October 3, 2013
Sunset at Kitsilano “Kits” Beach
After the expo we headed to Cambie Street to see the lululemon lab-this store is only in Vancouver. They design and sell their own exclusive line of innovative and functional clothing (think black, white, greys). They plan on opening other lululabs in other major cities-what a cool concept!
We headed to the town of Kitsilano for some dinner + yoga. Kitsilano, once a sleepy hippie beach town, is home to the lululemon headquarters and their first retail store. After Thai food, we walked over to Kits Beach for sunset yoga (part of the race events).
View of downtown Vancouver from Kits Beach
How gorgeous is their public pool?
Yogis + runners = Yorunners? The event was open to the community
Although the event was great-perfect weather, nice volunteers, the yoga was a bit more strenuous than I thought it would be (I was thinking more meditative and stretching).
SeaWheeze Half Marathon
The race started at the convention center where package pick-up was. It was nice to have real restrooms and a place to relax. We got there at 6:15am and headed to the corrals around 6:45am (follow the Pace Beavers).
The scenic race route went all over downtown Vancouver, hitting up a few of the major tourist sites. You can read more about it here:
As you can see from the elevation chart there were some inclines, including this bridge around the 10K mark (I forgot about kilometers, but mentally it seemed like I was running faster than I really was):
The kilometer markers! How cool!
Did I already mention that the views were awesome?!
Inukshuck-a stone landmark
Around Stanley Park.
There were aid stations every 3K and cheer support was incredible (cheer stations, mermaids and merman, cheerleaders on stand-up-paddles (SUP), and circus like costumes).
I came to Vancouver ill-trained, but was doing pretty well until mile 10. In March I had a bicycle accident in which I injured my knee and left hip flexor; I think the run aggravated my injuries. It was uncomfortable, but I was able to finish and received this goody (and some skull candy earbuds):
Wooden-engrave medal, locket style. One of my favorite medals by far!
One of my good friends from college, Jenn, joined us in Vancouver!
The post-race food lines were incredibly long, so Jenn, Laurel and I went around the corner for brunch (plenty of waterfront restaurants). Afterwards we headed back to the hotel to shower and nap before the Sunset Festival in Stanley Park. The festival included yoga and a few bands (I opted out of the yoga).
Another incredible sunset
Around Town and Final Thoughts
We were able to see the 2010 Olympic Torch (right next to the start/finish line):
And stopped by Yaletown and Gastown for some food and drinks.
Overall I thought the half marathon was well organized and I LOVED Vancouver! Here are some final thoughts:
- At CAD128, the registration fee is on the higher end, but you do get shorts, two-three yoga sessions, and a post race festival. Your total cost increases if you travel from the east coast-but it is vacation right?
- Perfect perfect running weather! No August humidity!
- One of the most beautiful races courses (I am a sucker for water).
- The people of Vancouver are friendly and the city is small enough to explore everything in 4-5 days.
- I wish I planned a tad bit better, as I was unable to visit Grouse Mountain.
- The pre-race yoga could have been a tad bit more joint friendly
- The post race lines were long, but that is a minor problem that can be easily fixed.
I would run this half again, but not every year…there are other cities to explore 🙂
Note: This post was originally written in September 2013, but I just got this tumblr upon and running 🙂