If you call yourself a “yoga. run. party” don’t you think that when offering YOGA you would have enough room for the number of participants that have signed up to actually participate?? There were close to 8,000 people at this event. You could BARELY fit 500 in the area they offered the noon, evening, and morning yoga. Apparently, you are also supposed to show up 3 hours prior to all the yoga classes so that you can have the privilege of attending the yoga classes that were offered as part of my entry fee? The only time there was enough space for all the runners to participate in the yoga together was at the Sunset Festival. If they are being honest they should call this a “wait in line. run. wait in line. yoga. wait in line. party.”
Sunset Festival. They had advertised food, drinks, yoga, and a concert for the Sunset Festival. What they did not advertise was that the food stands were cash only. Fortunately, Lindsey and I arrived early enough to the event that we were able to get cash and food. Unfortunately, 2 hours into the 6 hour event, the only two ATMs (that were sporting 30-45 minute lines) ran out of cash. Guess what hungry, tired, runners do when that happens? They leave. Lindsey and I would have gladly stayed the whole concert and spent a lot more money, but the other girls we met up with didn’t have any cash to eat (and wouldn’t use ours) – so we all left to “party” elsewhere.
**Ok, I’m done ranting now 🙂**
I’m working on not allowing the Sicilian part of me hold a grudge against the run because there were good moments. I had a fabulous time with Lindsey and some of the other girls we met at the event. Also, the view while running was spectacular. And I cannot complain about the Dark Chocolate Coconut Zico they had waiting for me at the end of the race.
I definitely cannot complain about a 7 am start time! Can other running events get in on that?? Please?? Also, thank you to the random person who took our photo a million times until all the seagulls were out of the shot! I didn’t notice that nicety until I got home. Canadians, amiright?!
I’m pretty happy with my 1:58:21 time.
I did really well in the beginning and I didn’t have Chad to pull me through the last 3 miles (always my worst miles!) so obviously this is his fault. But we got what we came for:
Event Managed by: Lulu Lemon
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Personal Participation Count: 1 of 1
Event Expo: Yes *(-4)
Expo Size: Small, *Lulu Lemon merchandise only, they bring a fraction of what they think the demand will be because they see it as a “partnership” with the runners to help them move merchandise, not for runners to be exposed to and try new items as expos are supposed to be. They also think that expecting participants to stand in line all night two days before a race is somehow an integral part of their healthy yoga.run.party weekend.
Race Start time: 7:00 am (+1)
Race Day Weather: 60 degrees
Race Features: beautiful ocean views, drag queens, lots of people to cheer you on
Water Stations: 6 | Unevenly spaced (-2)
Energy Supplement Stations: Yes | some type of Canadian (I think) supplement around mile 9
Race Course: Really gorgeous, some hills, mostly flat, lots of oceanside running
Running with Traffic: No, streets are closed
Finisher Medal: Yes but it’s made of plastic and… ew (-1)
Special Category Medals: Yes
Half Marathon Rating: 4 out of 10