Hi all, Shannon here. I’m a loyal reader and fellow Lululemonade/CF koolaid drinker who attended the Lululemon Seawheeze half marathon this year. I agreed to write a recap of my thoughts as a guest post, so here they are! If you want more CrossFit, Lululemon, cats, and food, follow me on Instagram @BayleyBakes.
10 Faves & 2 Duds – Seawheeze 2015 Style
Favorite #1: Girls weekend
This trip was a chance to bond with three of my closest girl friends, including one who recently moved away. Seawheeze lends itself really well to this kind of long weekend getaway, since there’s a whole experience involved and not just the race itself (yoga classes, the expo, the concert/festival, etc.). We shared a suite at the Holiday Inn, which was about a 20 minute walk from the Convention Center where all the action was (conveniently the route passes right by the Robson Lululemon store) and it was super affordable with the Seawheeze rate I locked down about 8 months before the race. I will forever remember crossing the finish line holding hands with C, the only person I can run with, and rocking out to St. Lucia with all 3 ladies by my side. Seawheeze has the motto: Yoga. Run. Party. And we sure did!
Favorite #2: The race course itself
Everything about the race course was really well thought out. Plenty of scenery (especially the Stanley Park seawall), cheer and water stations (including drag queen cheerleaders – so fun!), a band on a barge in the water, a spin class cheering us on from the side of the road(!), a chance to pass Lululemon HQ, etc. There are minimal hills except the bridge, which of course you do twice, but the course doubles back on itself along the bridge so it’s really fun to look out for your friends and the faster/slower runners at that point (or you just ogle all the Lulu gear–I swear I didn’t do that at all). This course is great for beginner runners but also a great place to PR (which I didn’t actually do, but I did recover much faster. I hate running – there I said it. Can I just pick up a barbell now?) and we had great weather – slightly overcast but not really actually raining. Many people said the course seemed long – general consensus was that unless you took the shortest option for the whole route, it was closer to 13.5miles. (Also, everything was marked in KM. Crazy Canadians!)
Favorite #3: The exclusive Seawheeze merchandise
BUY ALL THE THINGS!
What can I say that hasn’t been covered in other posts? Well, we got in line about 4:30am. My 2 friends who were crazy enough to get up with me (thank you N and S for humoring my Lulu crazy!) grumbled and mumbled about it, but we all ended up being really happy with our decision. We were maybe 400 people back from the start of the line, and were let in by about 7:15am. It was easy to kill time on social media (thanks to the closed coffee shop for the free wifis!), making coffee/potty runs and playing Heads Up on my phone. Once inside, it was actually a lot less crazy than I was prepared for – the clothing was separated by size, so we walked around, grabbed everything we kinda wanted, then sat down to try it all on and eliminate the faves from the duds. Fitting room lines were really reasonable, but mostly we just tried stuff on over our sports bras.
I really wanted that green CRB (aka Portapottie – yes, apparently that’s the color name, LOL) and was lucky enough to snag one by hunting through discard piles near the fitting rooms. It was a SUPER popular item, and everyone kept asking me if I was keeping it so I finally just hid it in my keep pile. I originally didn’t see that there was a Run All Day backpack being offered (turns out there were 2 – a bug print one and a black one) but once I saw it I had to have it. I stalked this poor woman who was still deciding if she was keeping the black one in her pile, and I think I guilted her into giving it to me (THANK YOU, youwonderful Lululemon angel). It’s my favorite purchase of the whole trip. Overall the merchandise was super crazy with so much color and print going on; I didn’t love the big doses of orange, but the bug print really grew on me (I ended up getting the Inspire Crops with a hint of bug and the bug headband–my friend S got ALL the bug, including the Miss Misty jacket and Speed shorts). Below is just my snags – the Passion crops were a fun surprise, super flattering in this color-blocking layout. I may end up selling the white print speed shorts since I ordered last week’s all white ones on upload, but otherwise I’m keeping it all. YAY!
