Tag: TD Beach to Beacon 10K

2018 TD BEACH TO BEACON 10k PHOTO ESSAY

Cape Elizabeth, ME –  The 21st TD Beach to Beacon 10k presented the 7000 starters with the dreaded double of heat and humidity today, making for wet-banklet-like conditions over the rolling 6.2 mile run from Crescent Beach to Fort Williams Park.  Despite the oppressive conditions, New Zealander Jake Robertson arrived from his training base in Iten, Kenya anxious to take on the 2003 course record 27:28 set by Kenya’s Gilbert Okari in the first of three straight B2B wins.  Here are a series of photos from the lead men’s vehicle documenting the effort of Mr. Robertson and his followers.

0CF1F309-76BE-4C10-B82F-EA22797535D5
The finish line awaits at Ft. Williams Park , shot taken Friday at the B2B High School Miles
A2EEBF45-03CA-4469-B8F8-F1F79A063E38
The air horn sends the 7000 person field to their task at 8:12 a.m.
0F6C0978-021E-4143-8F74-E143ACCE5D9D
Jake Robertson spoke of wanting to break the course record at the pre-race press conference, and put the boot in from the get-go, not waiting for any help. He used similar gun-to-tape tactics to win April’s Crescent City Classic in New Orleans in 27:28.
9F6A5B21-5990-4BD0-85F5-856B5A3B0700
No prisoners! A 4:15 first mile opened the winning gap. 2016 U.S. Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir tried to follow, “but Jake was very tough.” You might think so after he knocked off five Kiwi national records in a six-week span early in the year, including a 60:01 win at the Houston Half Marathon.
EEB631D0-58C0-48D7-A260-2E95544153E1
Mile 2 fell in 4:25 (8:40) and the road behind was already clear. “At the start Jake said, ‘are you ready to go with me, I’m going from the gun,“ said Steven Sambu, last year‘s fourth place B2B finisher and four-time Falmouth Road Race champion. “I said, ‘OK, let’s go.’ Then the 1st mile in 4:15, and in these conditions, it’s crazy! Way too fast for me.“
3D24DC3B-3605-41B1-80AD-21E591261378
Past 3 miles in 13:01 (4:21), 5K in 13:30 with a :34 lead on Sambu and Kipchirchir, Robertson was still rocking course record pace as he turned onto Shore Drive for the next three miles.
82C96CBF-24FC-47BE-84C2-E2B100ADB3E9
4 miles fell in 17:31 (4:29) 16 seconds under course record pace. We could barely see Sambu and Kipchirchir in the distance with 2016 B2B champion Ben True moving into fifth behind Ethiopian Amedework Walelegn,  himself a 59;50 half-marathoner.
4C37F783-A223-43FD-BA8D-B38EC3086BAE
Stern faced at 5 miles in 21:59, Jake took 4:28 for that 1609 yards, while Gilbert Okari ran a 4:16 in 2003. Only :04 under course record pace now, and paying the price for his early aggression and the high humidity. “At about 7.2 km I began to feel the conditions, “said Jake afterward. “I knew I had a gap and the win, but I came here on behalf of my family, my training partners, my sponsors, and everyone who supports me. Everyone has been so good to me in my time here in Maine, I wanted to give a performance that everyone was happy with.”
C1A2E1B8-9C05-464B-92EC-CEC5A74641D7
Victory in hand! 27:37, tied for the third fastest time in B2B history. In these muggy conditions, Jake slowed over the final mile, but still won by 50-seconds, the largest margin in race history.  “I’m happy,” Jake told me in the media tent. “I was fearless and I delivered. If you set your mind to something and then deliver, you have to be satisfied. Sadly, no course record, but I gave it my best and I never want to give it anything but my best. ‘To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift’ is a Steve Prefontaine quote that I love. Hopefully, I can return to Cape Elizabeth next year and get that course record.”
BFC49EAA-D88D-4180-BBC6-F41ECA72EDA8
Race founder and 1984 Olympic Marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson greets a wobbly champion after his heroic effort.
1EC23DE2-A51F-4335-8CE4-A7C6C475CADF
Fully recovered, Jake cheers in Stephen Sambu and Maine native Ben True in 2nd and 3rd. “I’m so happy for Jake,” said Stephen after checking the final times. “The way he trains, very serious. It’s amazing.” And that’s coming from the four-time Falmouth Road Race champion.
2CCD15C8-FAB1-46EC-891F-433C50D775BA
A Viking ship sailed over Casco Bay behind the awards ceremony with Ram Island Light in the distance as another classic B2B was celebrated by the thousands lucky enough to have shared the course with some of the best foot-racers in the world. Thanks to the sponsors and record 878 volunteers who made it all possible. And to the host families who share their homes and hearts with all the invited runners. That’s olde tyme New England road racing at its best.

END

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

2018 TD BEACH TO BEACON 10K – TALES OF TWO FAVES

Cape Elizabeth, ME –  A race is all about urgency, whether along the cutting edge of competition itself, or in the honing of that edge leading up to the moment when the starter raises his/her arm and a hush falls over the assemblage.  

Every training session, then, every meal, every elimination, every hour of sleep is oriented against that unrelenting time frame. Yet, not all races are created equal, meaning one racer’s focus may be another’s stepping stone. 

Tomorrow’s 21st annual TD to Beach to Beacon 10K is one such dual purpose race. Two of the favorites going in are 2016 champion and last year’s runner-up Ben True, the North Yarmouth, Maine native who returns home from the European Diamond League track circuit, and New Zealand’s Jake Robertson who’s coming off a two month training stint at his home base in Iten, Kenya. 

