First I just want to give a huge thank you to all who commented on my post yesterday. I wasn’t looking for sympathy or anything like that. I simply just wanted to clear things up because I didn’t appreciate some of the things being said about me.
Anyway, today I just wanted to share some highlights from my race. It’s not going to be a typical race recap because I didn’t really prep for it, nor do I have my mile splits with details about what/how I was feeling. It was more like a fun long run with a best friend and lots of entertainment on the way!
Our Friday (the day before the race) was a bit different this year. We usually camp out in front of the SeaWheeze Showcase Store but things got so crazy. People started lining up at 10am on THURSDAY and the store didn’t open until 7am on FRIDAY. I considered it (for about 4 seconds) but then decided I would rather sleep in my hotel bed rather than on the street. I was still able to snag some gear thanks to a couple of awesome friends. We still got up pretty early on Friday but kept things low key. We took a walk over to the convention centre to check out the line and by the time we got there it was thousands of people deep! We picked up our race kits, took photos, and spent some time in the runner’s lounge. They offer a lot of freebies the day before the race. There are stations where you can get your hair braided (or a hair cut for the boys!), your nails done, temporary tattoos, snacks, smoothies, you name it. The vibe is amazing and it definitely gets you excited for the next day.
The rest of the day included an amazing lunch with Vega (more on that tomorrow) and dinner at Cactus Club. We were back in our hotel pretty early to get our gear ready and head to bed at a reasonable time.
We set our alarms for 5am on Saturday to give ourselves enough time to eat, use the bathroom and walk to the Convention Centre. We all opted for soft, fluffy, white bagels as our pre-race fuel. I ate mine plain and washed it down with some Vega Pre-Workout Energizer. It was actually perfect. I’ve never done bagels before a race (I usually go with oats). We got our race outfits on (most important part, amiright?) and headed out around 6am so that we had plenty of time to check bags, meet with some more friends, and use the bathrooms again.
At about 6:45, Jess and Mark headed towards the front (they are super speedy) while Danielle and I joined the 1:55 pace group. Gregg was pacing and so we thought we’d would start off with him and his crew. When we got there, we also found Michael, Lisa, Carlee, and Doctor Dribble (<- he dribbles two basketballs while running the entire half marathon!)
We sang the national anthem and went off running just after 7am. We cruised the entire way, snapchatted all of the awesome cheer squads (the outdoor spin class was my favourite!), stopped at almost all of the water/nuun stations, and took photos of ourselves/our friends/the scenery!
There is one turnaround spot (the Burrard Bridge) so we knew we would get to see our friends running in our direction. We waited at the bottom of the bridge so that we could cheer them on and it was honestly so incredible to see them fly by. You can read Angela’s recap HERE and Jessica’s HERE. I am so inspired by them. Such talented athletes!
Rumour was that there would be a puppy cheer station on the other side of the bridge. Sadly, we saw no puppies. Apparently they were somewhere along the course but I don’t know anyone who actually saw them. We did see some mermaids though! They were right at the start of the stretch along the Seawall.
This is by far the most beautiful (though the longest) part of the race. It feels amazing to run by the water and since we had done the race before, we knew that once we reached the end of the Seawall, we weren’t too far from the finish.
Look at all those runners!
Danielle did amazing and I am super proud of the way we finished. We could see the finish line in the distance and she said that she wanted to push the pace for the last 100 or so meters. She battled some cramps during the race but she’s a little fighter and we got to the end with smiles on our faces. Since I didn’t wear my chip, I don’t know our exact time but I think it was around 2:15ish…maybe 2:20.
One of the many things that I love about this race is that they don’t reveal what the medals look like until you cross that finish line. It’s always an awesome surprise as Lululemon does a great job with them.
Along with the medal, we received a small Lululemon shopping bag for all of our post-race goodies. We received a cold towel, bottle of water, KIND bar, Saje essential oils, nuun samples, Vega Recovery Accelerator, and a Lululemon running hat. There was also a runner’s brunch where we could have gotten a breakfast sandwich, fruit and I believe they had pastries as well. Danielle and I decided to forgo the brunch line. Things started to get a bit hectic and we all planned on grabbing food after our showers so I ate my KIND bar to hold me over until then.
We took some photos, found friends to hear about how their race went, stopped by the Vega #PlantBase, and then headed back to our hotel to get cleaned up for lunch.
We decided on Chipotle for our post-race grub. It was minutes from our hotel and we were all getting a little hangry. You can’t really go wrong with a burrito bowl, plus it has everything you really need in a post-race meal, including 13 pounds of guacamole! 😉
We also went to Bella Gelateria for ice cream (salted chocolate FTW) and then met up with Suzy and Gretchen for a quick hello. I’ve been following Suzy’s blog for a while now (she’s my hero) and I was absolutely thrilled when she texted me saying she was in the city. So good to finally give her a big hug! It was also my first time meeting Gretchen and I just found out she has a blog too so now I have another awesome runner to follow! After some photos and hugs, we headed back to our hotel to relax/nap before the Sunset Festival.
I think I’ll leave it at that for today. I can’t say enough good things about this race. Lululemon puts on an incredible weekend and treats race participants like gold. It’s definitely an experience to remember and this year was the best yet. Danielle is like my other half (this was our third SeaWheeze together!) and having Jess and Mark along for the ride was so much fun.
Hope you have an awesome Thursday and I’ll be back tomorrow with a few more Vancouver highlights! Then I think I’ll be finished talking about this trip…until next year! 😉