SeaWheeze 2017 Race Recap

It’s been over two weeks and I’m still trying to find the words to describe my experience at SeaWheeze. (Warning: semi-long post ahead! πŸ˜‰ )

I’ll be honest, I loved the race and the vibe in Vancouver, so I miss it already. Of course, I REALLY miss the ocean and it takes me a little while to adjust again when I get back to Calgary.

I’ve lived in Calgary for awhile, but this was my first SeaWheeze and my first time to Vancouver. I was quite excited to go, because this race was basically timed as a celebration for finishing the first year of my Masters degree. Great way to celebrate!

I was in school till 4:00 pm on the day before SeaWheeze, so I flew in late and actually missed all of the Friday festivities. I’m a little sad about this, but I knew this when I made the decision to try to get into the race. (I’ll say here that it’s a really hard race to get into, so once I got in, I was set on going even if I missed the expo & yoga stuff the day before.) A friend of mine was able to pick up my race package, which I’m grateful for, so I was basically ready to go once I landed.

The race package was a really cool cinch backpack with a SeaWheeze water bottle and a tube of Nuun in it. Also, the tag for your shoe (no bibs!), Sunset Festival bracelet, and a coupon for a free cup of coffee at JJ Bean (which I definitely used the next day). So, Friday night, once I arrived at our AirBnB, I laid out my gear and got settled in for bed. Did I sleep well? Oh hell no. I guess I was too excited and adjusting to the noisy street outside our AirBnB (we stayed in very popular Gastown).

The morning of SeaWheeze, I woke up at 5:00 am (race starts at 7:00 am) and slowly got ready. Drank a smoothie, got dressed, my usual routine. Once we were ready, my friend and I walked over to the starting area and checked out was what going on. There were some warmup exercises and lots of excitement going on. The washroom lines were quite long, so I didn’t get in the starting chute as early as I wanted. Basically, I could not get myself lined up with the 2 hour Pace Beaver and I was outside of the fence waiting to get in through a broken section of the fence. Many people found themselves in this situation. It was mildly frustrating, but once the first wave took off, I was able to move into the chute slowly for the wave 2 start.

{Side note: I originally had a goal of setting a PB for this race, but that idea got pushed aside once I got hurt hiking on July 1st and then started having a hamstring problem over the past 2 weeks. Slightly upset about this, but decided to make the best of my experience and just see how I would do running by feel.}

SeaWheeze Vancouver

So many people enjoying a gorgeous day!

We waited a few mins, got pumped up and then wave 2 was off! So much excitement, I just tried to take it all in and ran at a comfortable pace. We ran through downtown Vancouver, over a bridge, into the Kitsilano area, and around the SeaWall. Some of the areas we ran are a blank to me, but the run around the SeaWall was AMAZING. Gorgeous views and the ocean air blowing over us as we ran, you couldn’t beat it. I literally kept saying to another friend how beautiful the views were, so I’m betting that’s why she took off ahead of me after 15K. πŸ˜‰

Throughout the course, you couldn’t get bored. Actually, I forgot my headphones in my checked bag, so this was the first half marathon that I ran without music. Honestly, for this race, I didn’t miss it. There were many awesome cheering stations and music, and the whole community vibe around the race was fantastic. There were also plenty of hydration stations (offering water & Nuun), so I definitely didn’t go thirsty. Personally, I like when races have more hydration stops, so that I feel like I don’t have to carry water with me (unless it’s really hot).

For this race, I just tried to run without pain. I had a pretty good pace going and eventually I caught up to the 2 hour Pace Beaver. I’m not sure which KM that I caught them, but it was fun to join the little pace group and have some people to enjoy the race with. The 2 hour Pace Beavers (one male, one female, sorry I didn’t catch their names) were awesome and friendly, so I appreciated that. I ran until about 19KM with them and since I felt sort of good, I started to speed up a little bit. Not much, because my hamstring was aching, but enough for me to cross the finish line at 1:56:07! Not a PB, but I was also pretty happy with myself keeping my time under 2 hours.

Post-race was also quite fun, with lots of excitement around getting the medals and free SeaWheeze sunglasses from Clearly. As we were guided up the walkway by the convention centre, there were warm towels for wiping sweat off and a few nice spots for photos by the water. Once we got to the food area, I was pleasantly surprised that there was a post race gluten/dairy free food option!! So, I was able to eat the yogurt and banana bread! I can’t tell you how happy I was about that. πŸ™‚

After we collected our food, we sat around the Olympic Cauldron with all the other runners chatting, taking pics, and enjoying the atmosphere. We also received a little package from Saje, which was fantastic! Saje was around pre and post race offering essential oil scents, roll-ons, etc to runners, which made the area smell quite lovely. The post race area did get quite busy, so I missed my opportunity for a free massage or chiro treatment, but it was nice to see all the runners utilizing these services. There were also stretching & foam rolling areas available, for those who wanted to chill out and recover.

SeaWheeze 2017 Vancouver

Pretty cool place to celebrate finishing a half marathon!

After we soaked up all the excitement after the race, we headed back to our AirBnB to get ready for the Sunset Festival. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I still wanted to check it out and keep the half marathon celebrations going. Once we got ready, we headed back to the convention centre to line up for the free shuttles to Stanley Park. The lines were busy, but we didn’t wait that long for a shuttle. We did, however, wait quite a long time in traffic. It took us almost an hour in traffic to get to the festival, which was slightly annoying because I missed a meet-up with a runner group, but I just tried to make the best of the situation. Can’t help Vancouver traffic! Once we got there, we decided to check out the Sunset Festival store. That line was long too & I didn’t end up buying anything – be proud of me! πŸ˜‰ To be honest, the Festival gear wasn’t too exciting, but I wanted to check it out since I missed the Expo sale. After that we took part in the outdoor yoga, which was quite fun and relaxing. Randomly, I saw T-Rex doing yoga, so that was distracting. HAHA! After the yoga, we started to realize how hungry we were, so we only stayed a little bit for the first band (Cold War Kids) and headed back into downtown on a shuttle to hunt for sushi.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at SeaWheeze. The race was a blast, the atmosphere was great, and the festival offered something I hadn’t done after a race. If I go again, I’d like to get there for all the pre SeaWheeze festivities, so that I can really experience it all!

Big shout out to all the staff, volunteers, cheer stations and police involved in making SeaWheeze run smoothly!! Thank you for all your hard work and support! πŸ™‚

Did you run SeaWheeze this year or year’s prior? How was your experience?

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4 thoughts on “SeaWheeze 2017 Race Recap

  1. Congrats on a great race! This was my first time doing SeaWheeze as well (plus my first half marathon ever). I had a few small disappointments but all in all they put on a great event and I couldn’t have asked for a better race destination.

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