|We had quite a big "team" this year and we all finished.|
2015 Sea Wheeze Half Marathon Race Weekend, Part 2: The Merchandise
2015 Sea Wheeze Half Marathon Race Weekend, Part 3: The Race
2015 Sea Wheeze Half Marathon Race Weekend, Part 4: The Sunset Festival
2015 Sea Wheeze Half Marathon Race Weekend, Part 1: Travel and Expo
This was my fourth Sea Wheeze (legacy, baby!) and my third traveling alone so I have the Sea Wheeze routine down by now. This race was my second half marathon of 2015 - I did the Disneyland Star Wars Rebel Challenge in January - and my eleventh overall since I started running in 2012. I booked a later flight this year, a 10 a.m. instead of the 7 a.m. I took last year, and flew out of Orange County once again. I connected through Seattle and arrived in Vancouver about 4:00 p.m. Unlike previous years there weren't a lot of obvious Sea Wheeze-bound ladies on my flights which kind of bummed me out since I enjoy chatting with my fellow racers on the plane. Though I'd heard the anime convention was in town again this year the line for customs, unlike last year, was super short. I exchanged money at the airport (pricey but convenient) and headed out the door to the train station across the street. There was a lululemon cheer squad on the way out which was a nice start to the weekend:
My hotel was the Fairmont Vancouver, one of the Sea Wheeze-affiliated hotels, again. It's the "cheap" Fairmont and a ten minute walk from the Convention Center but it's conveniently located with a Starbucks across the street, a drugstore the next block up, the Robson lululemon store a block away, and a block away from the train station. This year, I had a roommate, Ms. A., who I'll be seeing again in a couple of weeks when we run the Disneyland Half. Other friends of mine, Ms. N. and Ms. C., who I hadn't seen since the 2013 Sea Wheeze, were also staying at the Fairmont so I said a sweaty hello to them, jumped in the shower, and then we headed down for a late dinner at the Tap and Barrel, on the plaza outside the convention center. My sister was arriving on an 11 pm flight so I wasn't planning on seeing her until later that night.
|I may have had an adult beverage or two.|
|The Tap and Barrel pretzel is delish.|
|View towards the front of the line|
|Inside the convention center, looking forward|
|Line behind us.|
|And we're off!! (credit: @lululemonlive twitter feed)|
|Panoramic view of the Expo|
|The balloons mark the front of the room where the cash registers were.|
|Sorting through merchandise, trying to figure out which 15 items to keep.|
|View of the checkout lines, looking into the Expo sales floor.|
Some scenes from the Expo floor. The standard procedure is to find your size, grab what you think you want and then head to the outskirts of the room to sort through what you want to keep. Workers circle the room checking as to whether you'd like to put things back and grab them from you. One of the workers asked us if we considered ourselves "addicts," I'm not sure whether he knew I wrote this blog or was just reacting to the crazy all-night line up and mad dash everyone made when the doors were opened. I'm sure it was the latter, and my answer to him was, "maybe." lol. I'll have a separate post about the specific items for sale. The color palette was navy and green, and jeweled magenta and deep orange. Nearly every item had a pattern on it, which made building outfits rather tough. We entered the store right at 7 a.m. and I think we were done by 8:30 am or so.
|At 9 a.m. the line for the Expo wrapped three-quarters of the way around the building.|
The line for the runner packet pickup was kind of long so we decided to go to breakfast nearby and then come back. This was about 9 am and we walked the outside of the convention center and checked out the line - it was wrapped three quarters around the building. My niece got in line at this time, my sister had a number of early conference calls to take and wasn't able to wait in line with us overnight so I did the shopping for us both - and said she waited two hours before she got into the Expo. As we walked by the line with our bags from the Expo I felt a lot of hard stares.
|Runner packet pickup line|
After breakfast we got in line for the runner packet pickup. It was about fifteen-twenty minutes long and seemed to be consistently this long for most of the day.
Our runner packets were a briefcase-style bag and a water bottle, similar to last year. There were three different sayings on the water bottles. We also had a timing chip with Chip Wilson's face again (I think lululemon must have ordered a million of these, lol), a coffee coupon, and a wristband which was our ticket for the post-race brunch and the Sunset Festival. The outside plaza once again had stations for manicures, runner tattoos, various freebies but after getting our packets we headed back to our rooms for a long nap.
After a too-short nap, I headed out to dinner with my sister and nieces and nephew. We ended up at the Cactus Club near the convention center. While we were waiting for our table, we checked out what was left at the Expo:
New and returning fellow Sea Wheezers, what did you think of this year's expo experience? Were you happy with how the line up was handled? Did you like the merchandise?