Latest reviews by Lisa

(2015)
"Lululemon Does It Again!"
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I think it must have been meant to be for my first HM to be the Seawheeze in 2013, as put on by Lululemon, because I've run 9 since, to include Seawheeze 2015 last weekend! Lululemon does it again! What a fun race experience!

In addition to the scenery being top notch, due to the beauty of Vancouver and its magnificent Stanley Park sea wall, the vibe of the race and the expo and the after party make it worth every dollar spent to register and fly there from Chicago! The people are super friendly, everyone is super happy, the setup is super creative, the food is super delicious! 5 stars for everything! I mean, where else can you see mermaids along your route, or a full spin class set up to cheer you from the on ramp of a highway?! Multiple cheer stations lining the course, the Burrard St bridge twice, fresh fruit 🍊🍌 at 18km, Seawheeze had it all to invigorate me every step of the way!

Here are practical things I liked: the seabus convenience to get to and from the race. The expo setup with its awsome water views from the Olympic Torch and the Cactus Club rooftop. All the items given to me at the finish line, like my wonderfully heavy golden carrot medal, cold wash cloth for my face, peppermint aromatherapy oil to soothe me, Mylar sheet to warm me, a finishers hat, a Kind Bar and a breakfast that included delicious strawberry waffles!

The whimsical things that I loved included: the expo fun for the kiddos, the free cotton candy and mango frozen yoghurt, the delightful Lululemon patterns available this year for purchase, the yoga sessions, the braiding and manicures and tattoos and the shoe picture tweeting station! It was all simple stuff, maybe not that big of a deal, but when rolled altogether, it made me really happy before the endorphins even kicked in!

The little things which could be improved: the vega drink could have been offered earlier and also set up the same way at each water station, after the water. There could have been more men's small sizes. More women's large sizes at the expo. There should be a smaller limit on purchase quantities to deter eBay resales the next day (now THAT leaves such a bad taste in my mouth).

Things I didn't take advantage of: I didn't do the yoga on Friday or Saturday, but I loved watching it. I also loved watching the yoga-duo performances inside the expo. And I didn't come back for the sunset festival because of the kiddos. But I would have loved it, I'm sure!

Favorite memory: feeling so entertained by all the cheer stations and performer people along the way! Loving getting my golden carrot put around my neck! The high five rally on the Burrard street bridge! Eating my 2 orange slices at 18km, which gave me what I needed to run past other runners to finish my race string!

Advice: this race sells out in 10 minutes. Be sure to set ur alarm clock to block out the time to complete the registration right away! Also make sure you stay for Friday-Saturday-Sunday the brake advantage of all that Vancouver has to offer!

I loved my 10th Half marathon at Seawheeze 2015! I completed it with my niece Tina. We r both warriors in disguise; we may not look fast and we may not be fast. But we have strong hearts and strong legs and are motivated by the beauty of running, which Lululemon celebrates atvSeawheeze!

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(2015)
"90% Walkers"
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90% of race participants were walkers. Many families with small kids. Many strollers with toddlers and babies. The race course was packed with these walkers walking 8-10 people in a row, completely blocking the running path. While I can understand the traffic jams at the bubble "bogs" (more on that later), I can't figure out why the entire course was packed with walkers. Added to my confusion was the bad weather. Many many small kids out on a morning where the weather was very questionable and huge black clouds loomed in the near distance. If bad weather were to occur, how could everyone be able to reach safety, given the throngs of small kids and strollers?

This race should have had a separate fun run area for kids. Maybe a 100 yard dash or some other shorter distance more kid and baby friendly. In a separate area.

The bubble bogs were a joke. The web site advertised 4-7 foot deep bogs. I wasn't sure exactly what that meant. But what we got was very very lame. People taking turns to get bubbles poured on their head from a single bubble shoot. It was pretty stupid.

The course was also an out and back? To include a detour on done gravel. With all the walkers in every which direction, it was just such a pain to be able to go in a straight line. I am not runner. More of a jogger. But this weaving in and out of stroller traffic was for the birds.

