Showing posts with label Half Marathon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Half Marathon. Show all posts

Moody Girl Runs: SeaWheeze Half Marathon Race Recap

There aren’t too many races that will make me stop what I’m doing to sign up and register for a race, but this one gets me every time.

The 2014 Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon took place on Saturday, August 23rd Vancouver, BC.  This is the second year in a row that I ran this race and unlike last year, I’m finally getting around to sharing my race recap.  This race was extra special to me because my mom came along for the fun to complete her very first half marathon.  She did an awesome job and I’m so proud of her – Go Mom!  My dear friend, M, my mom and I arrived in Vancouver a couple days before the race.  As soon as we got settled in, we could feel the energy for this event throughout the city.  It was pretty easy to spot the SeaWheeze runners because they were dressed in full Lululemon gear wandering the streets of Vancouver. 

On Friday morning, we arrived at the Vancouver Convention Center around 10:00am to find a long line stretched halfway around the building. Luckily, there were two separate lines for both the race packet pickup and the special SeaWheeze Showcase Store. (This is where Lululemon sells a line of SeaWheeze-branded clothes, which exclusively made for the race.)   We decided to let the line to the store die down a little and went to pick up our race packets first since there was a shorter line.  The packet pickup moved pretty quickly.  Unfortunately, we made the mistake of not getting to the convention center earlier in the day, because the store was a complete zoo by the time we got in.  We waited in the store line for about 45 minutes and there was hardly anything left.  

Workers were removing empty racks and shelves throughout the room as dozens of women buzzed around trying to find their sizes.  It was very clear that they were not going to restock anything at this point.  I grabbed a bunch of clothes in my size so I could try them on.  Luckily I was able to find a few things in my size that were placed on wrong racks, so I was pretty happy about that.  However, there were a lot of people that weren’t so lucky.  After a few hours, the only sizes left in the store were size 2s and 4s and eventually they sold out everything by the early afternoon.  Normally, the showcase store is opened on both Friday and Saturday, but they officially ran out of merchandise and closed up early on Friday.  If you want to see what so many people missed out on, check out Lululemon Addict's blog (here) for most of the merchandise sold.

We grabbed a few snacks at the pre-race expo outside of the convention center.  The pre-race expo also included hair braiding, manicures, spray-on tattoos, cotton candy and yoga.  The festivities went on all day, but we decided to skip out on some of the fun.  We grabbed lunch at nearby restaurant and bought tickets for a bus tour around the entire city.  The weather was gorgeous during the whole weekend and despite missing both the nooner and sunset yoga sessions, I’d say that Lululemon did an excellent job on the pre-race expo this year.

The morning of the race, we were pretty relaxed and quiet in our hotel. We woke up around 5:15am so we would have enough time to get ready.  I ate a cup of yogurt and a SimplyProtein® Bar (which kept me full during the whole race).  Our hotel was about a 10-minute walk from the race start line so we decided to head down to make it for the Sunrise Warm-Up stretch. However, we thought it started at 6:30am and we ended up missing the whole thing.  We did our own warm up and stretch after I dropped of my bag at the gear check.  We started to make our way to the corrals around 6:50am.

I didn’t have a major goal in mind for this race considering I didn’t train as hard as know I should have.  My main goal was to beat my time from last year, which was 2:16.  M and my mom didn’t have a goal in mind either so we decided to line up in the 2:30 corral.  The race started promptly at 7:00am and I finally started to get a little nervous.  We waited for about 30 minutes before we got started because of all of the groups of waves before us.  There were so many people waiting to run.  Lululemon capped this race at 10,015 people this year.  I’m not sure how many people actually ran the race, but this was the largest half marathon that I’ve ever participated in. 