“Not as 10k specific,” is how Ben True characterizes his condition for tomorrow’s race. “I want to do well in the (5000m) Diamond League Final in Brussels later this month. So I haven’t tapered down for this. It will be interesting to see how the legs are tomorrow.”

American record holders Ben True and Molly Huddle

Yet True, 32, the former Dartmouth College All-American, always performs well in his home state’s most prestigious race. In 2008 and 2009 he won the Maine resident’s title. Then, he returned as a pro in 2014 to place third in 27:50 – the fastest road 10K by an American in 29 years – before winning the race outright in 2016 (28:16), the first American to take the B2B title. Finally, he finished one second behind Kenya’s Stephen Kosgei-Kibet last year in 27:55. (more…)

2017 TD BEACH TO BEACON 10k Preview

Cape Elizabeth, ME – 33 years ago on August 5th a young woman from Cape Elizabeth, Maine wrote her name indelibly into athletics history by winning the inaugural Women’s Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles. She trained for that effort along the streets of her hometown, streets that this August 5th will play host to the 20th running of one of the nation’s premier 10k road races.

The TD Beach to Beacon 10k began as a great notion that over its two decade life has lived up to its founder’s hopes and more.  Joan Benoit Samuelson‘s hometown race has proven to be among the new American road race classics, taking its place alongside such legendary first boom generation runs like the Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod and the Bix 7 Road Race in Daveport, Iowa, races Joanie helped put on the map with her victories and personality.

For its 20th running, 117 legacy runners and five former champions lead thousands more on the trek from near Crescent Beach to the Portland Head Light in Ft. Williams Park.  Local star Ben True will attempt to defend his title from 2016, when he became the first American to win the prestigious international race. But Ben will have his hands and legs full. (more…)

2017 TD BEACH TO BEACON SET UP

Cape Elizabeth, ME. – After going through his final checklist, race director Dave McGillivray sprung a question on me at last night’s TD Beach to Beacon 10k organizing committee meeting at the Cape Elizabeth High School.

“Toni, what’s the fastest women’s 10k so far this year?”

The question was more than pertinent given the quality of the elite women’s field at this year’s 20th Beach to Beacon, led by three past champions including defender Mary Keitany of Kenya who set the course record in 2016 at 30:45.

2017 TD B2B 10k Organizing Committee (photo courtesy of Ann Kaplan)

Being out in California most of the year, I am more of titular member of the hard-working organizing committee, but like to join the final gathering on the race week at the high school cafeteria.

“Jeez, Dave,” I said softly – as one does when called out by a teacher after failing to do your homework – “I don’t know off the top of my head.”

My confession brought Dave to the edge of a guffaw and chiding ridicule.

“What! Toni doesn’t know something about running?”

The room joined in the good-natured hectoring (though it was nice to know they were under the impression that I generally knew what I was talking about).

In search of redemption, I quickly opened Safari on my iPhone and dove into the IAAF.org website searching for world leading times for 2017. (more…)

2017 BIX 7 RUNDOWN

Davenport, IA. – As race director extraordinaire Ed Froelich quipped, “even when it’s an American championship, Kenyans win.”

True enough, the 43rd Quad City Times Bix 7 Road Race hosted the USATF 7 Mile Road Championship yesterday for the fifth time, and two Kenyan-born Americans took home top honors, Sam Chelanga for the men, and Aliphine Tuliamuck for the women.  And none of the competitors  in the two pro fields could have been more thankful or gracious in victory. (more…)

FAMILY AFFAIR AT TD BEACH TO BEACON 10K

Cape Elizabeth, ME. — The sport of road racing, especially here in New England where the tradition is so deeply-seated, has always been much more than simply a competition from Point A to Point B.  In the olden days before money and sponsors came into the sport at current levels road trips and shared housing was the standard.  Thus one of the throwback pleasures of Joanie Samuelson’s TD Beach to Beacon 10K in her hometown of Cape Elizabeth, Maine is the tradition of housing invited athletes and guests with local families. This was the 14th  year that we have been lucky enough to return to the home of Bill and Linda Nickerson, who have become dear friends over those years, as have their children Julie and Geoff.   That feeling is universal among the professional athletes who cherish an invitation to this most quintessential of New England races.  Throughout the weekend the pre and post-race activities are a reflection of the family atmosphere Joanie has engendered.   The pictures below give a taste of the quality of what has made the New England running community so special through the years, and why an invite to the TD B2B is so highly prized.

Our hosts Bill & Linda Nickerson
Our hosts Bill & Linda Nickerson

(more…)

2014 TD BEACH TO BEACON 10K VIEWS FROM THE LEAD TRUCK

Cape Elizabeth, ME. —  The 17th TD Beach to Beacon 10K produced gut churning races and personal bests galore despite humidity that was as thick as a Downeast Mainers accent  in the hometown to race founder Joan Benoit Samuelson.

While calling the race from the men’s lead vehicle I had my trusty Sony camera in hand, and though I’m no Victah in terms of photog excellence, the pics below at least capture some of the intensity on display.  With the Lobster Bake still on the evening docket, I’ll have to wait till the morrow to write a more complete appraisal of the day’s events. Till then…

 

Ready to Roll near Crescent Beach State Park
Ready to Roll near Crescent Beach State Park

 

The goal, Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park, oldest commissioned light house in America
The goal, Portland Head Light at Fort Williams Park, oldest commissioned light house in America

(more…)