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.
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.”
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…)
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…)
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.
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…)
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…)
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.
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…