Hey Seawheeze!

photo(6)Everyone seems to be loving the last post, which makes my heart swell with pride.  Thank you very much for your kindness!  However, some people also want to hear all about how spectacular this race actually was, so if that’s your jam, stick around because I am going to attempt to entertain you by giving you a run down (pun absolutely intended) on lululemon’s Seawheeze half marathon.

Have you seen the Lego movie?  If you have, then you totally know all about the “Everything is Awesome” song, and that’s exactly how I would describe everything about this experience.  I even enjoyed waking up before the sun to get downtown for the packet pick-up/Seawheeze showcase store party!  I have to admit, there was a lot of negativity posted on the Seawheeze Facebook page about this, but I found it very well organized, and if you prepared yourself ahead of time, it really was easy peasy!  While the wait was about an hour long to get in, I think the sheer energy in the showcase store was probably one of my favourite parts, although I was super lucky to have some trusty people with me to help divide and conquer.

I also really enjoyed some of the personal touches they added to make runners feel special.  While I didn’t use the grooming station set up for men, for obvious reasons, I thought that it was really thoughtful to the gents taking part in this race.  However, I did take advantage of the temporary tattoo parlour they had set up which was a lot of fun, as the “artists”, well at least mine, were super entertaining.  They also had a beauty station and manicure spot set up to make all the runners feel fabulous!

In addition to all of this wonderfulness, there were also booths set up, much like an expo, with free samples for runners to enjoy.  I have to say that I was a little sad that I missed the cotton candy truck as it was just opening as we were leaving to explore the wonders of downtown Vancouver (so, so, so beautiful by the way)!

Race day itself was also easy breezy.  Upon arrival, the pre-race warm up was pretty exciting and uber fun, until the moment I thought I lost my cell phone, and basically my mind.  I was MORE than warmed up from my racing heart.  To the girl who took a moment to help this frazzled soul by telling her that her phone was tucked in her bra strap, THANK YOU.  I apologize now for having a public mental breakdown and looking like a lunatic.  You guys, I found my phone!  Three cheers for everyone!

After that spectacle, I worked my way down towards the self-seeded corrals, and found the new friends I made in the showcase store.  Ya, I make friends wherever I go.  Must be my gypsy roots.  Shout outs to my grandma who always called me her little gypsy.  Her little running gypsy now! 

The corrals were pretty straight forward, and once I got to mine, it was pretty much a waiting game with a lot of feels.  Not just my own, but every runner around me.  Some were jacked, some were focused, and others were looking around like they had no idea what they got themselves into.  At that moment I wish I knew what I know now, so I could tell them they’re about to run the best race of their lives!

I was smiling from ear to ear the entire race.  What I once thought would be a long, drawn out 21.1km, was suddenly going by way too quickly.  I was afraid to blink in case I missed something.  Luckily I didn’t.  Miss anything that is, I totally kept blinking.  From the amazing signs along the route (props goes to the Tinder one with the cut out for your face), to the enthusiastic volunteers at each station, to the drag queens at the top of Bute St, I was thoroughly and entertainingly distracted.  I was also super happy.  So happy that I was high-fiving people left, right, and centre.  I even high-fived the trio of saxophone playing fish.  Whoa!  It didn’t stop there either.  My favourite cheer station along the route was at Muscle Beach where the super awesome cheerers were decked out lifting dumbells.  I was so happy I totally went all out and did the “this way to the beach” arm gesture which made one of the girls laugh so hard, I felt like a comedian.  I was happy like that for the entire race with the brief exception of km’s 18-19.  I was not on the happy train at all for that stretch of the race, but I got out of the funk as I turned the corner and saw my amazing family cheering me on, and of course the glorious finish.

The happiness didn’t stop at the end of the race either.  We were well taken care of from the moment we crossed as we received our medals (you got one of three colours to choose from).  Whistler Water was waiting to provide us with cold water to soothe our thirst, Saje Wellness had an awesome little goody bag of goodness for us, and lulu had some pretty sweet hats for us too! You’d think that would be more than enough, but nope!  The post race food was top notch.  They gave each runner a delicious quiche along with a waffle, greek yogurt, and fruit compote.  It was deeeee-lish!  There were also post race massages to be had, and I have to say that I’ve never felt so well taken care of before or after a race.

photo(7)The royal treatment continued as runners were able to take part in the Sunset Festival.  Hooray!  I can drink beer now, and drink a beer I did (thanks Stanley Park Brew)!  It was a great outdoor event that included sunset yoga (which I missed, sadface) and saw indie band The Colourist (www.thecolouristmusic.com), and headliner Capital Cities play.  It was a lot of fun that turned into a huge stage dance party after the bands finished up.  I didn’t actually dance on the stage myself, but it looked like my kind of jam!  All in all, it was a really well organized event.  So much so, that the race organizers should really consider changing their names to Beyonce because this event was FLAWLESS.

It’s no doubt that I’ve had nothing but good things and vibes to share about this race.  It’s also pretty clear that I’ve been feeling pretty darn happy lately.  I did just achieve a major #goalcrush by running Seawheeze, but I’ve also been feeling pretty bummed today too.  Bummed that I won’t be running this amazingly awesome race again in 2015.  So I’m going to try to fix that by putting it out into the universe that I would LOVE it if Seawheeze gave me a chance to give back to this amazing community by being a pace beaver for the 2:30 group in 2015. I want to be the crazy, fun leader of the party in the back!  It’s a big goal to crush for me, but I’ve asked the universe for amazing things before, and it’s gifted me with being exactly where I am today.  Right here, with my first half marathon under my belt, and hungry for more.  May the odds be ever in my favour!

Yours, swiftly,

Alex

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