Monday, September 1, 2014

2014 Sea Wheeze Race Recap, Part 3: The Race

Once again, Chip was on our timing chips.

2014 Sea Wheeze Race Recap, Part 1: Travel and the Expo

2014 Sea Wheeze Race Recap, Part 2: The Merchandise

2014 Sea Wheeze Race Recap, Part 4: The Sunset Festival

2014 Sea Wheeze Race Recap, Part 3: The Race

Since this Sea Wheeze sold out in under an hour I figured it would be full of runners who were not necessarily lululemon fans, people who had heard what a fun destination race it was and decided to try it. I could not have been more wrong. The race was full of hard-core lululemon enthusiasts, and judging by how packed the back corrals were, had quite a few people running their first half marathon. Race day was a melange of bright color and pattern, people dressed to impress in their prettiest or most sought-after lululemon items.  In our chat groups we often joke that Sea Wheeze is the lululemon prom, and it kind of was. I really love when people wear bright colors and wild patterns on race days, it gives races a great energy. The first Sea Wheeze had a ton of bright color, thanks to a wild summer palette and instructions from corporate telling the 40%-employee field to dress brightly but last year was more muted, I thought. This year the brightness was back, largely due to a great Sea Wheeze expo selection but also organically arising from the brand enthusiasts in the field who really embraced all the prints and patterns released this year.  A great part of the fun of a fan is spotting other fans and Sea Wheeze is an entire race where you can entertain yourself the whole way checking out outfits.

The weather for the race was about the same as last year, mid-60s start, but a bit more sunnier.

lululemon 2014 Sea Wheeze Half Marathon start arch

lululemon 2014 Sea Wheeze Half Marathon start arch crowd
View looking forward from the 2:30 corral.
lululemon Sea Wheeze start corral

lululemon 2014 Sea Wheeze half marathon start corral
View looking back from the 2:30 corral.
We lined up in the 2:30 corral again. The back corrals were way more crowded than in previous years. I take this as a sign more newbie runners signed up who weren't sure of their finish times. The corrals are self-selected so there is no reason to run in a more forward corral than you belong (unlike in Disney races where a more forward corral gets you extra time for character photos on the course.)

lululemon 2014 Sea Wheeze half marathon start corrals
Bright colors and prints/patterns dominated race outfits.

lululemon 2014 Sea Wheeze half marathon start arch

lululemon 2014 Sea Wheeze half marathon start arch
The start arch gets closer.

lululemon Sea Wheeze Half Marathon course
Heading up the first hill.

lululemon 2014 Sea Wheeze Half marathon course
Heading towards the Dunsmuir Viaduct.

lululemon 2014 lululemon Sea Wheeze half marathon viaduct
 On the Viaduct. The weather was sunnier this year than last.

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon course
People on tall bicycles were some of the on-course entertainment.

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon course umbrellas

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon course photos marina

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon voluncheers
"Voluncheers" on the right in the yellow shirts, cheering us on (or having coffee :)  ).

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon course
There used to be a cheer station here last year, if I am remembering correctly.

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon transvestite cheerleaders

lululemon sea wheeze transvestite cheer leaders
The transvestite cheerleaders were here again this year. They are a crowd and one of my favorites.

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon kitsilano

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon course kitsilano
I love when the course passes itself and you can try spotting your faster friends.

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon course

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon cheer sign
One of my favorite cheer signs.
lululemon sea wheeze half marathon sea wall

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon beach sea wall

lululemon sea wheeze half marathon paddleboarders

lululemon sea wheeze paddleboarder cheer squad
The paddle boarders were here again.

We back of the packers had the Sea Wall to ourselves.

Such great views - my favorite part of the course.

I think these guys were some sort of runner car wash.

Probably my favorite part of the race - the Mermaids - since they signal the end is close. 

No mist tent at the bridge this year - outrage! It was hot so I was really looking forward to the mist tent.

lululemon 2014 sea wheeze medals
The bling - funky plastic medals with a cool Sea Wheeze-print ribbon. A major improvement over last year, in my opinion. We had our choice of blue, purple, or green. I was instructed to get the purple so I could trade with my niece, lol. We also got the same little Saje package of peppermint oils that we got last year.

Women's finisher 'Sup hat

Men's finisher hat
Finishers also got a Sea Wheeze hat. The women got a plain black 'Sup hat with the Sea Wheeze logo. I'm not sure of which style the men got but only a few got the ones with the print brim, the rest were solid black. I've got to say I really like the lululemon brand swag the racers got this year, from the water bottle, to the headband, to the finisher hat - I give it all a big thumbs up. I ended up selling the earbuds we got last year but I am definitely keeping the hat. I hope lululemon does the same for next year.

Our brunch - waffle with blueberry compote, spinach and eqq mini quiche, yogurt, and fresh fruit. It was filling and yummy. 

The race this year had less group entertainments over all, there was no tai chi group, no big cheer squad at the first water station, no mist tent but it still had the crowd favorite entertainers - the transvestite cheerleaders, the big Ivivva cheer group, the paddle boarders, the mermaids, among others (I am sure I left a few out but I am awful at remembering details at races so forgive me, entertainers). However, there were lots of Voluncheers stationed along the course cheering us on. There were plenty of water stations, something like every 2 miles or so, that were stocked with bananas and oranges, though I was so slow this year I was only able to get bananas at one station. I can't speak much to the portapottie situation since I never stopped but I did read some complaints about people having to wait for them. Lululemon once again gave out cold towels at the finish, which were very welcome. There was a big medical presence at the end, too, where there was a medical guy standing in front of the finish line checking out all the later finishers. I got a rubber-gloved high five (nice in sentiment, icky in a tactile sense, lol) from one of them. All in all, another well-run event and I am planning to go back next year.

If you went, what did you think?


Unknown said...

OK working up the nerve to ask: what does the sign mean? Swipe right? Help out the slow girl!

AtlantaDebbie said...

Thanks for posting this! It was a chance to relive a wonderful experience. Yes, I hope to do it again next year. Fingers crossed I can do the registration without issues!!! (well, I will be better at Registration if I UNcross my fingers. So, I'm uncrossing them, and crossing toes instead)

LuluAddict said...

@Wendy - It's a reference to the dating app, Tinder. You swipe right if you are interested in someone and swipe left if you are not.

Anonymous said...

What are the tanks in the photo where your lining up at the start called? One is blue polka dots and the other multi-coloured? I really want a tank in that style. I saw them on here a while ago but have never seen them for sale in Australia.

Anonymous said...

@ Wendy 2:07, don't feel odd, I didn't know what it meant either. Thanks LLA for the explanation.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know what that swipe sign meant either.

Loving the seawheeze re cap


Anonymous said...

How did Lulu manage the registration last year? I remember hearing about the site crashing leaving many people very upset. Did Lulu end up using a third party host similar to what most major race events use for registration purposes? I want to make sure I am prepared this year!

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 2:04 pm - they used Event Brite the first two years but then switched to a smaller vender last year. When they did the reboot two weeks later they were back with Even Brite, who is able to handle the traffic. I would assume they are using Event Brite again.