SeaWheeze Half Marathon

SeaWheeze Half Marathon

SeaWheeze Half Marathon

( 25 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Vancouver,
  • August
  • 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website


Washington, District of Columbia, United States
6 8
"I love this race course, although not as good as 2013"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Runaway 's thoughts:

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Saturday, August 23, 2014, I ran the Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver, BC. This is my second Seawheeze and currently ranks as my 2nd favorite Seawheeze.

The expo.

Packet pickup was held all day Friday with no race day packet pickup available. There was a line the entire morning. Last year, I went in the afternoon and walked right in with no wait. The timing chips are pre-assigned, so it takes some time to check in and receive the gear check bag and your chip.

The images on the screen were bizarre, but the music was great and the acrobat yogis were fun to watch.

The only vendors are those sponsoring the race, which includes SPUD (cold pressed juices), Vega (sports nutrition), David's Teas, and some other snack food trucks. All the vendors were providing samples of their products. The big draw is the Showcase Store, which was a complete bust this year. I bought only one item because that is all I could find in my size. It is a shame when people want to spend their money on overpriced yoga clothes, but the overpriced yoga clothing company doesn't want to make enough product to take your money. See a more detailed review of the packet pickup here.

The premiums.

With this race you received a pair of Lululemon run shorts that are mailed to you in early summer (so you can train in them or what they really want is for you to race in them). I selected the tempo run short from the two options presented, the other option being a booty short parading as a run short.

Horizontal pattern. Not a good idea.

During packet pickup, we also received a headband (not sure it will stay put in another's hair), a gear check bag (the cheapest constructed item I have ever seen with a Lululemon logo), a water bottle, and a free coffee voucher to JJ Bean. Kayla commented that the gear check bag, which was a messenger style, was so cheap that the black dye was rubbing onto the white fabric and the Lululemon logo stitched on it probably costs more than the whole bag. Last year's canvas drawstring bag was much better and I still use it. The water bottle is cheap, but I can always use a bottle that can get tossed during a race. This one is perfect for that!

I think these bags may have also been produced for a free giveaway at the Shoe Carnival.

The weather.

Beautiful. The Pacific Northwest summer may be my all time favorite summer. The temperatures were in the 60s when we started at 7am, and only rose to the upper 70s by the time the race was over. The humidity was manageable, meaning there was some, but it was not a swamp.

The start.

It was a crowded one. With more than 9,000 runners trying to self-seed themselves into corrals and many of them first time at this distance, it was a bit of a negotiation. There was four of us in our group. Keri made a bathroom run. Every woman for herself. Caroline decided to shimmer into the 2:30 corral to celebrate her survival of the most aggressive bronchitis. Kayla and I made our way up the crowd. There were people climbing fences to get in. I have to say, I am not that eager to stand in a corral, so we found a open gate and walked through. I seeded around the 2:00 finishers and Kayla pushed forward. The first corral was 1:00-1:45. We all laughed. Who at this race is running a 1:00?! No one. It is little items like this that make you realize this is not a race, but a clothing company hosting a giant fun run that happens to be timed.

The announcers were entertaining. There was music. The announcers interacted with the corrals, doing polls and asking for cheers. After one corral started there was a seven minute break before the next corral would start. I believe there were seven corrals all together. Seven must be a lucky number for Lululemon.

The course.

This is the best part of this timed fun run! The course is amazing. In addition to the beauty of the city, there is a ton of entertainment provided by Lululemon and plenty of support along the course. The course started downtown with a few steep, short hills. There were few spectators and very little entertainment until we reached Lost Creek seawall. From there it was a very entertaining race with drag queens, mermaids, alternative bands (a band wearing tin cans), DJs, and lots of Lululemon employees.

Six water and aid stations were on the course, located about every 3k. A few of them you passed twice as an out and back on Kitsalano Beach. There were well stocked with products from Whistler Water, Vega, and SPUD.

Seawheeze uses Vega, a Canadian company, for its electrolyte drink and gels. I passed on these because I don't enjoy the Vega products. In addition to the gels, there were halved bananas and orange wedges. Delicious!

There were plenty of points along the course to take photos. Not something I normally do, but I also don't normally run along a seawall lined with old growth trees reaching the clouds. Once we hit Kits Beach, there were a ton of spectators and music. The last half of the race is better than the first half. I love this race, just for the course!

The other runners not so much. There is a lot of weaving in this race, but I assume that is because it is a lot of newer runners and the corrals are self-seeded. In addition to the constant traffic around you, everyone is wearing headphones. Well, nearly everyone. This is crazy to me. Seawheeze has so much to experience on the course, it is a shame to miss it. Finally, I just want to point out that in more than 9,000 runners I did not see a single Runsie. The way Lululemon was pushing that thing, I was expecting that to be the uniform because what else would a runner want to wear than a one piece backless shortall. Weird, not one person had that on.

The finish.

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I was disappointed. To have a great race and then hit a wall of people is so tough. The race had three different colors of medals. I took the one that was put around my neck, but many other finishers were trading for whatever color they wanted. So important, I know. You wouldn't want your medal clashing with your sweaty race clothes.

The line (but not really a line) for the water was ridiculous. SEE ^ Everyone wanted out of the cattle corral as soon as possible. People smelled. There were no lines, just bodies. It took me about 10 minutes to get a bottle of water. And, I was doing my best East Coaster impression to accomplish that. Throwing elbows and squeezing through. Once I got through the water tent, the crowd moved more easily. I received a bottle of Zico coconut water and some essential oils for muscle relief from Saje.

After making my way through water tent (I would never survive the Apocalypse), I got my next premium - a black Lululemon trucker style hat. These hats were gender specific, but the only difference was the men's had a black and white pattern under the brim and the women's were completely black. But, guess what? Those picky medal traders were all about trading hats, too. Women wanted men's hats. Runners wanted eight hats at once. I saw one woman walk away with four hats stacked up on her arm like she was going to stand outside Nationals Stadium to sell them for $5. Seawheeze, do not give people choices on free items. Please.

Our group convened inside the conventional center since we were all coming in at varying finishing times. Once everybody came together, we ventured over to the line for the post-race brunch. The runner's brunch was fully stocked: mini quiches, waffles, blueberry compote, yogurt cup, bananas, watermelon, cherries, and oranges. You received one quiche about the size of a golf ball, a 4-inch waffle, 3 cherries, a small yogurt cup, and all the other fruit you could eat. This is one of the best post-race set-ups for food for a half marathon. The. Best. Post-Race. Food.

My take.

On Friday, I was so over this year's race. The store selling out early, the crowded drunken sunset yoga, and the cheap gear check bag. But, then I ran the course and all was redeemed. It is a beautiful course, and so well supported. For the $128 registration, you definitely get your money's worth -- shorts, a cheap bag, headband, cheap water bottle, 3 yoga opportunities, a sunset festival with concert, and a great post-race spread. I always remind myself that this race is a runcation, and not an A race. While the course is flat, it is too crowded to really PR. Until next year, Seawheeze!

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