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Seneca7 set for April 28: Organizers ask motorists to be mindful of runners around 77 miles of Seneca Lake

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  • Staff Report 

The Seneca7, a 77.7-mile running relay event around Seneca Lake, will be held Sunday, April 28, and organizers want to remind the driving public to traverse the roadways around the lake with even more care than usual. 

The race, which will see 305 teams of seven runners each converge on the area, begins at 5:45 a.m. in downtown Geneva. Runners will follow a route around the lake that will take them down the west side on Route 14, through Watkins Glen, and back along the eastern shore later in the day. 

“Runners will be spaced out in six waves, with the first at 5:45 a.m. and the final wave starting at 9,” says race co-director Jeff Henderson. “We expect to see traffic along the west side of the lake during the morning hours, through Watkins Glen around lunch time, and along the western shore in the later morning, afternoon, and into the evening. East Lake Road between Sampson State Park and Geneva should see the most race traffic between 4 and 8 p.m.” 

Race co-director Jackie Augustine has particular praise for the volunteers who will handle traffic and other functions at exchange points and along roadways around the course, and points out that they continue to come out to help in all manner of weather. 

“This race wouldn’t exist without the hundreds of volunteers who come out from Geneva and the communities around the lake in Ontario, Yates, Schuyler, and Seneca Counties,” Augustine says. “We’ve put on this race in temperatures that reached into the 90’s, and we’ve had years where snow has fallen on the course. Our volunteers are consistent – keeping everyone safe is a priority for us, and we can’t thank our volunteers enough.”

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Augustine says many of the volunteers are mobilized by area not-for-profits – more than 20 this year will staff packet pickup, man posts along the course, and work exchange points. 

Seven of those will be the recipients of ‘charity slots’ – teams that pay more than the standard entrance fee, with proceeds applied to the charity of their choice. 

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“These organizations are doing amazing work in our community, and it means a lot to our athletes to be able to give back,” Augustine says. “We, and our partner charities, appreciate their generosity.” 

This race will see new co-director Ian Golden return for his second year managing the race. Golden, from Ithaca, is a former Seneca7 participant who plans to take the race over in the years to come. 

“Last year was an incredible experience – the athletes, the volunteers, the overall atmosphere of this race,” says Golden, who directs running events in the region and who himself ran the Seneca7 its inaugural year. “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I am excited to be back for year two.”