When it was finally our turn, I wished my mom and M good luck and I took off.  I wanted to find my pace and move away from the crowd of people as quickly as possible.  The course worked its way quickly through downtown, over the Dunsmuir Viaduct into a small part of Chinatown before getting to False Creek.  Immediately, there were all kinds of entertainers and cheer stations along the way.  I typically don’t take pictures while I’m running, but I’m really wishing that I had. 
We eventually worked our way over to the Burrard Street Bridge and crossed into Kitsilano and returned back on the Burrard Street Bridge.  It was a real treat to see Lululemon Corporate offices along the way.  Shortly after we headed back into the city, we moved our way towards the Sea Wall and I tried to stay focused from there to the end of the race.  I had already passed the 2:30 and 2:20 pacers, so my goal was to either catch up to the 2:10 pacers or not let the 2:20 pacers pass me. 
I eventually crossed the finish line with a time of 2:11 and I couldn’t be any happier.  I got an awesome medal and grabbed some water to cool down and stretch my legs.  I’m still trying to figure out what the medal is (if anybody knows what it is, please comment below).  I didn’t leave the finish line area because I wanted be there to watch my mom and my friend M finish the race.  I was so excited to see my mom cross the last mat.  She was so happy and proud of herself.  She really worked hard for this race and now she knows that she can do it again if she had to.  She had so much fun and she’s still talking about it to her friends.  I have a feeling that she’ll be signing up for more races in the near future. 
After my mom and M finished, we all made our way through the finish chute to get some food from the Runner’s Brunch.  The volunteers clipped on a small bag of roll-on essential oils from Saje Natural Wellness, handed us a bottle of Whistler Water, a bottle of Zico coconut water, and a cold wet washcloth to help cool down from the run. We also got a black Lululemon baseball cap, which was an unexpected bonus.  The Runner’s Brunch was pretty awesome because they served Belgian waffles, blueberry compote, yogurt, fresh oranges, grapes and watermelon, my favorite. 
Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel to shower and get a little rest before dinner.  We all decided that we needed to reward ourselves with a nice meal and cocktails for all of our efforts.  Last, but not least we took one of the shuttles over to the Sunset Festival at the Brockton Oval in Stanley Park. The evening began with an incredible yoga class led by Eoin Finn.  There was food, wine and beer and even a trapeze swing set up for guests to explore a life as a trapeze artist.  The year’s entertainment was headliner, Capital Cities (check out their newest single “One Minute More”) and opening act, The Colourist.  We listened to The Colourist, but we missed Capital Cities because we got too tired, so we left early.


All in all, the SeaWheeze race weekend was an awesome experience and one of the best-organized events that I’ve attended. This was definitely more than a race; it was a yoga, run, party. If you’re looking for a new race to participate in, then I highly recommend the SeaWheeze Half Marathon.  I’m not sure if I’ll be back next year, but I will certainly run this race again in my lifetime. 

Did you run SeaWheeze this year? If so, what were the biggest highlights for you? 

If you are thinking about attending next year, then here are some of the details. SeaWheeze 2015 takes place on Saturday Aug. 15, 2015. Registration is Sept. 10, 2014 at 10:00am PDT.  This race will definitely sell out quickly, so pay attention to the date and time and get ready to run!  Good Luck!

Check out what went down at last weekend’s Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon in this great recap video above.

Race Recap: Celebrate the Finish

I haven’t written an in depth race recap in a long time, so I thought I’d post one today.  On Sunday morning, Feb. 12,2012, I ran a half marathon race during the 26.2 with Donna – The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer.  The mission of the 26.2 with Donna is “to passionately produce world class events to raise funds for ground breaking breast cancer research and empower women living with breast cancer.”  Donna Deegan, a Jacksonville, Florida native and a news anchor on First Coast News, created the 26.2 with Donna – The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer.  Donna herself is a three-time breast cancer survivor, who was first diagnosed in 1999 at the age of 38 and again in 2002.  She created The Donna Foundation in an effort to raise research dollars and to bring awareness to women who battle breast cancer and have difficulty making ends meet.  If you are looking for a race with a positive message and you like to run for a cause, this is the race for you. 

The Race:

I woke up a little tired at 4:30am on Sunday morning because I didn’t get a full night’s sleep.  My sister, my friend, M, and I were out at Wal-Mart pretty late picking up some last minute warm-weather clothing for the race. Earlier in the week, we learned that the weather on race day was expected to reach only up to the mid-40s. So, we wanted to make sure that we had enough clothes in case we needed to remove layers.  By the time we made it back to my place it was a little after 10:00pm. I tried on some of the new clothes and finished laying out my race clothes and running gear.  Around 10:30pm, M and I were trying to convince my sister that she should wake up early with us and come to the race.  She was not convinced one bit.  When my sister went to sleep, she was still on the fence about coming out into the cold.  Needless to say she didn’t leave the house with us.  I don’t blame her either…it was really too cold to stand around for a few hours. 

