The elite women's runners leave the starting line of the 2019 TD Beach To Beacon 10K road race in Cape Elizabeth. Organizers plan a virtual option for this year and are evaluating holding an in-person event. Credit: Joel Page / AP

Officials for Maine’s largest annual road race announced Monday plans to include a virtual component for its 2021 event while continuing to evaluate options for an in-person event.

The update for the TD Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth was based on the guidance and recommendations of state and local health organizations, as well as the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“March is always a time of high anticipation and excitement for our race community, as it’s when we typically open the competitive online registration process for a bib number. We know everyone is eagerly awaiting updates on our 2021 race, and we are continuing to work through plans to ensure the event will be safe for the runners, volunteers and the larger community,” said David Backer, Beach to Beacon president.

The race traditionally is held in August, and additional details for both the virtual and in-person events in 2021 will be announced soon.

“To say these are unknown and challenging times is more than an understatement, but we have proven time and again that this is a strong, resilient community,” said Joan Benoit Samuelson, founder and chair of the Beach to Beacon.

“As runners, we know all about perseverance and I have no doubt we will persevere to come out of this pandemic stronger than before.”

The TD Beach to Beacon 10K attracts runners from New England and throughout the world to picturesque Cape Elizabeth.

In 2019, the 22nd edition of the race included 6,417 finishers from nine countries, 42 states and nearly 260 Maine cities and towns.

The 2020 Beach to Beacon 10K was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers conducted a social media campaign and offered a free download of a simulation of the race course that people could run on a home treadmill.

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...