CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — It was an ideal day for running Saturday, with overcast skies and a 60-degree temperature, as 6,000 runners competed in the 13th annual TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K road race.
Kenya’s Lineth Chepkurui took advantage of the conditions to obliterate the course record in the women’s division, completing the 6.2-mile trek from Crescent Beach to the Portland Head Light in 30 minutes, 59 seconds.
She’s the first woman to break 31 minutes in B2B history, and the old course record was 31:25, set by Alventina Ivanova of Russia in 2006.
Wude Ayalew of Ethiopia was second among the elite women in 31:06 while Kenya’s Edna Kipligat earned third in 31:33.
The men’s race featured a first-time winner in Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, who outkicked Alan Kiprono and Wilson Chebet of Kenya to win in dramatic fashion.
Gebremariam was timed in 27:40, Kiprono in 27:41 and Chebet 27:44.
In the Maine races, Pat Tarpy of Yarmouth and Kristin Barry of Scarborough claimed the titles in 29:27 and 34:34, respectively.
Gebremariam trailed both the Kenyan runners entering Fort Williams, but charged in the park and held off his competitors to win his first B2B title, while Chepkurui took charge halfway through the race to pull away and win convincingly.
The Maine women’s race featured best friends Barry and Sheri Piers of Falmouth battling it out throughout the race, and it was only fitting that they crossed the finish line together, holding hands.
Finish judges awarded the victory to Barry, but both runners were smiling after the race.
With some encouraging from Barry, Piers caught up to her friend in Fort Williams and the two run alongside for the final quarter-mile.
Barry cracked the top 10 for overall women, finishing 10th.
Tarpy, who moved back to his native state last fall and works at Bath Iron Works, finished a minute ahead of Phil Richert of Bar Harbor, who ran 30:27, while Westbrook’s Robert Gomez, a graduate of Limestone High School, finished third, running 31:04.
Tarpy was never seriously threatened by his Maine brethren.