Olympic Gold Medalist
Joan Benoit Samuelson to Join Talented World-Class Field and Best in Maine on
Saturday for Special 15th TD Beach to Beacon 10K
Elizabeth, Maine road race focusing attention on support for bereaved children
and families with race beneficiary Center for Grieving Children
(July 31, 2012) ÛÒ Olympic Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson will
join a field of talented world-class distance runners and the best in Maine and
across New England in Cape Elizabeth on Saturday (Aug. 4) for the special 15th
TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race.
winner of the first Olympic womenÛªs marathon in 1984, will toe the line
to commemorate the 15th running of the popular road race that she
founded in 1998 as a way to give back to her state and community. The running
icon is expected to run a leisurely pace along the same picturesque roads that
she trained on in her native Cape Elizabeth.
will share the coastal course with top elite athletes from East Africa, Europe
and the U.S., plus thousands of recreational runners who receive cheers from
encouraging spectators who line the route. The festive atmosphere, heavy
community involvement and flawless organization is credited for the TD Beach to
Beacon 10KÛªs (www.beach2beacon.org)
reputation as a world-class event with small-town charm.
yearÛªs expected race-day field of 6,000 will include runners from 16
countries and 44 U.S. states. More than $60,000 in prize money is at stake,
including a $10,000 prize each to the top man and woman, $5,000 for the second
place and cash prizes for the top 10 finishers. Also, a $2,500 bonus also is
available for any runner who sets a new open course record ($500 in the Maine
category), providing added incentive in a race that consistently ranks among
the fastest and most competitive 10Ks in the world.
The beneficiary of this yearÛªs race is
the Center for Grieving Children (www.cgcmaine.org), a Portland, Maine-based nonprofit organization providing
support to bereaved children and families, which will receive a $30,000
donation from the TD Charitable Foundation. The organization also will benefit
from fundraising activities and publicity through its association with the
race. Additional information is posted under the press kit at www.wolfenews.com.
incredible to think about what the TD Beach to Beacon 10K has become over the
last 15 years, and we are honored to continue to provide support to
an event so close to the hearts of so many people, including me,Û said
Larry Wold, TD Bank Market President for Maine who is one of fewer than 140
runners who have taken part in every previous race (41:02 in 2011, 11th of 333
runners in his 50-54 age group). ÛÏThis year’s beneficiary, the Center for
Grieving Children, is making such a difference in so many lives and we are
proud to support their efforts helping children, young adults and families
adjust to grief and loss.Û
Record-Setting 2010 in WomenÛªs Race, while Deep MenÛªs Field
Combines Best on American Roads with Speedy East African Imports
world-class fields assembled for both the menÛªs and womenÛªs races
in 2012 will feature some of the best runners on the American road race
circuit joined by a contingent of East African, Russian and U.S. track athletes
who were strong contenders for spots on their Olympic teams.
really believe weÛªve put together the deepest overall field weÛªve
ever had, something special for the 15th running,Û said Larry Barthlow,
the Elite Athlete Coordinator. ÛÏWe have runners who have been winning on
the American roads this year, but also many new faces fresh off the tracks in
Europe who are determined to make some noise here. With the right conditions,
both course records could fall.Û
the womenÛªs race, 2011 champ Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia has scratched, but
the race remains star-studded with no less than five runners with sub 31:30
10Ks, including Lineth Chepkurai and Wude Ayalew, who ran the two
fastest times ever on the course in a 2010 duel.
Chepkurai, 24, is anxious to reclaim her TD Beach to Beacon crown after a
record-setting performance two years ago. She shaved 26 seconds off the course
record with a blistering 30:59 ÛÒ the first sub 31:00 10K ever on Maine
soil. Her PR for the 10K is 30:45.
Ayalew, 25, finished right behind Chepkurai in 2010 in 31:07 ÛÒ the second
fastest time ever. She returned a week later to beat Chepkurai at the 2010
Falmouth Road Race. Ayalew, who has ran 30:11 at 10,000m, is in top form and
will be in the mix, Barthlow said.
London Olympics claimed one of the TD Beach to BeaconÛªs other lead
contenders in recent days as Aberu Kebede, an alternate on the Ethiopian team,
was prevented from traveling to Maine in case she is needed for the Games.
ÛÏIn an Olympic year, thatÛªs one of the pitfalls with the caliber of
athlete we are attracting to this race,Û Barthlow said.