Anyways, M and I woke up and got ready pretty quickly.  We wanted to leave the house at 5:15am to get to the bus shuttle by 5:30am.  I ate a peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat toast and had a little orange juice.  I also had some yogurt with some Bare Naked granola – my favorite. When M and I left my house, it was about 27 degrees outside.  At first we both thought that the weather wasn’t too bad, but it was probably because we were really bundled up.  We drove to one of the shuttle sites and when we pulled up, we saw a ridiculously long line of people waiting for the buses to arrive.  When we got in the line, that’s when we realized how cold it was that morning.  Lucky for us, we didn’t have to wait too long for a bus.  We stood in line for about 10 minutes before 12 buses pulled up to scoop up all of the runners. 

The race began at the Mayo Clinic Campus on San Pablo Road in Jacksonville Beach. It was scheduled to start at 6:30am, but I think we actually started about 10 minutes late.  We met up with my running partner and then lined up in the corralled area.  The runners were crammed in the corrals, so we just headed towards the back of the pack.   We were so far in the back that we didn’t hear much that was going on, but we heard the gun go off and saw some confetti flying.  We were ready to run.  Outside was still a little dark when we started running, but within the first or second mile, the sun started to rise. Unfortunately, the sun didn’t add any warmth to the day.  I ran with 2 long sleeved shirts, a fleece hoodie, ear warmers, throw away gloves and running pants.  I had every intention of getting rid of some layers, but it never happened.  I was cold before, during and after the race.

The race was pretty crowded in the beginning of the race.  I had to weave around some of the walkers and the runners that were using the run/walk method.  We headed out to Highway 202 towards the Intercostal waterway and then to the beach.  This stretch was a little over 3 miles and it led us over a couple bridges.  Theses were the only hills in the race; the rest of it was pretty flat. The route lead us onto Jacksonville Beach after we ran through neighborhoods of wonderful race supporters.  It was really great to see all of these amazing people cheering us on so early in the morning.  So many of them just smiled, shouted out names or held a sign.  Some provided music from their homes and cars and some even performed in their front yard.  It was and then eventually on the beach.  Once I got on the beach, for some reason I began to loose some of my steam.  It could have been the beautiful ocean sunrise that distracted me or the crazy cold winds that felt like it was cutting through my clothes.   We ran on the beach for most of mile 5 and mile 6 until I turned around to make my way back to the finish line.  The rest of the marathoners continued to run on the beach and I didn’t envy them one bit. 

On my way back, I tried to get my energy going again.  I hit up a few water stations for some Gatorade, I ate some of my sports beans and I had 2 GU energy gels.  Once I got back to the bridge, I almost lost it – I just wanted the race to be over.  The last 3 miles of the race required us to go back over the bridge - it was miserable.  I’m pretty sure it got colder on the way back to the finish line.  It felt like the wind had picked up at least 5 times more than it was when the race first started.  There were large crowds of people at the top of the bridge cheering us on and some of them even ran down to help runners to the top.  Again, it was great to see and hear all of that support.  At that point I really needed to hear all of the positive words.  When I hit the top of the bridge, I just ran down as quickly as I could towards the finish line.  My time was so off, I had to make up for the lost time.  I tried to look for my sister at the finish, but I didn’t see her until I got my medal.  Overall, it was a great race despite the cold weather. 

My Stats:

There were 4,569 total race finishers for the half marathon and 3,384 female finishers.   My official chip time was 2:13:18 and my splits were: 5 Miles: 49:45 and 7 miles: 1:10:14.  I was a little disappointed about my time because I wanted to get closer to 2 hours or even finish under 2 hours.  But, I didn’t train as hard as I did for the half marathon I did in October 2011, so I really shouldn’t be surprised about my time.  I just have something else to work towards for the next race.  Have any of you competed in a half marathon lately?  Do you have any tips on improving your time?

xoxo Moody Girl
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