The seventh-annual Seneca7, a 77.7-mile relay race, consisting of 328 seven-member teams running the circumference of Seneca Lake, was held on Sunday.
The event began in downtown Geneva, with runners heading south along the west side of Seneca Lake, through Yates County, Schuyler County including Watkins Glen, and Seneca County, before returning to Geneva for a finish line celebration.
Awards were three-deep in several categories: all male, all female, and mixed.
In the all male category, the Young Bucks, #64, of Geneva, took third, with a time of 8:20:12. Second place went to Liar, Liar, Feet on Fire, #19, out of Endwell, who finished in 7:53:40. Renegade 7, #141, from Endicott, finished first with a time of 7:34:02.
In the all female category third place was awarded to Slay Then Rose, #48, from Endicott, who finished in 9:49:18. Second place went to This Name Unintentionally Left Blank, #53, from Rochester, finishing in 8:56:01. Champions were Grab ‘Em By The Laces, #280, from Binghamton, who came in at 8:37:30.
The mixed category, considering of men and women, saw Team Weimer #207 of Dundee take the bronze, finishing in 8:54:54. Second place went to Disqualify This II, #69, of Geneseo, with a time of 8:31:42.
And the blue ribbon was earned by the Cayuga 7, out of Ithaca, who came in at 7:40:40. This team – already record-holders in two other categories – set the race record for the mixed category, previously set by the Klondike Catchers, 7:52:29 in 2014.
The bike category was comprised of teams who, instead of being supported by an official race vehicle (van or bus), were 100% self-supported – each team member rode a bicycle for the duration of the race. Bike teams have their own special category for awards, and this year first place in this category went to the Got Chicked (again!), #56, from Canandaigua, who finished with a time of 8:59:10.
“It was an even faster field this year than last,” says race co-director Jeff Henderson. “The event attracts all types of runners, from the fiercely competitive to the club runners who run for fitness, or even for fun. We try to provide an event that offers something for everyone.”
“This race was started out of a love for running and a love for the Finger Lakes,” says Seneca7 co-director Jackie Augustine. “We try to expand the field each year to accommodate more interest, but we are limited to the number we can accommodate for safety reasons.” Dozens of would-be teams were shut out during registration this year as the race filled to capacity in just 45 minutes when registration opened on October 31st. Augustine notes that demand for a Seneca7 entry has increased from year to year since its inception in 2011.
Henderson notes that the race wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community.
“We had over 200 volunteers staffing the course,” Henderson says. “From aid stations in four different counties to a mass of volunteers at the start and finish line – we certainly couldn’t pull this race off without them.”
Henderson says that local businesses and other community partners along the course are also instrumental to the race’s operation, noting that a number of wineries allow the race to use their property for exchange points – the place where racers hand off the slap bracelet to each other – and volunteers from local not-for-profits volunteer to man these stations.
To help repay the community that supports the race, organizers opened seven charity slots, race entry slots set aside for teams willing to pay an increased registration fee, with proceeds going to local not-for-profit organizations. The Seneca7 has donated over $52,000 to more than 40 charities since its inception. Organizers also donated an entry to the Lights! Camera! Auction! fundraiser held by the Smith Center for the Arts on November 5.
Official results can be found online: Score-This.com. Note that results are preliminary until official results are announced, due to penalties and disqualifications that are updated following the race.