Favorite #4: The Sunset Festival
I wish all festivals involved Lululemon beer, a yoga class in the sunshine set to 90s dance music taught by an instructor that I want to be best friends with, and watching great bands from the seated comfort of my yoga matt. Seriously though, Bear Mountain and St. Lucia were amazing, Yeasayer was meh, and the wine was flowing. (Bonus dud – the Sunset Festival merchandise and line. The hot pink Scuba was not my style at all, and I really didn’t need another lightweight scarf. Maybe I was just jaded and merchandise’d out at this point.)
Favorite #5: Finisher goodies
The finish line of this race was 1000x better than when I ran the Nike Women’s Half in SF in 2013. Nobody got bunched up – they handed us our medal (a SUPER HEAVY golden carrot – very clever Lulu), clipped our little Saje essential oil gift pack to the medal strap, gave us water and cooling towels (apparently there were space blankets in there too but we missed those in our “OMG my whole body hurts” fog), and then sent us towards the convention center with our Finisher Hats. Speaking of the convention center…
That’s where the free runner’s brunch was! The line seemed long but moved quickly, and we were completely RUNGRY (run hungry) so any line would have seemed terrible. We got waffles with strawberry jam, a mini quiche, grapes and cherries, and yogurt. I traded my quiche for my friend’s waffle, and I definitely got the better end of that deal. The only thing that would have made it better is if there had been champagne or mimosas (are you reading this Lululemon? get on it!).
Favorite #7: The Canadian exchange rate
Hooray for the strength of the US Dollar! Lululemon prices everything the same in each country’s currency, so something that’s $108 CAD works out to be ~$83 US right now. I’m using that to totally justify how much money I spent on the merch (and maybe I bought some stuff at the Robson store too, shhhhhh) – but it’s like 25% of what I bought was free!
Favorite #8: Cactus Club restaurant
This might seem like a random inclusion on this list, but I loved this restaurant chain. We had our pre-race dinner at the location right by the convention center, and loved everything about it: our server was so sweet, we had a great view, they had options for all our weird diets (we had a carb lover, a vegan, a Whole30/super-strict-paleo gal, and a mostly-paleo/donut eater gal (me!)), plus the food was delicious across the board. Nice work on this Vancouver!
Favorite #9: Vancouver
Speaking of which, this city is so cool. I didn’t see nearly enough of it because we got so caught up in all the race stuff, but it reminds me so much of San Francisco (aka home). But, ya know, with super nice Canadian people and totem poles everywhere. I don’t know if I’ll do Seawheeze again (it’s that whole running a half marathon thing) but I’ll definitely be back to Vancouver.
Favorite #10: Saje products
I’ve been really into essential oils lately. This company has apparently been sponsoring the Seawheeze race for a few years in partnership with Lululemon, and their essential oils are lovely (if a little intense, in a good way). The little runner’s gift was so cute, and we got a yoga kit for free at the Sunset yoga class! Also, the staff we met were almost as friendly as the Lululemon staff, which is saying a lot.
Dud #1: The Seawheeze exclusive merchandise LINE
People lined up at 8:30p the NIGHT BEFORE the shop opened. And they left their trash when they went in (so not cool to disrespect a place like that, come on people!). I’ve never been a Black Friday shopper, but this was pretty crazy to me. I am happy with what I got, any earlier and I would not have been able to preserve my sanity for the race. But to each their own.
Part of the whole shebang (packet pick up, expo store, flash tattoos, etc.) was the option to do free, runners-only pre-race yoga. We were too busy napping after our shopping extravaganza to stay for the noon yoga class, so instead we went to the sunset yoga class. And the instructor was a complete d*ck. I won’t mention any names, but he was condescending, made off-color and inappropriate jokes, indirectly insulted people’s practice, and didn’t walk us through any kind of logical pre-race yoga flow. I went home annoyed and did half pigeon on my own, so there!
- There are lots of other race recaps if you want more details like all of the merchandise available or what it was like to be a super fast runner at the race. But I’m happy to answer questions in the comments too!
Welp, that’s a wrap folks. Was it a once in a lifetime trip? Maybe not, but I highly encourage you to consider attending at least once. Registration for 2016 opens up September 16, so decide quickly and be ready to register right on time because it will probably sell out even faster than last year’s 36 minutes!