Seneca7 registration closes in 31 minutes

Registration for the Seneca7, a 77.7-mile relay race consisting of seven-member teams running the circumference of Seneca Lake (in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York) was filled to capacity in record time: just 31 minutes after registration opened at 7 a.m. October 31.Dozens of would-be registrants had already added their names to a waitlist just minutes later, a list that quickly swelled in the hopes that a registered team might later withdraw and free up an entry slot.Demand for a Seneca7 entry has increased exponentially from year to year. It had filled to capacity in just over an hour a year ago; by December 31 in 2013; and in five days in 2012. The race was featured in a Runner’s World magazine spotlight in April 2012 that included photos of the event, boosting recognition nationally after a successful inaugural year.“The Seneca7 was started out of a love for running and a love for the Finger Lakes region,” says Seneca7 co-director Jackie Augustine. “The fact that more than 200 teams signed up in just over half an hour shows us that so many people love both of those things just as much as we do.”Augustine says race organizers hate to turn fans of the race away.“The number one question we get is why don’t we just add more teams,” Augustine says. “We’d love to meet the participant demand for a larger race, but the field size is limited by the exchange point parking lots, and as much as we’d like to, we don’t believe we could responsibly add more teams.”In addition to the wait list, race organizers will post a ‘teammate finder’ on the event’s website, connecting runners with teams who may be down a runner or two. They have plans to open charity slots, as well – race entry slots set aside for additional teams who agree to pay an increased registration fee, with the proceeds going to local charities. That’s good news to some would-be entrants who were disappointed to be shut out this year, and to area not-for-profits, as well.“We love the fact that so many runners have adopted this race as an annual tradition, and yet so many of our entrants are first-time Seneca7 participants who have heard about the race through word-of-mouth or on social media from other members of the running community,” says race co-director Jeff Henderson. “It feels good to bring this type of running event to the Finger Lakes, and to showcase the Finger Lakes to visiting runners.”

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