The 20th annual TD Beach to Beacon 10K will feature some of the best runners in the world gunning for thousands of dollars in prize money on Saturday.
But on Friday, a crop of talented high school runners from throughout the state will once again have their own race showcase.
For the second straight year, the Beach to Beacon will hold a mile race for the state’s top high school runners at Cape Elizabeth’s Fort Williams Park.
The event starts at 4 p.m., just prior to the Kids 1-mile fun run, and will consist of a two-loop course inside the park that ends at the Beach to Beacon finish line.
There will be one race for the girls and another for the boys in what figures to be the final summer tune-up for high school runners before preseason cross country practices get under way on Aug. 14
The inaugural race produced champions who will start college careers at the Division I level later this month in Tia Tardy (Bucknell University) and John Hassett (University of Maine).
Both of those athletes won multiple championships over the course of their high school careers.
“We created this event last year to showcase the achievements of dedicated and passionate high school track athletes from throughout Maine,” race founder and Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson said.
“It’s going to be an exciting second year for the event that we hope shines a light on the many accomplished young athletes in our state.”
The respective fields will consist of 15 boy runners and 17 girls, and both appear to be wide open.
Early favorites for the boys are shaping up to be Waterville junior Nick Dall and Wells senior Mitch Libby.
Dall is seeded at 4 minutes, 27 seconds and Libby at 4:30.
Other Eastern Maine runners competing are Jonesport-Beals junior Evan Merchant, Caribou senior Evan Desmond and Presque Isle senior Max Bartley.
For the girls, Greely of Cumberland Center junior Carolyn Todd, Freeport junior Lily Horne and Kennebunk sophomore Miranda Duncan appear to be the runners to beat.
Todd’s seed time is 5:16, Horne’s is 5:18 and Duncan’s is 5:19.
They’ll be challenged by Anna Slager and Iris Kitchin of Gorham.
Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln junior Lauren Morrison is the lone Eastern Maine competitor in the girls field.