CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — The 17th annual Beach to Beacon 10k Road Race started at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. It is Maine’s biggest road race and a favorite of many runners around the world.
But a lot goes into making this such an amazing, world class race. The Beach to Beacon starts on Route 77 near Crescent Beach State Park and ends at Portland Head Light at Ft. Williams Park.
Before the starting gun went off, all 6,000 runners needed to check in at Cape Elizabeth High School to get their T-shirts and race numbers. Several runners told WGME this was going to be their very first Beach to Beacon.
“I just thought it would be the right time to try it,” Amanda Bellerose of Portland said.
When asked what she most looked forward to about the run, she replied, “finishing.”
While finishing will be the goal for some, winning will be the goal for others.
Michael Eaton, from Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the elite runners.
“It’s my first time in Maine, first time for the race, so I’m excited,” Eaton said the night before the race.
One of the things runners look forward to most is all the spectators enthusiastically cheering them on.
“It’s fun, just because there’s a lot of people, and everybody’s cheering for you,” Allissa Irving of Caribou said.
Several runners ate spaghetti at the Cape Elizabeth Methodist Church to fuel up for Saturday’s race.
Bill Mann was one of them.
“Get a little carbs in, get ready, get a good night’s sleep and we’re good to go,” said Bill Mann, who has run the Beach to Beacon race many times.
He hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for this road race — no one has.
“It’s a beautiful course,” Claude Morgan of South Portland said. “You get to run by the ocean. You get to run through some old Cape Elizabeth homes. It’s flat. It’s also hilly at the end. So it’s got a little bit of everything for everyone.”
Top 10 men overall, in guntime order, were Bedan Karoki Muchiri, 23, of Kenya (27 minutes, 36.4 seconds); Stephen Kosgei Kibet, 27, of Kenya (27:42.4); Ben True, 28, Hanover, New Hampshire (27:49.8); Patrick Makau, 29, Kenya (27:56.4); Micah Kogo, 28, Kenya (28:14.4); Emmanuel Bett, 29, Kenya (28:18.3); Sam Chelanga, 29, Hanover, New Hampshire/Kenya (28:28.9); Markos Geneti, 30, Ethiopia (29:38.4); Fernando Cabada, 32, Fresno, California (29:46.3); Brian Harvey, 28, Boston, Massachusetts (29:49.6). Record of 27:27.7 set in 2003 by Gilbert Okari of Kenya.
Top 10 women overall, in guntime order, were Gemma Steel, 28, United Kingdom (31:26.5); Shalene Flanagan, 33, United States (31:26:5); Diane Nukuri-Johnson, 29, Iowa City, Iowa/Burundi (31:51.2); Jordan Hasay, 22, Beaverton, Oregon (32:19.4); Aselefech Mergia, 29, Ethiopia (32:30.2); Hanae Tanaka, 24, Japan (32:30.5); Alexi Pappas, 24, Eugene, Oregon (32:31.4); Kaho Tanaka, 23, Japan (33:00.2); Desiree Linden, 31, Washington, Michigan (33:04.9); Blake Russell, 39, Pacific Grove, California (33:10.3). Record of 30:59.4 set in 2010 by Lineth Chepkurui of Kenya.