Updated: Aug 1
I have never been to Vancouver before running this race was always on my bucket list. So I decided that I would submit our families names when the lottery registration came out. The way Lululemon does it, is first you can submit as a group and then individually. Luckily we got selected on our first try as a group and would be racing in Vancouver come August.
Thousands of people run in this race and I know why! It is a gorgeous course, a beautiful city and run so frigging well! Lululemon really outdid themselves with this race.
We flew into town on Friday as the race takes place on Saturday. We decided to stay at the Four Seasons which was a hotel option offering race travel discounts and since I won a four seasons gift card at my office holiday party I decided to use that towards the cost and it ended up being worth it. When we got into town we took a cab to the hotel, dropped off our belongings and made our way to the expo. It takes place at the convention center right on the water and is massive. This is also where the Start and Finish lines would be for the race.
At the expo, you walk in and the follow the signs to the entrance where there are staffers waiting to greet you and get your name so that when you walk in, they have your shorts, slouchy bag and bib waiting for you. After grabbing them, you can exchange the shorts for a different size (if there are any left). I was NOT a fan of the women's shorts. I thought the color was hideous. The men's shorts were sooo much nicer and matched the bag and the hat were were given. We then continued walking around the expo and came across Sage essential oils, lululemon's bra and new self care product lines, an insole station and some places to take pictures. We then went into the Seawheeze shopping area where specialty items were being sold. Before running this race, I read a lot of reviews including that people line up beginning at 1 AM to get into this specialty store. Now when we went in at 1 pm, there were plenty of items left, but definitely some gone.
After we purchased some items, we grabbed lunch at the Cactus Club and walked down to the Lululemon store I was recommended to visit and got even more items. FYI the exchange rate was great for U.S. folks. For dinner we got chinese and went to bed. Woke up at a reasonable time and walked to the start.
The line for bag check-in was long but moved quickly. The bathroom however was not so fast. We made our way to the start line and as you can tell, it was a big congested. I had to jump over a barricade to get into the corral. The race began with a run through the downtown area, along the water, up a massive and steep hill and across the bridge with a visit to Lululemon HQ. After turning around after HQ, we headed back across the bridge to Stanley Park and ran along the water around the park. I tried to jump onto a bench and take a picture, but I missed the bench, landed on my thigh and decided to keep running. Picture wasn't worth it anymore haha. We finished back in the area where we started to tons of people cheering us on and trucker hats for finishing.
At every other mile there was some sort of entertainment. A spin class, drummers, DJ's, bands, drag queens showing us their model walks and of course the famous Lululemon cheerleaders you see at many races throughout the country. I met back up with my brother at the finish who had a great race, (got some peppermint halo rolled on my legs by the Sage folks) and we went to the post race brunch where we were served overnight oats and banana bread. The food was not a hit with Neil but I ate a little. We tried to go into the recovery area but we couldn't take food in, so I hid mine in my bag I gear checked (which by the way, was very easy to obtain upon finishing.) Everyone after the race was sitting around eating and not going into the recovery area so the lines were not long.
Inside the convention center there was a whole section for massages and chiro which you did have to wait for, but their system for waiting was excellent. Upon entering the room, you were given a card which was what the massage folks would call when it was your turn. While you waited, you could enjoy the NormaTec boots, Theraguns, spin bikes or relax in the meditation room. This was by far the best recovery area I have ever experienced. Plus when you left, you had the opportunity to fill out a survey and get a $10 Lululemon gift card! Sadly though, by the time my mom finished and got around to the recovery room, the lines were astronomical and it wasn't worth it to wait. But she did still grab her GC! After we showered and napped, we walked to grab lunch at Steam Works Brewery and browsed some of the cute stores downtown.
Overall the medals were beautiful, the course was gorgeous, the setup, recovery area and finish line party was fabulous and I had a great time completing this course. If you can get into the race I highly recommend racing it. You will not regret the decision.
Perks: Medals, course, recovery zone, shopping :) start and finish area, bag and hat
Ehh... Not a Fan: food, women's shorts (mens were prettier)