lululemon athletica: they are a brand that have truly made working out into less of a chore, and into something more fun and thrilling. They are an innovative company, truly one-of-a-kind and utterly Canadian. And, based in the gorgeous city of Vancouver where healthy living reigns supreme, they definitely take fitness matters to heart.
On August 11, lululemon is hosting its inaugural SeaWheeze half-marathon, a route taking runners in-and-around this West Coast city. We got a chance to ask a few questions to race director Allison Forsyth about how the race came to be, how it represents the beautiful city of Vancouver, and more!
What prompted the idea to organize SeaWheeze?
We were inspired by the amazing energy and fun that overtook the city of Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics. We then started brainstorming ways to create another experience in Vancouver that would combine our passion for yoga and run and bring communities together. After two years of brainstorming and planning, the event is almost here.
What is, to you, the connection between running and yoga?
For me, yoga is an incredible way to cross-train for running. It allows a runner the opportunity to recover, increase their flexibility, and contribute to injury prevention. It also allows a great mental release and relaxation component to a run training program.
Where does the name SeaWheeze come from?
Great question! We love to create conversation at lululemon and wanted to continue this tradition of fun conversation creation with the name, and the SeaWheeze has done just that. SeaWheeze means something different to each person.
Tell us a bit a bit about the race route.
We really worked hard with our partners at the City to create a route that would showcase everything we think is amazing about Vancouver. From our beautiful home neighborhood of Kitsilano, to the over 11 km that will be run directly on the seawall, we believe this route to be truly unparalleled. We also didn’t throw in too many hills.
Was the city of Vancouver receptive to the idea of a race?
The city has been great. Ultimately the city and us have the same goal. We want to celebrate community and bring people together.
What kind of turnout are you anticipating?
We have officially sold out at 7,500 runners. This has far exceeded our expectations for our inaugural year and we are now the largest inaugural running event in Vancouver’s history. We are thrilled to be welcoming so many people who are passionate about running and yoga.
What activities are planned for the day?
There is a whole weekend of activities, as we are really focused on creating a weekend experience. We have multiple mass yoga classes and are even throwing a outdoor concert with one of the most popular bands of 2012. We didn’t want our runners to just feel like they ran a half marathon as we are setting out to re-invent what a half-marathon running experience can be.
Are non-runners welcome?
Of course! Activities throughout the weekend are designed to include the whole community. We have multiple cheer stations along the route, as well as our run expo on Friday is open to all. We are very excited about our SeaWheeze showcase store that will be open at the Vancouver Convention center all weekend. This huge store will be selling all the exclusive SeaWheeze product. We designed a whole line exclusively for this event!
We understand that there are spots open for volunteers. What tasks will volunteers be undertaking?
We have many volunteer shifts available, everything from greeting the runners in the corrals before start to handing out our unique finishers medals. I like to say it takes a village to raise a SeaWheeze and we are excited about the support we have received from our community and welcome many more. You can sign up to volunteer through our website at www.seawheeze.com
What are you hoping comes out of this experience?
I want our runners to leave on Sunday morning completely exhausted, elated, proud, and awed. I see them walking into the airport high fiving their new SeaWheeze friends, being completely blown away by what they did, what they saw, and the community they formed together. We are very intent here at lululemon with providing an unparalleled experience to our guests and we will provide the same to our runners on the weekend. It will be epic!