26, of Kenya, will arrive in Maine fresh off a win over the weekend (July 28)
at the Quad-City Bix 7 Mile in Iowa. She finished sixth at the 2010 World Cross
Country Championships running barefoot and second at the African Cross Country
Championships earlier this year.
top Russian distance athletes also are in the field. Valentina Galimova,
25, is a Russian 10,000m champion who finished a disappointing fifth at the
2012 Olympic qualifier while Kseniya Agafonova, 29, a Russian indoor
champ who has a PR of 31:08 at 10,000m.
contenders include: Pauline Njeri-Kahenya, 27, of Kenya, who is on the
rise after recording a PR 31:25 in Paris in April; Rita Jeptoo, 31, of
Kenya, the 2006 B.A.A Boston Marathon champ who has clocked 31:12 at 10K; and Jelliah
Tinega, 26, of Kenya, who finished second at the 2011 TD Beach to Beacon
and has victories at the Bellin Run and Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run already in
A strong contingent of American women also is entered, led by Julia Lucas,
28, who missed the Olympics by .04 seconds in a heartbreaking, photo-finish
fourth-place finish at 5000m in the U.S. Olympic Trials. Her impressive
third-place finish among a strong field at the Bix 7 over the weekend suggests
she is taking out her disappointment on the roads. Others include Lindsey
Scherf, 25, who took fourth at the 2012 USA 15K Championship and second at
the USA 25K Championship; Rebecca Donaghue, 36, who finished in the top
20 in the U.S. Olympic trials for both the marathon and 10,000m and finished
fifth at the 2009 TD Beach to Beacon; and Katie McGregor, 34, who
finished 11th at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in Houston after narrowly
missing the 2004 and 2008 Olympics with consecutive fourth place finishes at
An injury to former Olympian and marathon
legend Martin Lel and travel issues with a pair of young Ethiopians have
thinned the menÛªs field since it was first announced earlier this month,
but it still contains nine runners who have recorded sub 28:00 10Ks in their
careers ÛÒ with even faster times on the track.
One of the favorites is Atsedu Tsegay, 20, of Ethiopia, whose 58:47 in
Prague this spring remains the fastest half marathon in the world so far in
2012 and is only 24 seconds off the world record. He is an Olympic team
alternate for Ethiopia with a personal best (PR) of 27:46 at 10K. Tsegay will
be making his American road racing debut.
Lucas Rotich, 22, of Kenya, is back after finishing second at the 2011
TD Beach to Beacon (27:56) and winning the Falmouth Road Race a week later. He
has since recorded a blazing 26:43 on the track at 10,000m.
Kenyan Stanley Biwott, 26, broke course records at both the Paris
Marathon (2:05:11) and Paris Half Marathon (59:04) already in 2012, and Gebretsadik
Abraha, 20, of Ethiopia earned silver at the 2010 World Junior
Championships at 10,000m.
27, of Kenya, won the Quad-City Bix 7 Mile over the weekend, outdueling fellow
Kenyan Allan Kiprono, 22, who placed second in Iowa but already has
three major wins on the American roads in 2012 and is returning to Cape
Elizabeth after finishing fifth in 2011 and second in 2010.
Ed Muge, 29, of Kenya, who won the TD Beach to Beacon 10K in 2008
(setting a PR 27:52) and 2009, is back for his fifth consecutive race. He
finished third last year and fifth in 2010.
Other contenders include Lelisa Desisa, 22, who is an alternate on the
Ethiopian Olympic team after recording a 27:12 earlier this summer; Lewis
Nyariki, 23, of Kenya, who has run 27:22 at 10,000m. Kiplomo Kumatai,
30, of Kenya, who is returning to the TD Beach to Beacon for the first time
since his third place finish (a PR of 27:59) in 2008 and has recorded 27:17 on
the track; and Sammy Chelanga, 27, of Kenya, who was an NCAA Cross
Country champion at Liberty University, where he set an NCAA record at 10,000m
(27:08.49), and is pursuing his U.S. citizenship.
The leading American entered is Sean Quigley, 27, a top U.S. distance
runner and former NCAA champion at LaSalle.
ÛÏWith all the excitement surrounding the London Games, this field is
going to showcase a number of Olympic-caliber athletes right here in
Maine,Û said Race Founder Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the first
Olympic womenÛªs marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Maine Road Race Champions to be Crowned
TD Beach to Beacon 10K attracts the stateÛªs top road racers who vie in
the Maine Resident races each year for the unofficial title as Maine Road Race
the womenÛªs race, defending champ Sheri Piers, 41, of Falmouth, is
the prohibitive favorite after competing at a high level in major road races
across the country this season. She won the masters title while finishing 13th
overall (34:38) at the famed Peachtree 10K in July and 15th overall
in an elite field at the FreihoferÛªs Run for Women in June. Returning to
Maine, she recently won the Yarmouth Clam Festival 5 Mile. A two-time TD Beach
to Beacon Maine winner, Piers set the course record for Maine women in 2009
(34:17), which also placed her 10th overall.
