Why You Should Do the Seneca7

First off, thank you so much for your supportive and encouraging comments on yesterday’s post.  Sometimes, the no-full-time-job situation doesn’t upset me, but yesterday it hit hard.  I know the market is tough, but I’m keeping my head up; I’ll find something eventually, but I wish it would be sooner rather than later.

Speaking of yesterday’s post, did you take a good look at my water bottle?

This isn’t your normal Nalgene—it’s a Seneca7 water bottle.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I’ve referenced this relay race a few times, but since event itself occurred before the days of Fitness and Frozen Grapes, I think it’s time for a short explanation.

The Seneca7 is a 77.7-mile relay race around Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes, which is located in upstate New York.  Seven runners comprise each team, and each runner tackles three legs of varying distances (anywhere between 2-ish and 5-ish miles).  So basically, you spend the entire day running through wine country.  Sounds awesome, right? (Starting to see the emphasis on the number seven?)


What sets the Seneca7 apart from other relay-style races is its focus on local products and “green” approach.  Popular, upstate NY-based brands like Chobani, Red Jacket Orchards, and Once Again Nut Butter donated items for swag bags, and local businesses—including wineries, cafes, and chocolate shops—donated contents of prize baskets.  Plus, the post-race party offered only locally grown food.

[Stuffing swag bags]

In terms of the “green-ness,” bringing reuseable water bottles was encouraged, and each team was required to appropriately dispose of their own trash and recycling.  Here’s a neat twist:  to further reduce the race’s carbon footprint, a “travel by bike category” let teams bike to each exchange point instead of driving. (At that point, you might as well hop in the lake for a 1.2-mile swim and call it a deconstructed half-Ironman, right?) Oh, and Runner’s World featured the Seneca7 in last April’s magazine.  No big deal.

I had a really interesting perspective on the Seneca7 because I was a member of the planning committee—I was responsible for local and national publicity—and participated in the race itself.  Prior to this working-behind-the-scenes opportunity, I had no idea how much planning goes into a race.  Needless to say, I now have a huge respect for race directors, committee members, anyone who helps put an event together.

[Ah, the day-after clean-up.]

Anyway, here’s the best way to sum up the Seneca7:  Best.  Day.  Ever.

My team consisted of fellow Writing and Rhetoric/Writing Colleagues students, faculty, and alums, hence our awesome name, The Run-On Sentences.  Even though we didn’t all know each other prior to race-day, we definitely got to know one another pretty well—spending 12-plus hours with a group of sweaty runnerds bonds people.

[Contemplating dangling modifiers, obviously.]

Team Run-On hopes to come back for the 2013 campaign, and speaking of which, registration opens Nov. 7!

Have you participated in a relay race?  How did it go?  If you haven’t, would you ever consider it?

17 responses to “Why You Should Do the Seneca7

  1. what a freaking cool race.on my bucket list is doing a race relay, i have never done one before

  2. That used to be my neck of the woods before I moved out to Madison! I grew up in the Lake George area but went to college in Geneseo and lived in Canandaigua for a few years. Love seeing pics from upstate NY!!

  3. I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination, but these kinds of things make me wish I was!

  4. Looks like a fun relay! I still haven’t done one yet but if we do next year it’ll be my first! 😉

  5. Sounds like a really fun and rewarding race. Some day…I keep saying…but I really do hope that the closer I get to my goal (76 more pounds to go).. That my arthritis will be minimal and I can RUN again…play tennis. Oh so many things on my list!

    • It was *such* a great day! Oh, I wish I stuck with tennis. I used to play in middle school, but when the time came, I chose field-hockey instead; I don’t regret it one bit, but I do wish I joined the spring team–tennis is a great lifetime sport.

  6. That is SO cool that you were behind the scenes helping to plan the race! I’d love to do something like that! I wonder if I can get a team together to run the race this year…I went to undergrad around those parts so it’s definitely possible! Running around wine country means lots of hills though…were they brutal? haha

    • There were definitely some hills, but I lucked out with three fairly flat legs. Two runners on my team ran on the cross-country teams, so they had challenging legs, and another guy was training with Lance Armstrong’s charity team for the NYC marathon, so he opted for a tough set, too. They were out three strongest runners, so we gave them the three toughest assignments.

  7. Yep! We’re doing it again this year! I can’t wait! It is hilly but soooo worth it!

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