On Sunday, April 30, we ran in the Seneca7 with five other people. It was a long day, but a lot of fun in our rented minivan.
Registration Cost: A bit expensive (at $77/per person). Also, unaccounted for, the cost of getting up at approximately 6am on the day after a half-marathon last fall (a Monday, too!), to try to get registered. As evidenced by our recap, the registration was successful, but still worth mentioning.
Packet Pick-Up: This was a zoo. Both of us went to the Smith Opera House on the day before the race with two other two members for our packet pickup and the pre-race meeting. It was a little confusing because we had to find our team number before we got our packet and once we got that, only one of us was allowed to go upstairs to retrieve our bag. On the plus side, we got two bags of trail mix (while the chosen one went upstairs) and had the chance to swap shirt sizes.
For swag, each team member received a long-sleeve hooded t-shirt, a 77.7 sticker, a piece of chocolate, and a single-serve pack of almond butter. Collectively, we also received one reusable shopping bag, one cowbell, one vehicle sign, some gels and electrolyte fizzes, an eraser, and two bags of trail mix.
Pre-Race: The pre-race meeting was packed and contained some information that was helpful. Overall, it was mostly helpful and didn’t drag out too long. The race directors did a fairly good job of conveying this information in the meeting, which was good due to the dismal state of their website. Finding information online prior to the meeting was a lengthy endeavor because the website is broken into several pages so you end up looking all over. We also had to make sure to enter our team information online by specific dates in order to proceed with the race, which meant we had to stay on top of deadlines between October and March.
For pre-race planning, we had come up with a list of food that we would bring. As it turned out, we had way too much food. We ate a couple of muffins and “breakfast cookies” that Charcoal made, a couple of mini bagels with peanut butter, pretzels, small pieces of a turkey sub, some chocolate-covered espresso beans and other candy, and some fruit (bananas, grapes, watermelon). And we only used about half of the water that we had taken.
Course: This relay starts and ends in Geneva, NY. The course was relatively well marked overall. The course guide was pretty useful for both runners and drivers. We didn’t run into excessive traffic at the exchange points and didn’t really get lost on foot or in the van. We had some time at the exchange points, but didn’t find ourselves there for long stretches with nothing to do.
One concern for the race is having enough porta-potties; there were some at most exchange points. More importantly, the Glenora Winery (we think that’s the one) had real bathrooms and free coffee/tea in the lobby for runners. We appreciated that a lot–thanks, Glenora! We also stopped at a gas station along the way, where there was a restroom available. We did skip the pit-stop where bathrooms were also available. Toward the end, one of the exchange points was at Bottomless Brewery, where there were also real restrooms available. At one of the other ending exchange points, the building was closed and we were sad.
Finish Line: Our team gathered at the team reunification point and awaited our final runner. We enjoyed getting to see other teams join up and finish and were equally happy to see our teammate coming through the park. We all crossed the finish line together (or as close as possible). There were announcers on hand and immediately afterward, we received our medals and had our photo taken by a volunteer who was on-hand to take team photos.
Post-Race: We had cornbread, cookies, and juice. It looked like there had been chili earlier in the day.
Weather: Was a bit challenging. It was cold and a bit rainy in the morning (we started at 6:45am, in the 2nd wave). As the day went on, the sun came out and it was fairly nice. By the end, it was a bit chilly again. Most of us went through at least one change of clothes over the course of the day.
Apparel: Violet started out with C9 capris from Target, a technical t-shirt from a previous race, 1/4-zip shirt from Target, a running jacket, Merrell merino wool socks, and Brooks PureCadence 4 shoes. Outfit number 2 consisted of Old Navy capris, a technical t-shirt from a previous race, and Saucony Guide 9 shoes. The jacket came and went through the day 🙂
Charcoal went with Old Navy capris, a technical t-shirt from a previous race, a jacket that came on and off through the day, and Saucony iso Triumph 2 shoes.