Seneca 7: 2019 Recap

photo courtesy of Brite Side Photography

What an amazing race!

The fact that the weather was grumpy and ugly couldn’t dampen the camaraderie and love that was palpable all weekend long. Once again, SHVP showed up ready to compete and represent veganism in a way that was not only compassionate but that was fiercely exuberant.

We towed the line with 3 teams of 7 runners:

Team Seitan:
Nate DeMontigny, Evan O’Brien, Kara Pellowe, Rachel Atcheson, Sean Bethell (Captain), Peter Nussbaum, Kathryn J. Wicht

Team Tofu:
Susie Pietsch, Marie Gryszowka (Captain), Christopher Campbell, Lauren Victoria, Mikey Dee, Ashley Sherman, Brian G Smith

Team TVP:
Andrew Boynton, Shawna Rae, Joel Capolongo, Melissa Centoni, Dana Wood, Jessica Ryle (Captain), Dan Kelly

Seneca 7 (for those that don’t know) is a relay race very similar to the Ragnar Races you’ve seen us at except it’s only a one day event. Seneca 7 is a 77.7 mile race around Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York with relay teams of 7 racers. It is hugely popular and when registration opens, it sells out quick. As a matter of fact, SHVP was hoping to field 4 teams but could only register 3; yes it’s that competitive!

While it was a wet race, the weather turned out far better than the freezing temperatures and snow that was forecast. Team Seitan and Tofu took off from the starting line at 6am and were soon followed by Team TVP at 7am. Prior to the race, a few runners were sidelined due to injuries and team members stepped up to fill-in for them. The same thing happened before that start of the race and during, as running orders were switched and runners filled in when others fell short due to injury. Unexpected things happens, and like any solid family, SHVP looks out for one another and we all made it through and finished strong.

The final results were: 

Team Seitan 11:04:58 – 97th overall / 54th out of mixed category teams

Team TVP 11:11:44 – 107th overall / 58th out of mixed category teams

Team Tofu 11:47:20- 155th overall / 88th out of mixed category teams

What was truly amazing is something that Joel pointed out and that is this:

Seitan placed in the top 30% of the overall field with an overall team pace of 8:33 per mile. 

TVP placed in the top 33% of the overall field with an overall team pace of 8:39 per mile.

Tofu placed in the top 48% of the overall field with an overall team pace of 9:06 per mile.

Those are baffling numbers, all teams absolutely crushed it out there!

It’s not all about the running though. Spending nearly 12 hours in a van with your friends and family you end up with some crazy stories. Team Seitan for instance couldn’t seem to get it together right out of the gate. Not only did they have a runner fill in for an injured teammate but that runner ended up changing legs with another teammate. This maybe caused some confusion (Evan) and someone (Evan) didn’t get on the right bus (where’s Evan) or get off the right stop or whatever it was. It was fun to razz the culprit (Evan) anyways.

Team Tofu, aka Team Bill had their bit of silliness as well. Susie explains it best, “We were at the exchange for runner 3, leg 3 handing off to runner 4. Another team saw their runner coming in and he was named bill so they were yelling go Bill! We started cheering for Bill too and then as Chris came in we continued yelling go Bill! From then on we called the rest of the runners Bill and have renamed team tofu to team Bill, and we are all Bill 1-7.” Wait, does that mean I am Bill too, Susie??

And Team TVP had their own inside joke. If anyone follows the Ultra Running Memes page on Instagram you will get the reference but it goes something like: “I’m an injured POS.” “But you aren’t injured.” “Well than I’m just a POS.” Just put some KT tape on it will ya! Maybe a band-aid?

I’m sure there’s more but you get the idea, it was a great time and our message once again was spread far and wide. You can live an ethical lifestyle considering the life of all beings as equals and also show the world that vegans can be strong AF and run all the miles!!

The next race is Vegan Power 25k/50k and we hope to see you all out there again! That race has become a staple race for us and is as solid of an event as can be. I know I can’t wait to run the relay with my SHVP pals! Make sure to check out the gallery below of some images that were grabbed from our facebook page, thanks to all who shared!


You may also like