September 24, 2017
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Kenyans sweep 20th Beach to Beacon 10K; Orach, Durgin win Maine titles

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

Earlier this year, North Yarmouth native Ben True outdueled Stephen Kosgei-Kobet of Kenya in the BAA 5K road race in Boston.

On Saturday at the 20th annual TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Kobet exercised a little payback.

In a close 6.2-mile thrash from Crescent Beach to the Portland Head Light, Kosgei-Kobet broke the tape in 27 minutes, 55 seconds, one second ahead of True, the defending Beach to Beacon champ.

Last summer, True had become the first American runner to win the race founded by Olympic gold medalist and running legend Joan Benoit Samuelson.

Leonard Kiplimo-Barstoon, also of Kenya, finished in third in 28 minutes even, followed by Stephen Sambu of Tuscon, Arizona (28:16) and Clement Kiprono-Langat of Kenya (28:42).

The women’s race featured a repeat champion in Mary Keitnay of Kenya, who covered the course in 30:41, four seconds under the course record she set last summer.

Purity Rionoripo of Kenya took second in 31:00 while Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar-Tola claimed third by clocking in at 31:14.

Shalane Flanagan was the top American and was fourth overall in 31:15 while Diane Nukuri of Flagstaff, Arizona, rounded out the top five (32:10).

Kosgei-Kobet and Keitany both pocketed $10,000 for their winning efforts while True and Flanagan will each take home $5,000 in being the top American finishers.

The Maine division featured a repeat champion and a first-time winner.

Jesse Orach, a Gorham native who recently capped a stellar career at the University of Maine, finished in 31:31, good for 21st overall. He finished just ahead of Rob Gomez of Windham, who also clocked in at 31:31.

That duo finished well ahead of third-place man Liam Simpson of Cape Elizabeth (32:22).

Emily Durgin, who starred at Cheverus High School and later the University of Connecticut, finished nearly a half-minute ahead of defending champ Michelle Lilienthal of Portland to claim her first Beach to Beacon title.

Durgin covered the course in 34:43 and Lilenthal in 35:11.

Former UMaine women’s basketball star Tracey Guerrette of St. Agatha, who won the Brewer-Bangor 3K race earlier this summer, was third in 36:43.

The 20th annual race, which founder Samuelson ran, featured more than 6,800 runners and is the state’s biggest road racing event

Samuelson covered the race in 39:19.


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