FIT1Runners at the start! Photo courtesy of Jenn
Mike and I love this race, we have run it every year (except the first year since we just started running) and we don't plan on missing it any time soon. Even though I have been in a funk with running, I was hoping this race would help snap me out of it - and it did!
This year our team was made up of the remaining members of our team from last year, another team's remaining members from last year (plus their driver) and one other friend (who had never run the race before). Our team name was "FIT1Runners" (since the majority of us either teach or go to FIT1) and we were in the 9am wave this year.
Excited to run and be in a van all day! Photo courtesy of Gustavo
We all met up on Sunday morning and drove to Geneva for the start. We got there right as the 8am wave was starting and we cheered on our friends who were running in this wave. After that we went into the Smith Opera House so that we could use a real bathroom one final time before the race started.
Our order this year was Jenn, Mike, Prem, me, Greg, Laura and Gustavo. A few days before the race, I had been contemplating switching legs with Mike since I was worried I was going to slow our team down too much (and my second leg had a monster hill). We both ended up with the least amount of miles this year (just happened since we are running out of runner positions left to run) with around 9 miles.
I finally decided to stay with the order we had decided on, and hoped for the best.
The 9am wave is off!
Jenn is excited to run!
Right before 9am, Jenn went over to line up and start the day off! We actually started at 9:02am and then it was time to enjoy the day running around Seneca Lake.
As we made our way to the first exchange point (we didn't have to use the shuttles this year since we started so late), we were able to see Jenn running.
Beautiful day for some running
I knew we were going to be one of the slower teams in our wave since most of us were a little out of shape from not running as much. We had put a predicted 7:00 average pace, and I just hoped for the best. We were in a wave that included 7:30, 7:00, 6:30 and 6:00 pace so I knew we would have enough time to get around the lake before the time cutoffs.
Mike is ready to go
"You're going to be hot"
Jenn came in and then Mike ran his first leg. He did really well! He did mention that while his body felt fine, his lungs felt like they were on fire. We haven't really been sprinting much lately! Regardless, he still ran his 2.7 mile leg at 7:07 pace!
Mike finishing up his leg
Prem's first Seneca7 run!
Then it was Prem's turn. He was the only one on our team who had never experienced Seneca7 before (Gustavo had never run in the race, but he was another team's driver last year), and he looked like he had a great time all day!
Waiting for it to be my turn
While at Anthony Road Winery, I made sure to use the port-a-potties and then I started to wait for Prem. He had a longer leg at almost 5 miles, so I knew I had a while. After deciding on not wearing my arm sleeves, we thought we saw him coming. Unfortunately, a lot of people were wearing orange so the first few people weren't him. Then we finally saw him!
As he ran down the hill, I got mentally ready to run! I grabbed the slap bracelet from him and then took off!
This looks more impressive than it really is since it is two feet into my run, photo courtesy of Gustavo
My first leg was short, only 2.2 miles, so I knew I had to push it. It started off on a downhill, so I tried to take advantage of that as well. Though, I did start out a little bit too fast (for me at this moment) and I hoped that I could sustain a decent pace.
Even though I saw the markings on the ground indicating the turn to the right, I still wondered if I went the right way. I didn't see any other runners the entire leg (since we were so far back in our wave) and there weren't many Seneca7 markings or signs on this leg. Eventually, I saw a sign that indicated I was in fact going the right way.
The first mile came in at 7:17 pace and I tried to hold on. I did slow down a bit as the road flattened out and then had a small incline over a railroad track, but the second mile came in at 8:03 pace.
After running over the small hill, I thought I saw the exchange point in the distance. This was a new location for the exchange point this year, so I wasn't entirely sure where it would be.
Greg is ready to run! Photo courtesy of Jenn
One leg down, two to go! Photo courtesy of Gustavo
Then, I saw Greg doing some wind sprints while waiting for me and I knew that I was almost done with my first leg. I ran down the small downhill as fast as I could, and handed him the slap bracelet.
I finished the 2.24 mile leg in 17:24 at 7:45 pace, and considering we haven't been running much or that fast lately I was happy!
We took off since Greg is so speedy and continued on with our day.
More about that in the next post!