Thursday, April 28, 2016

Seneca7 Relay Race Recap - Part 2

Did you miss Part 1? Check it out, here!

After I handed Greg the slap bracelet, he took off on his almost 5 mile run. However, since Greg runs at sub-7 minute pace, we knew we had to hustle a little bit.

 Off he goes! Photo courtesy of Jenn

We got to the scenic overlook and had some time to take photos. Some of our friends were on a bike team (they had to ride around the lake instead of drive in a van) and they decided to "goose-bomb" us! (They were on a team for Goose Adventure Racing).

What a lovely group of people!

 Goose-bombed!

Soon we saw Greg come flying down the road and Laura got ready to run. I remembered running her leg a few years ago and I knew she was going to enjoy it.




Our team went to the next exchange point and took some more photos together. Gustavo was about to run his first-ever Seneca7 leg! We waited for Laura and then in the distance we saw her coming (you can see the exchange point for a long time during this leg)!

 Fun times! Photo courtesy of Gustavo


 Last runner out on his first leg!

At Glenora Winery we were able to use real bathrooms (the only time during the race) and it was nice to be able to wash my hands! We were almost 1/3 of the way done for the day, and as usual the race was flying by. Jenn was nervous about her next leg (most of the runners have a challenging second leg), but I told her to just enjoy the waterfall and not worry about the uphill too much.

When Gustavo came running down the hill, they exchanged the slap bracelet (with a kiss) and Jenn was off. There is no van support for the runner during this leg, so we took our time and made it to the next exchange point.


Off she goes!

At this time, I knew I didn't have too long until my next leg. I had stopped eating and started to reduce the amount of water I was drinking (because I didn't want to have to go to the bathroom right before my leg).

Mike's next leg was a "gently rolling" 2.7 mile run. When Jenn came running down the road, happy she was done with that leg, he took off. We made sure to get in the van quickly since we knew it wouldn't take him very long to run this leg.

Jenn is happy to be done!

 Sprinting away!

Right around this time, we started to catch the earlier waves. This was nice because it gave us some extra motivation to try to run as fast as we could. We got to Lakewood Vineyards and waited for Mike to come running around the corner.

When Mike came in (at a blazing 7:15 pace!), Prem took off on one of my favorite legs of the relay that I have run so far. It is an amazing downhill into Watkins Glen. Unfortunately for me this year, that meant that I had to run UP out of Watkins Glen.

 Crushing it!

Our entire team (except me) is in this photo
 
Photo courtesy of Jenn 

We got to Clute Park, and parked "aggressively" (close to the exchange point), and I went to the bathroom one final time. Our team noticed that some runners were having trouble following the course through the park and also weren't sure how to start the leg I would be running. There were no volunteers there either, which was odd, but we made it work (and luckily, we knew what we were doing).

Prem came running through the park, and then it was time for me to take off! My leg was a steep uphill out of Watkins Glen to Hector Falls. The leg was a 3.5 mile run and I tried to not think about the hill too much.

Prem running the correct way on the course, photo courtesy of Jenn

 Smiling, but secretly terrified of the hill I have to run, photo courtesy of Gustavo

Right before the steep incline, photo courtesy of Jenn

I was able to have the van drive by me before we went separate ways on the split in the road, and I saw the hill coming. I tried not to walk, but I had to a walk a little bit. I was able to pass some people on this leg and the route did flatten out for a few miles as I ran by Hector Falls (so pretty). Another team's van drove by me, and cheered for me, but all I could think was, "you are going the wrong way" (vans weren't supposed to follow the runners on this leg).

My pace wasn't too bad for the middle miles of this leg and I just focused on the runners I saw ahead of me. I was able to pass three people on this leg (and almost caught a 4th runner).

Eventually the route started to go uphill again and I tried not to walk, but I had to walk one final time. I told myself to only walk to a mailbox, and then I ran. Eventually I rounded a corner and I could see the exchange point. Even though I was running uphill, I just told myself to keep running to Greg.

 Happy to hand over the slap bracelet!

I heard my team cheering for me and handed the slap bracelet to Greg, and he took off on the longest leg of the day.

I finished this leg in 32:22 at 9:15 pace, not bad considering the 300 feet of elevation gain!

Our team was on our way to being 2/3 done with the race!

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