The humid days of July are blazing by like a comet, and the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K road race is just around the corner.
With the 11th annual 6.2-mile race set for Aug. 2 in Cape Elizabeth, here a few things runners and spectators alike might want to know.
As is the case with any big road race, there are going to be road closures, and there are plenty of them. With a field of 5,000-plus runners and thousands of spectators expected, you’ ll want to plan accordingly on race morning.
It is advised that runners arrive at the starting area by 6:30 a.m. on race morning (race time is at 8) to avoid traffic backups near the Sprague Fields. Also, traffic backups can be expected on the Casco Bay Bridge heading toward Cape Elizabeth on Route 77.
On race day, the following roads will be closed: Route 77 from Sprague Hall to Kettle Cove Road from 6 to 10 a.m. Kettle Cove to Old Ocean House Road from 7:30-10 Hillway from 7:30-10 and all of Old Ocean House Road will shut down from 7:30 to 10.
Shore Road, from Key Bank, near the halfway point of the race to Fort Williams Park at the finish, will be closed from 7:30-11, while Scott Dyer Road from Spurwink Avenue is closed from 7:15-7:45, with the exception of shuttle buses, along with Fowler Road from 7:15-10.
Crescent Beach State Park, along Route 77 in the race’ s first mile, will be closed from 7:30-10.
Carpooling is strongly advised for runners, and runner parking will be available at Cape Elizabeth high and middle schools on a first-come, first-served basis, with runners being shipped from there to the starting area by bus from 6:30-7:30.
If you’ re dropping off a friend or relative who is competing, runner drop-off is located at the Gull Crest Fields, a half-mile from Spurwink Road and Route 77. Flaggers will be along the route. No parking is available for runners at Fort Williams, which is reserved for fans, media members, staff and race sponsors.
Runners must pick up their bib numbers and ChampionChips at Cape Elizabeth High School either July 31 from 4-8 p.m. or Aug. 1 from 2:30-8.
Also on Aug. 1, an elite athlete clinic featuring world-class runners competing in the race, along with race founder Joan Benoit Samuelson, will be held at the high school from 5-6 p.m.
Running of the Clams
Kristin Barry and Sheri Piers will be among the women to beat in the Maine division of next weekend’ s Beach to Beacon, and both runners put up speedy times in last weekend’ s Clam Festival Classic 5-mile race in Yarmouth.
Barry, of Scarborough, won the women’ s division in 27 minutes, 59 seconds, followed by Falmouth’ s Piers in 28:31.
The training partners participated in the Olympic Marathon Trials earlier this year.
Another Falmouth runner, Jon Wilson, led the field of 932 runners with a 25:44 clocking, just ahead of University of Maine alumnus Donny Drake of Portland (25:58).
Beach to Beacon tune-ups
If you’ re running in the Beach to Beacon and are seeking one last tune-up, there are a couple of local 5K races that you could give a run.
One is a local favorite in the Fort Knox Bay Festival 5K, which will celebrate its 11th anniversary Saturday in Bucksport.
This challenging 5K, the fifth race in the Sub 5 Track Club race series, starts at 8 a.m. at the Verso Paper Fitness Center on Route 15, with race-day registration beginning at 7.
All proceeds from the event benefit Sub 5′ s high school and college scholarship funds, The fees are $9 before Saturday and $10 on race day.
Or, if a cross-country style race is your speed, head to Winslow for the Summer Heat 5K Trail Run and 1-mile family fun run, set for Sunday at the high school.
The mile run goes off at 8 a.m. and the 5K, which will be run on grassy fields and trails behind the high school, at 8:30.
Applications are available on www.mainetrackclub.com.