Organizers of the tenth-annual Seneca7, a 77.7-mile relay race consisting of more than 300 seven-member teams running the circumference of Seneca Lake, have announced that the 2020 edition of the race filled to capacity in one minute, 48 seconds. Would-be team captains manned computers and smartphones and vied for spots at 7 a.m. on October 31, the traditional day of event registration; minutes later, nearly 70 wait list slots had been filled, as well.
Race co-director Jeff Henderson reports demand for a Seneca7 entry has increased every year since its inception in 2011, noting that the 2019 edition of the race filled to capacity in just three minutes.
“This race is a local race, put on by local people who love the sport of running, people who love and live in the Finger Lakes region,” says race co-director Jeff Henderson. “Our race showcases the city of Geneva and communities around Seneca Lake, and we are extremely proud that its popularity increases year over year.”
In addition to the standard team entries organizers have opened ‘charity slots’: an additional set of team slots set aside for teams willing to pay an increased registration fee, with proceeds going to local not-for-profit organizations. In addition, race organizers held a ‘free-range raffle’ earlier in October, allowing individuals to vie for a team spot for a fraction of the cost of a regular team entry, with all proceeds donated to charity. Winners were chosen by the chickens of local egg co-op Geneva Peeps, and livestreamed on the race’s Facebook page.
“The race’s field is limited only by the number of team vehicles we can safely fit in the parking lots of the wineries, breweries, restaurants, and other businesses who partner with us on race weekend,” says race co-director Jackie Augustine. “We give teams who agree to ride bikes in lieu of a motorized vehicle an early registration and other perks to try to increase pedal participation.”
The event, to be held April 26, 2020, begins 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 extravaganza.