For the 2018 Lululemon Seawheeze, they did 2 new things: first, they moved it from their traditional month of August to September and they introduced a lottery system instead of using their website and eventbrite as they had in previous years. Using a lottery system prevented problems that have occured on registration day since I started running it in 2014. The first year I registered, it was still on their website and it crashed badly that morning in January and they closed registration and announced that they would be going to eventbrite to host the registration process in 2 weeks. I got into that race from our condo in Cancun with shady internet. This was my first half marathon. I registered again for the 2015 and 2016 races without incident but again eventbrite kept crashing for other people and registered some people multiple times. For the 2017 race, registration was on a date that saw us in California but again I was luckily enough to get in. Eventbrite saw an even bigger demand for registration and crashed big time causing even more people to not get in. All these events and registration problems are what led to them implementing the lottery - or at least I am assuming that is why.
When they announced the date of registration, rumours started rumbling that it was going to be a lottery process for entry. Of course, this caused a huge stir in the lulu community and groups that I belong to with some hating the idea and some loving the idea. I was on the fence mostly because I had never been involved in a lottery process for a race before. On January 18th, Lululemon officially announced that they were indeed going to a lottery system and that registration for the non-guaranteed lottery into the race would be begin on January 25th at 10am pst and end on January 26th at 10am pst. All those who were selected randomly in the first wave of registrants would be notified via email beginning at 4pm pst. You had until midnight the following day you either accept or decline. If you declined, the entry would be given to another person in a random draw on Sunday at 4pm pst and then every day until all spots had been filled.
I filled out the registration into the lottery on Thursday about 45 minutes after it opened as I went for lunch with my mom and Greg at The Eden in Inglewood (go check it out, it is divine). You had to enter your name, email, what my goal was for 2018, how many Seawheezes I had run, how many marathons I had ran, what running means to me in one word and my social media handles. It was a pretty painless process and was hitting submit within minutes. Now to wait and wait and then wait some more.
Going into the lottery drawing, I was fairly confident that while I would be disappointed that I wasn't selected in the lottery, I would be ok because I had a back up race weekend already planned for that same weekend. No matter what, I was running a race that Saturday with great friends, it was just a matter if it was in Canmore or Vancouver. At least that is what I told myself. That being said, that Friday was like the longest day ever. I thought 5pm was never going to come but eventually it did, and at 5:04pm it finally came:
As soon as I saw the email in my inbox on my iphone, I was so excited. Greg was in the basement working on the basement and was hollering down at him trying to get his attention. My mom thought someone died but I was just super excited that I got in. Then I immediately texted my good friend Heather hoping she had gotten that same email and thank goodness she had. I am not sure what I would have done had she not gotten in. I am pretty confident that Greg would have just come down with me for a weekend or something. At least we don't have to worry about that now. Our hotel is booked and now all Heather and I have to do is watch for flights to Vancouver for that weekend.
It has been a bittersweet weekend regarding the seawheeze and the lottery system. While I am happy that Heather and I got in, I was sad that so many of my YYCWheezers didn't get in and friends that I have made through the race on social media. I know a lot of people are upset that they didn't get in and think they could have on the old system but the truth is, it is all about random luck anyways and who knows what would have happened had they used eventbrite again. I am happy with the lottery system and I am not just saying that because I was able to get in this time either. Greg has been suggesting that the race entry should be a lottery system for a year or two now to make it fair and to get rid of the crashing of registration platforms. My only complaint about the lottery system is that you should have been able to register in groups of 2 - 4 or something since this is a destination race for many involved. The old Nike runs did a lottery system but allowed group registration because it was a similar race with great demand that people travelled far to come to. Hopefully Lululemon fixes this for next year, but overall I am happy to have had a (mostly) stress free registration day and that I got in.
See you soon Vancouver!!!