Two years ago, we ran this race for the first time. I don't even remember now how I found out about it, but I am so glad that I did. It is pretty much my favorite race, hands down (I know I say that a lot but there are very few races that I have "threepeated"). Whenever I think about this race, all I have is love for it. It was the first race in my adult life that my parents were at (unfortunately they couldn't be a part of the race this year), new and old friends come together to run 77.7 miles around a lake all day and we get to challenge ourselves while running. Nothing else beats that in my opinion.
The team before the race start, collage made by Sarah
Our team this year was about half returning runners, me, Mike, Sarah and Mark, and half new runners, Jenn, Steven and Rob. Jenn had run the relay last year on a different team, and Steven and Rob were completely new to Seneca7. We used a variation of our team name from last year and called ourselves, "More Misters than Sisters".
Our start time was 8:30 in the morning, so around 6:45am we made our way to Geneva to start our all day journey around Seneca Lake. Our decided team order was Mark, Sarah, me, Steven, Rob, Mike and Jenn.
I look tired, photo courtesy of Jenn
Love these people! Photos courtesy of Jenn
The exchange point was at a fire station in Kashong-ish, and after making sure I used the port-a-potty (if you are new to my blog, when I run relays I stand in line for the bathroom A LOT) I went over to the side of the road to wait for Sarah.
Mark had made his way back to us via the shuttle and told us approximately what time he had exchanged with Sarah. At 9:27am, she made her way up the road and I was off and running!
Sarah making her way to me, photo courtesy of Jenn
Time to run! Photo courtesy of Jenn
My first leg was described as a "moderate climb" for 4.9 miles. Luckily, the first 2 miles or so were relatively flat. I passed a few runners during this leg and one runner passed me. In true "Jamie running a relay" fashion, I started out a little bit too fast. My first mile came in at 7:58 pace, which considering it was basically flat was alright except that I had 3.9 more miles to go.
Around the halfway point of my leg I started to get nervous because the van hadn't gone by yet. I knew that they would probably take their time since my leg was so long, and fortunately another team that we knew cheered me on as they drove by.
Me being me, which is weird. Photo courtesy of Jenn
As I was about a mile into the ascent, my team went by! Jenn did a great job taking pictures of each runner during their leg. I actually picked up the pace while they slowed down and cheered me on. I do know that I said, "this sucks!" but I was mostly joking.
Pretty sure this is when I was saying the hill sucked, photo courtesy of Jenn
Since we have run this race so many times, I have become used to most of the landmarks. Granted I had never run this leg before, but I knew that the exchange was happening at the Anthony Road Winery. After I made my way up the never-ending hill, I could see the sign for the winery in the distance! Unfortunately, I still had about half a mile to go until I was done running, for that leg at least.
All done! Photo courtesy of Jenn
Now it's Steven's turn to run, photo courtesy of Jenn
I made the left turn down toward the winery and pushed it down the hill to Steven. I could hear everyone cheering me on and handed Steven the slap bracelet so we could continue making our way around the lake.
I started the day out really well finishing the first leg of 4.9 miles in 41:36 (average pace of 8:26). Our team was off to a great start, but we still had a long day ahead of us!
And, just like previous years, you are just going to have to wait to find out how the rest went!