COVID-19 Update

[March 21, 2020] Just about 10 years ago (again, we know what that means....*15* years in this case), Coldplay released a song with that title, and since they are one of our favorite groups, we thought it was only right to pay homage to them with reference to a song so apropos of the moment we are in.

It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 Seneca7, our 10th anniversary edition. With our volunteers at the ready and our partner winery exchange points wishing it were otherwise, we simply cannot go forward. Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our athletes and our community. That part of the decision is easy (and made even easier by the Governor's latest set of necessary restrictions), the acceptance of this new reality is not.

We've been watching events cancel left and right and their approach varies from "come see us in a few months" to "do the race online in your living room!" to "you signed the waiver, no refunds!" We are attempting to learn, to be sensitive, and to strike the right balance here. As you know, this event is a major undertaking that takes months of planning and preparation. And our community partners look forward to helping you around the course, but also to the revenue they receive as a result of your participation. These things don't go away just because we're near-lockdown, in fact the needs they serve in the Geneva area are only increasing. Although we have already purchased nearly everything for the event and although we have heard from many of you that you understand that the official policy is "no refunds," we want to do our best to be sensitive to the fact that some people might really need it at this point. After all, we're all in this thing together. (Coldplay + Old Crow Medicine Show....who knew the 10th anniversary playlist--which is now public on Spotify as "Seneca7 Throwback"--would become so melancholy?).

So here's what we plan to do:
First of all, every team is getting their bib numbers and shirts. They are already printed and the shirts are, in our humble opinion, *AWESOME*!!! We all need some fun in our lives right now and these shirts are nothing if not fun. So we will commemorate the 10th anniversary in that way.

Second is the matter of refunds. This applies to all *except* the charity teams (the 13 charity teams will be contacted separately with more information). We are doing our best to make things right by you, so we have three options for you to choose from:

  • Option A. In addition to the shirts and bib numbers, we'll issue a refund of $20/person, made payable as one lump sum ($140) to the team captain.
  • Option B. In addition to the shirts and bib numbers, we will provide your team a *guaranteed entry* to the 2021 event (avoiding the panicked 3 minute registration window) with a credit of $105 ($15/person) toward the entry fee.
  • Option C. (C is for charity, not cookie) If you took the sign up conditions seriously or just want to help our community partners out, you can select this option and we'll donate proceeds from your entry to a local charity and give you a guaranteed entry to 2021. It doesn't come with a credit, but it does come with the peace of mind that you helped others out and can sleep in Halloween morning.

Third, we are offering a virtual race--no sign ups, no fees, just fun for you. More details will follow in a separate email about this *individual* effort in your own neighborhood.

So what do you need to do now? Talk to your team captain and determine which option works best for your group. Captains will have until April 7th to visit your team's page (where they managed your waivers, shirt sizes, pace, etc.) and do the following:

  1. Indicate which option your team would like. Teams that do not make a selection on or before April 7th will forfeit their entry according to the original terms of race registration.
  2. If your team selects Option A, you will need to indicate if you would like the money returned via Venmo or paper check mailed to your captain.
  3. Determine if your team wants your shirts and bib numbers mailed now, or if you would like to wait until travel restrictions are lifted and give yourselves a reason to come to Geneva to pick up your materials in person. If you are a local team you might be treated to a home visit by us (where we will simply arrange to leave your items on the doorstep, making no personal contact with you whatsoever).

You can tell these are strange days because we're not even announcing this on a day that ends in 7--breaking from our quirky norm just because we want you to have as much time as possible to change your plans and adjust. We appreciate all of the thoughtful messages you've sent in the past two weeks and hopefully you see many of your suggestions reflected here. Teams who purchased extra items at registration will have those delivered (either by mail or properly-sanitized courier) along with your shirts and bib numbers, with the exception of printed course guides. We will refund course guide purchases in full as we were able to halt the printing of those. For anyone interested, this year's course guide with quirky tidbits about the race and a 10 year retrospective has already been posted to the website.

We will miss you and this event dearly. If there's any upside to missing out on the 10th year of the madness and mayhem you've come to love and expect (apart from doing our collective part to keep people safe, which is the big upside!) it's that you now have a year to train for the 2021 Seneca7...because this race goes to 11!

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For further clarification on the reasoning behind our decisions, click here. And for even more, click here.

[March 13, 2020] As you may have heard, New York State has implemented an indefinite ban on events of over 500 people. Lots of races in March and early April have been cancelled or postponed (even Boston!) and we are sure you want to know what the fate of our April 26th Seneca7 will be.

Well as any good mom would, we have a plan for that! Actually, we have a complex decision tree that attempts to address any (or at least *many* eventualities). And because we believe the best response to a trying situation is an honest and forthright one, we want to bring you along on our decision-making.

A final decision about the fate of this year's race will come on or before April 7th. We don't want to act hastily, nor do we want to respond irresponsibly. An April 7th decision date allows for a more complete picture as to the viability of hosting an event while providing enough time for you to adjust travel plans, if needed. We have not ruled out event modifications that would allow us to deliver the fun and excitement you expect in a responsible way. If modifications are not possible and the event must be cancelled (we have ruled out postponing the event), we will present options for your team to choose from at that time.

As always, your experience matters to us and we certainly welcome your continued feedback about this. We hear you, we see you, and we appreciate you!

The final decision about the race will be communicated via email, social media, and this website.

[March 12, 2020] The Seneca7 has core values which include safety, fun, and transparency in our logistics and communications. Please be assured that we are engaged in contingency planning for a wide range of options related to COVID-19, including the scenario in which things are actually able to go on as (generally) planned. We will keep you updated as the situation evolves through this website, social media, and email as needed. We appreciate the concerns, encouragement, and suggestions you have shared to date!

 

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