In non pandemic times, SeaWheeze is a half marathon held in Vancouver every August. It is notoriously difficult to gain entry to the race–a year or so ago they switched from first come, first served to a lottery system. Why is this race in such high demand? In addition to a pretty course, the race is sponsored by athleisure brand Lululemon (their flagship store is in Vancouver), and is filled to the brim with Lululemon swag. Participants receive Lululemon clothes with their entry, and the event offers gear (for purchase) in limited edition designs. Lululemon clothing is notoriously expensive…sadly, it’s for good reason, as their gear really is that good. I’ve yet to purchase anything from them at full price, but I do LOVE the running shorts I received from them, and the next time I’m in the US, I will probably be placing an order.
The SeaWheeze half marathon has been on my radar for a few years, as I follow several running bloggers who have gone and loved it. I’d love to travel to Vancouver one day, and hopefully also run this race! It’s held in mid-late August, at a time when I was always busy with work at my previous job, so I was never able to register. One day!
This is not the first year that SeaWheeze has offered a virtual option, but this is the first time I’m registering! My reasons:
This year they offered a 10K distance! When not marathon training, my summer mileage is always much lower than normal. Thanks, heat, humidity, and anxiety! This summer, my ACL injury has also prevented me from completing longer distances. Anyway, my desire to run a 21.1km virtual race in August is nonexistent, but a 10K? Sure, why not!
I’d really like to think that I’ll get the opportunity to run SeaWheeze in person one day! Before COVID, I didn’t have a desire to run virtual races, because there were enough in-person options to keep me busy. Thanks to COVID, I’ve decided to embrace virtual races, since they’re better than nothing, and still get me out of the apartment and keep me active.
Virtual Race Details
Cost: $28. This included shipping. Yes, it’s a lot of $ for a medal. Don’t worry, I’m good for it!
Website: Easy enough
Social Media: Apparently there was an 8-week training plan for the event…I don’t need one though, so I didn’t use this. There was also the special SeaWheeze store, offered online this year. I didn’t like anything enough to spend $$$ on it. Virtual events were also offered throughout the week of the event. A lot of them were a bit too woo-woo for me, and the rest were held at times when I couldn’t participate. The one thing that interested me was a virtual yoga class, which was held at 10pm my time on a Monday. The only other class I could have taken was at 10pm on a Friday, and I was on a vacation in northern Israel at the time…
Updates: The tracking was done through Strava, so once my workout synced to Strava, I was done! The tracking feature was underwhelming, HOWEVER, after completing the race, SeaWheeze sent out the following video, which I LOVED:
Points for originality!!
Medal: The medal is very cute! However, it took FOREVER to arrive. The timeline was supposed to be 8 weeks, and then naturally there were additional delays in arriving to Israel. OF COURSE the medal arrived at the end of November, when I was in the US visiting my parents. A friend agreed to go to the post office for me, so I received the medal after I returned to Israel and completed my post-trip quarantine.
I wish there had been more yoga classes I could have taken, but that’s my only complaint about the way the event was run. The only negative for me was that I couldn’t participate in the live online yoga classes, but when I received a participant survey for the event, it included some yoga for runners videos, which I felt was an acceptable alternative.
Also, I LOVED the drag queen video, and think all races should include this!
Would I participate in a SeaWheeze virtual race again? Maybe. This year I did not benefit from the “community” portion, which I think is a major draw of the event. I also didn’t purchase any of the special SeaWheeze gear because I didn’t see anything that justified the prices. My main incentive for participating is the lack of in-person races in Israel. I also doubt I’d run the half marathon virtually, since running 21km alone/not in a race atmosphere in the August heat and humidity doesn’t sound like fun. I would probably stick to the 10K option. I’d be more likely to participate if there were good virtual classes offered that I could access at my convenience, if live viewing isn’t an option. The other factor that would heavily influence my participation in a future virtual event is whether or not in-person races return by this time next year.
Also, the shipping timeline was ridiculous. By the time I got the medal, I’d basically forgotten about the race.
However, once in-person races return, I will definitely try and register for an in-person SeaWheeze!