Seneca 7 – Race (Relay) Recap!

Relay Recap:

Sunday kicked off the start of my race season in a fun way with The Seneca 7 Relay Race!  If you are not from the CNY region (or even if you are) and have never heard of this race, it’s basically a smaller version of a Ragnar Relay event.

The race is 77.7 miles long and uses teams of 7 people to run the course which starts in Geneva, NY and loops around Seneca Lake.  Similar to Ragnar, you have 1 person from the team run at a time, and the other 6 are in a vehicle (or on bicycles) to get to the next exchange point for the hand off.

While Seneca 7 does not come off as one of the most organized of events, they do well considering that they have 225+ teams all start the event in a span of 2 hours. The slower teams start earlier and the teams with faster paces start at 30 minute increments to help bring all the teams toward the finish together before dark. (Read: at some point on the course, all the teams bunch up.) (Also read: issues with traffic, parking and bathroom congestion on the course.) However, considering that the race has only been around a few years, they are slowing improving.

My biggest complaint last year was the lack of bathrooms. This year they had more port-a-johns available, however it still was not enough… when I finished my first leg, my teammate was in the bathroom. She waited in line almost the entire time as I was running my 5 mile run.

While the bathroom situation this year was still not ideal, the bathroom complaint was overshadowed by the lack of course markings during my third leg. My final leg of the relay was in a park on the east side of the lake, and the course was not well marked. Myself and a bunch of runners followed the markings on the ground as directed. However, it becomes an issue when the markings on the ground are from the race last year, and lead to a dead end… looking at my paces, this wrong turn ended up adding about a minute to my time and some extra distance to my course. It also meant that one of our rival teams was able to maintain their small (about 30 second lead) on our team at the finish line. Without this confusion, I’m fairly confident we would have caught them!

Luckily, I’m not one to take racing {too} seriously. The only thing to do was laughed it off, and chalk up my jaunt through the woods to get back on course as the mini-adventure that finished out my portion of the race. Overall, our team had a lot of fun (hey, when you have a team mate dressed up as Captain Planet, you’re bound to have fun!!) and I think we all agreed that we had a fantastic and successful day making our way around Seneca Lake!

Photographic Evidence: 

There was some sweet swag this year! Love the shirts AND the arm warmers. Will definitely sport both of these around!

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6 AM – Team Selfie in the Truck. This ended up being our vehicle for the day – the full cab Ford had SO. MUCH. ROOM! It was fabulous, and the heated seats were an added bonus since it was pretty chilly out on Sunday… (yea, not the best team selfie ever, but give me credit… 6 am before I had my daily allotment of caffeine… I also blame the guys for being camera shy in the back.)20140428-173931.jpg

Before my first leg. I was supposed to be Gaia from Captain Planet… but there was NO WAY that I was running in a long purple gown, so a purple tutu had to do!

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Handing with Captain Planet… er, I mean Captain Floppy! Sporting my Ragnar Gear!
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A view from the East side of Seneca Lake – in the afternoon when the sun finally decided to make an appearance!

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Our team coming in for the finish!

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All finished!

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And last but not least, my FAVORITE picture of the day. Right after we crossed the finish line (thanks for the pic T!)!!

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Personal results…

I didn’t know how  my runs would go considering that I’ve been training at slower paces to get me through the 70.3. While relay events such as this are endurance events, I always find myself running at a 5K or 10K speed due to the shorter segments – Sunday was no exception – and someday I would love to be able to hold this type of pace for my distance runs!

Total Miles: 12.6, Average Pace: 7:45/mile (AP was a 7:25/mile without the segment where I got lost… so, I’m being selfish and counting that as my true AP for this one!)

Leg 1: 4.95 Miles, 7:43/mile pace – this was the only segment where I had a steady climb… you can see it in my pace for miles 3 & 4…

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Leg 2: 4.7 Miles, 7:22/mile pace -and this was the segment where I had the benefit of running downhill… I was a little fearful of pushing this too hard and not being ready to run my last leg. I think I struck a good balance.

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Leg 3: Supposed to be 2.6 miles… I came in at 2.76 with my detour.  Average Pace was a 7:30 for the first two miles… the last .75 dropped to an 8:42 pace while I searched for how to get back on course. So frustrating!

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All in all, a fantastic day with great friends. Now that I have this under my belt, it’s back to focus for my June events – the 100 mile Bike Ride for Tour d’ Cure, the Lake Placid Half Marathon/Training Weekend, & Syracuse 70.3!

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