by Coach Kate Gustafson
So you won the SeaWheeze 2018 lottery?! Now it’s showtime. This half marathon/party thrown by lululemon always delivers something totally unique that you really won’t find anywhere else across Canada’s racing scene.
Every year there is a ton of buzz around the SeaWheeze Showcase Store and you know what, it’s pretty sweet. Even if you’re not into sleeping outside to get first dibs on the exclusive gear it’s worth walking through the store on your way to the race packet pickup to shop what’s still available.
In the past (and I’m pretty sure it’s the same this year) you won’t get a race bib but you will get some kind of race chip for your shoe/wrist/body. Don’t forget to attach this the night before the race and be sure to follow the directions in your race packet.
Mentally prepare for rain but don’t overdress on race morning because you’ll be warm out there once you get started. If you can, get friends or family to carry a jacket for you to throw on post-race. Vaseline on parts of your body that tend to chafe is probably a good idea. Also, rain can make you feel like you’re not thirsty (especially after training through the summer heat), PLEASE remember to drink at the aid stations and take your gels just like you’ve practiced. No new tricks on race day. Go with what you know.
Give yourself plenty of time to warm up in advance of the 7:00am start. It’s an early one, folks!
The course itself is challenging with some sharp turns on the Seawall, a big bridge and a few hills. Many first-timers run this race, which is freakin’ awesome, but that means that pacing can be all over the place. Pay special attention to your own splits in the first 5km, don’t get caught going out too fast.
From 5 to 9 km, you’ll make two nasty climbs up and then back over Burrard Bridge. Try not to glance at your watch too much when you’re climbing and use the downhill to your advantage. Keep your mind in a positive place, choosing when to look at your watch is one way to do this.
Watch your step when you run down from the road to the Seawall at English Bay, especially if it is a wet morning.
The second half is where the work really happens and the gritty get grittier. The Seawall always features a few great cheer stations but it can be quiet out there. Try to stay in contact with a group in front of you or work with another runner when you’re out there.Photo by Jody Bailey @3oh6
Around 18km, you’ll need to draw on all of those hill repeats you did last summer to get up and over Lumberman’s Arch. The hill doesn’t look like much but it feels like a North Shore mountain at this point in the race (at least for me it was). Keep your head up and your mind focused here. The final two kilometres are challenging because you’ll be tired and you need to make a series of tight turns on the Seawall. It’s going to feel like the finish line is a million miles away until you FINALLY see it with only a few hundred metres to go. Don’t check out over these last few kilometres, fight to hold your pace or pass others in front of you or maybe even pull a few of your teammates along.
The finish line party is always full of surprises and it is worth making the time to enjoy it. And of course, there’s the SeaWheeze Festival that’s always a good time.
Good luck and remember to have fun. Go get it, runners!