seawheeze half marathonRace: SeaWheeze Half Marathon

Runner: Shelly Davis

Race Date: 09/22/2018

Location: Vancouver, BC

Results: 1:46:08; 586th out of 8,513 runners, 305th out of 6,854 women

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1860939848

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

Great atmosphere/energy, very well organized, cool course.

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

Actually getting into this race is tougher than the race itself, due to its popularity!

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

Something unique about this race is that SeaWheeze is a more than just the half marathon – “yoga, run, party” is the slogan. There are yoga classes offered each day, vision and goals sessions, a showcase store with exclusive lululemon product, beer gardens, the half marathon (of course), and a sunset festival with DJs, drinks, and food. There is so much to do, and although I didn’t take advantage of all of these offerings (I had other commitments with friends who were in town), SeaWheeze is a great opportunity for a full weekend of fun!

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

This was my first half marathon in about 8 years – I really enjoyed testing the waters with a longer road race! I went out conservatively, felt like I maintained my pace throughout, and even moved up a bit towards the end. Eager to sign up for another half (shooting for one after the holidays).

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Get after it – this course is pretty flat, so PRs are very achievable! As mentioned before, I haven’t run a half marathon in quite some time, and I still shaved about 5 minutes off my PR.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Add in more long runs – I knew I could get through 13.1 miles, but had I been more consistent with the long run, I’m sure I would have felt better later in the race and could have run faster.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The course is pretty flat – it winds through the downtown Vancouver area and a couple of the surrounding neighborhoods before heading out to lovely Stanley park with one little climb near the end as you make your way back into downtown for the finish.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

I’ve heard this course is very scenic. Unfortunately, it was a rainy weekend in Vancouver, so most of the marine layer had not lifted, but I can imagine how beautiful the views would have been if the marine layer had lifted and it was sunny.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

No, this course is mainly flat with a couple of hills thrown in for good measure.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Extremely organized! Lots of email communication in the months leading up to the race. Wristbands are mailed out to runners about two weeks in advance. There were chips within the wristband to speed up and simplify the check-in process which was great.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

There is great competition throughout with multiple start corrals which was nice to give groups enough space. The field is somewhere in the ballpark of 10,000 runners, so you aren’t ever really running alone.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Registration has been increasingly difficult over the years as this race is extremely popular. I had been trying to register for about 3 years before I was selected this year (back in February) in the non-guaranteed entry drawing, which I believe is the second wave of registrants. There was a very short turnaround time that I was required to register by (~ 24 hours) or my spot would have been given to the next person. I stayed in an Airbnb in downtown Vancouver with another racer and a couple of friends which was great – we walked pretty much everywhere and ran down to the race for a warm-up.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Plenty of aid stations along the way (I think about every 2km?) – restrooms, water, Nuun, gels, chocolate, etc.

Weather and typical race conditions

Quite rainy and grey– from what I’ve seen in years’ past, it’s typically sunny for this race. The temperature was very comfortable with little to no wind, so the rain didn’t bug me much.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

Nope – although, I was quite happy I wore a hat since it rained throughout.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yes, plenty of places to watch. An awesome atmosphere with lots of people cheering throughout (even in the pouring rain!).

How’s the Swag?

Tons of swag – lululemon shorts, medal, hat, drawstring bag, sunglasses, spa products, Nuun, post-race “brunch”, etc.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

5 stars! Definitely recommend if you can get in!