1,980 runners set for Seneca7 on Sunday

The 2016 Seneca7, a 77.7-mile relay race consisting of more than 280 seven-member teams running the distance surrounding Seneca Lake, will take place this Sunday, April 24. The race begins in Geneva at 6:30 a.m. and winds through Ontario, Yates, Schuyler, and Seneca Counties, including a mid-day jaunt through the village of Watkins Glen. It finishes in Geneva with a celebratory bonfire and official awards ceremony.The 2016 race filled to capacity in less than thirty minutes, setting a new record for the event. Demand for a Seneca7 entry has dramatically increased from year to year – it had filled to capacity by December 31 in 2013, and took five days to sell out in 2014.The race was featured in Runner’s World magazine in April 2012. The spotlight included photos of the course and its participants, boosting the event’s recognition nationally after a successful inaugural year. Race organizers say that demand for this year’s event was much higher than the number of teams entered, as evidenced by the waiting list, which quickly swelled to nearly 100 teams in under an hour.Several changes were made to the timeline of this year’s event. The race will begin at 6:30 a.m., and several exchange points have been moved to be further from roadways and traffic. In addition, the awards ceremony has been moved up, to 7:00 p.m.Numerous area businesses have volunteered to serve as exchange points, including local wineries, restaurants, and even a marina. Race organizers hope that athletes travelling from out of town and out of state will make a weekend of their visit, and possibly even return to the Finger Lakes region for future vacations, and say local businesses appreciate the exposure events like the Seneca7 give them.“At the end of the day our goal is to get runners around Seneca Lake in the safest yet most fun manner possible,” says race co-director Jackie Augustine. “This is an all-day race and it features a wide array of running abilities. The one thing that definitely unites everyone at the Seneca7 is a love for running, and a love – be it old or even newfound – for running in the Finger Lakes.”Fans of a team in the race can follow its progress on the race’s online race tracker: http://bitly.com/seneca7track.Check out the course here.

Also on FingerLakes1.com