Latest reviews by Jeannine Avelino

(2016)
"Super fun first trail race!"
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For a full review, visit my blog here: http://everythingbutweddings.ca/2016/06/race-recap-5-peaks-trail-running-series-mt-seymour/

Registration/Package Pickup

It was easy and quick to register online and the update emails they sent out were detailed and awesome… Especially for the Enduro racers whose course was still up in the air due to snow. Once they’ve flagged that course, they sent an email blitz to let us all know. Packages could’ve been picked up on Friday night at Distance Run Wear in North Van or at the mountain on race day. We decided to just go early to pick them up in the morning and were lucky to find no lineup. We got our bib, safety pins and our souvenir 5 Peaks trucker hat (which I was so grateful for that day). I believe there was free parking up at the mountain too.

Course

6 km of hilly, rocky, tree-rooty, and in that day’s case, muddy goodness. It can be challenging for an absolute newbie but it’s doable. It was fun to run across logs, tree stumps, mud pits, and bridges. Trail shoes were a definite must and perhaps some taller socks if you want to be more protected. Of course being my first ever trail race, it had to be 5 degrees Celsius, rainy, and foggy. Without the sogginess it would've probably been an easier course but people were slip, sliding or even sinking in the mud. Not much of a view because of the fog and I remember being mostly in the trees so... you're definitely one with nature :P

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(2016)
"Same as last year..."
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If you are looking for a fun run, you should check this out. Each race entry comes with a ticket to the PNE so the race is essentially a chance for you to scope out what you want to see or eat later on :P Again, for a Donut Dash, there wasn't a lot of donuts. This year they gave out oreo churros at one of the aid stations and a bag of mini donuts at the other. At the finish line, each runner was given 1 chocolate frosted mini donut. Should be a free for all in my opinion but oh well. For swag, we received a medal and a cotton donut dash t-shirt. What I didn't like was that the race managers were trying to clear out old medals so they put medals from previous races as part of our swag. I thought this was in poor taste. As a runner, I feel weird owning a medal I didn't earn. It felt like they were just passing along their trash. Maybe they should've just given us the option of taking it or not (by displaying it), rather than putting them in our bags right away. If they do this next year, I'll just politely say no thanks. What I liked though was that they had donut props available by the podium for people to take photos with. That was fun and they should do it again. I will probably be running this next year :P

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(2016)
"Awesome race as usual!"
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Check out my full review here: http://everythingbutweddings.ca/2016/08/recap-seawheeze-2016/

Overall I had a great experience running the Seawheeze again. No doubt in my mind, I will be running this again next year. I talked about the course in last year’s recap… this year though, I have a few other observations…

The Showcase Store - Get there early if you want to see the best selection. I waited in line since about 5am and I would do it again. Especially if you want the jackets, by the time I got inside (half an hour after it opened) all the jackets were all snapped up. Remember, they are not on sale, they are all full price but limited edition.

Package Pickup and Festivities - They were very organized and they had a lot of free services for runners including hair braiding, airbrush tattoos, nail polish applications, free samples of cold brew coffee, ice cream, Vega, and much more.

They changed the start and finish lines. - It started along Hastings instead of Cordova and added 2 extra turns before we got going on Dunsmuir. It created a bit of a bottleneck, I think. The finish line was also moved to the seawall. I wasn’t aware of this, but maybe I should’ve looked at the course map more closely. I definitely wasn’t expecting it.

I think the course is 400 meters longer. - OK I finished with 21.5 km without weaving much and turns out, a lot of fellow runners did too. What gives? Did the same thing register on your watch? Let me know in the comments below.

Herding runners at the finish line took way longer than expected. - Runners were led up the ramp next to the convention centre to get to Jack Poole Plaza. There was a lot of slow walking and waiting. As we walked up the ramp we were given our swag one by one. I think this slowed down the process quite a bit. Why not just give us a bag and that was that?

The après-race swag was amazing as usual. - In addition to the fantastic medal, we also received a Lululemon hat, bottled water, Nuun samples (to mix into your bottled water right away), Saje runners’ kits with 2 tubes of oil, a KIND bar, and of course breakfast. Runners got a breakfast sandwich, a tart and some fruit. I was disappointed with mine because I think I was given the vegetarian sandwich by mistake (and it was bland). There was also a bit of confusion when they ran out of sandwiches and redirected us to the other side of the tent. Then they got more sandwiches and started giving them to people in the line up we were at originally, rather than giving them to us (who were there first, but got moved). Not cool to piss off hungry runners.

I think the cheer stations lacked a bit of oomph compared to last year. - It seemed a little flat, I felt like there was more to distract me last year. The viaduct was decorated with big cardboard cutouts of shoes (meh), the drag queens were moved (I didn’t even see them), the mermaids weren’t on the water, the jet pack guy was awesome but couldn’t really read the sign…. My favourite stations were the Ride Cycle Club and VPD stations. Ride’s station doubled in size from last year, which was awesome and the cops had funny signs (“We won’t arrest you for killing it” and “Donut stop running”). At least the Seawheeze’s inflatable start/finish arch actually stayed up this year 😛

Thank you for the Nuun stations. - I ran out of energy drink and I was so glad that Nuun was a sponsor this year. Bring them back!

The Sunset Festival was fun! - Need I say more? Great bands, fun company, and lots of food and booze. Just a little pricey though… $12 for a piece of pizza… hmm

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(2016)
"Fun race! Didn't feel as steep as Seymour"
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I reviewed this race and the Whistler and Buntzen Lake races here: http://everythingbutweddings.ca/2016/11/race-recap-5-peaks-whistler/

Package Pickup:
I've always picked up my race package on the morning of. As long as you get there early there really isn't an issue. I believe this race gave away collapsible cups as swag. I think they're great... I love that they are very conscious about the environment.

Although I found it less technical than the Seymour race, I still found it challenging. There was a long downhill with lots of loose rocks which I was really unsure of but obviously I managed to get down :P I guess that's just my inexperience talking. I'd definitely do this again though.

Unfortunately it was really foggy when we ran so not much scenery was visible but without the fog, I'm sure it's breathtaking.

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(2016)
"This year I ran the 5K and it was awesome."
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I ran the half marathon last year, this year I opted for the 5k. It starts and finishes near Lost Lagoon and is mostly on the English Bay seawall, which is a beautiful spot especially when it's sunny... which it was that day. The course is mostly flat but there's a bit of a hill at the turning point when you switch from the seawall to Beach Avenue and towards the finish line. People needed to be careful in this area since it's where the half marathoners and the 5k runners merged. The 5k medal is nice but a little small. The start and finish areas can be awkward to get to. I just took the C23 bus and ran from the last stop. I needed a warmup anyway. I definitely would do this race again, I really don't have much to complain about it. I love the shirt, the course, and the vibe. See you next year!

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