23, of Scarborough is continuing to recover from injury but will be in the mix.
She finished second to Piers in 2011 and is having a strong 2012 with a win at
the L.L. Bean 10K and a runner up finish behind Piers at the Yarmouth Clam
Festival 5 Mile. Kristin Barry, 38, of Scarborough, also a two-time
winner and a former course record holder, will be looking for redemption this
year after humid conditions caused her to struggle and stop along the course en
route to a disappointing fifth-place finish.
wild card in the race is Abbey Leonardi, 18, of Kennebunkport, the top
schoolgirl runner Maine has ever seen who will head to the University of Oregon
this fall. Winner of four straight state cross country titles and holder of
numerous course records across Maine, the Kennebunk High grad has clocked a
17:18 5K this summer and would be a contender if her college training program
permits her to run hard.
the Maine menÛªs race, 2011 champion Louie Luchini is attending the
London Olympics with friends and will not defend his title. That leaves the
door open for a number of talented Maine runners, led by Jonny Wilson,
24, of Falmouth, who is in top form after notching wins at the L.L. Bean 10K,
Yarmouth Clam Festival 5 Mile and Ocean Park 5K.
will be pushed by Ethan Shaw, 21, of Falmouth, a recent Dartmouth
graduate who ran 29:17.89 on the track at 10,000m in April. Other contenders
will include Robert Gomez, 28, of Westbrook, who finished just behind
Wilson in the Ocean Park 5K, and Josh Zolla, 26, of Freeport, runner up
to Wilson in Freeport and Yarmouth.
Year for Special Event
15th running of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K marks a significant milestone
for a race that began with Joan Benoit SamuelsonÛªs dream to stage a major
road race in her native Cape Elizabeth.
total of 2,408 runners finished the first race ÛÒ this year the 6,000 mark
could be eclipsed. In between, the race has earned a reputation as a
not-to-be-missed event for both world-class athletes and recreational runners
from Maine and across New England. Online registration closed in five minutes
TD Beach to BeaconÛªs growth in popularity and prestige can be traced back
to a range of factors, including:
- The gorgeous
course that begins near the Crescent Beach State Park entrance on Route 77
in Cape Elizabeth and winds along tree-lined roads and past dramatic ocean
vistas before ending 6.2 miles later in Fort Williams Park near Portland
Head Light, the most photographer lighthouse in America.
- The tireless
volunteers, nearly 750 strong, who handle parking and registration and
provide water, first aid and security for the runners.
- The local
hospitality, including a ÛÏhome-stayÛ program for the elite
athletes that rivals any in the sport.
- The flawless
operation under the direction of Dave McGillivray and his team at DMSE
considered one of the best race management companies in the business.
- The generous
sponsors also give the race an edge, from title sponsor TD Bank,
AmericaÛªs Most Convenient Bank®, to the other major
corporate partners ÛÒ Hannaford, Poland Spring, MaineHealth,
Fairchild Semiconductor, IDEXX, Nike, Northeast Delta Dental and WCSH6-TV.
- The involvement
of Joan Benoit Samuelson, an ambassador and legend in her sport who leaves
world-class athletes awestruck and continues to inspire recreational
awareness, as the race has a long history of commitment to the environment
with a focus on recycling, reuse and eco-friendly activities. The race is
applying this year for certification to the Council for Responsible Sport.
- The enthusiastic
commitment of the host community, as police, fire and municipal officials
serve with local residents on the 60-member, volunteer Organizing
Committee, headed by Race President David Weatherbie of Cape Elizabeth,
and residents turn out in huge numbers to support the runners along the
too the credit of all involved, through all of their hard work and dedication
over the years, that the TD Beach to Beacon has become what it has,Û
Samuelson said. ÛÏNo one person is responsible for our success. It takes a
community. And this is a special community.Û
finisher of SaturdayÛªs race will receive a special medal commemorating
the 15th race. The wheelchair entrants begin at 7:55 a.m. and the
runners start at 8:10. In addition to prize money for the world-class athletes,
other cash awards go to the top men and women masterÛªs finishers, men and
women M50 winners, men and women wheelchair entrants and men and women from
Maine. Also, age category winners will receive L.L. Bean gift certificates. For
more information about the race, go to www.beach2beacon.org.
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TD Charitable Foundation is funded by TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank,
AmericaÛªs Most Convenient Bank®, and is one of the 10
largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s
mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the
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