The worst was that NONE of the porta potties had toilet paper 1 hour after the race started. I could see maybe 5 hours later. But this was at 10:00 and the race started at 9. Tons and tons of ports potties but no TP. And kids needing to go to the bathroom. Everyone looking for TP.

The bubble dye turned my skin a funny color. But it did wash off.

The parking area was well run.

I have participated in many other fun runs and this was the worst. It was not fun. It was a waste of my money and my time.

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(2015)
"Delightful Fogfest along Chicago Lakefront "
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the Chicago Spring Half Michelob ultra half Marathon and 10K was a great race! I ran the 10K course. But I brought a newbie runner w me who completed her first HM in 2:02!

After obsessing about the weather forecast for days, the weather ended up being absolutely perfect for running. About 60, overcast, misting rain and intense/interesting fog hovering over the course. (The fog made for great pics)

This race, unlike others I have done in Chicago, started from a new location, as far north and east as you can go without ending up in the lake. It started from East lakeside park, which I guess is kiddie corner northeast from Millenium park. My only issue was I was personally unfamiliar with this exact location and so it was kind of tricky to find the actual entrance tithe starting area as I walked over from the Millenium parking garage. I think some signs or balloons along the way would have helped me.

The starting area had a good porta potty setup, which is always appreciated. Runners were snapping selfies with the harbor as the backdrop. After saying goodbye to my HM newbie, I headed to the 10k start to wait my turn.

The course itself was well supported, with plenty of aid stations. There were race clocks at all the mike markers, which was nice. The view was terrific, as is the usual with a Chicago lakefront race. But it was even more exciting to run this/close to the harbor like we did, (along the same path that I've seen the Chicago triathlon take.)

The last half mile of the race Course was very exciting, as it turned UNDER lake shore drive (never been there before!) and then greeted by hundreds of cheering spectators as we entered the park!! It was awesome!! It really gave me an extra kick at the end!! Also I loved getting an ice cold towel at the end, even before getting a water or my medal! Those towels are always sooooo appreciated!

The after party was a lot of fun! Pancakes, eggs and sausage breakfast buffet! All nestled inside this really pretty park. It had a different feel to it. Not huge and expansive like Columbus drive or buckingham fountain after parties. But cozier and livelier! There was a band and also a beer tent serving up Michelob ultra! Lots of fun!

The finishers medal is very nice. A beer bottle opener too! With a nice ribbon. Gotta love multipurpose bling!

Overall this was a great race and I would do it again. My HM friend also had a great experience !

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(2015)
"The Soggy Half That Almost Wasn't!"
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This was my second time running this HM and it was very different than the first time. While 2014's race ended up with a very warm finish where I ended up with some sunburn, the 2015 race was very wet, cold and windy, with thunderstorms and lightening 3 hours into it that resulted in a race cancellation for the marathoners and HM'ers still on the race course.

However, the race experience for me was a great experience! The course was well staffed, despite the weather, with plenty of fan support along the entire way! Many, many people stood out on the light rain that turned heavy at times, under umbrellas or tents, waving signs and cheering for the runners. I think we had it easier than them, for we were all moving and do keeping warm.

The course itself is very interesting. It starts off through the main streets of the campus, passed student housing, through downtowns of Champaign and Urban and back through a residential neighborhood. Around mile 8, the course enters a beautiful park with winding paths, mild hills and gorgeous scenery. Then it transitions back to the neighborhood before hitting campus and the road that takes you to Memorial Stadium. Then the grand entrance onto the football field, the former home stadium of the Chicago Bears in 2002, where you finish on the 50 yard line under full view of the 200 foot wide jumbotron TV suspended up in the rafters! Magnificent!! It really is a thrill and I still get goosebumps thinking about it! The finisher's medal is awesome. The T-shirt is a Brooks technical shirt with a great logo on it. Marathoners also got a fleeced logo blanket. Very cool.

Post-race support is fantastic. Lots of helpers, lots of fluids and great good awaits inside the Great Hall. For the 2015 race, the football field was evacuated and everyone swarmed the inner halls of the stadium. Plenty of room for many people. Lots of hugs! Although I felt bad for the runners who had their marathon cut short. Very hard to see the disappointment on their faces.

All in all, it was a great race and I would do it again!

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