CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (June 16, 2010) – The 2010 TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K will feature both reigning champs, Kenyans Ed Muge and Irene Limika, defending their titles against a strong field of world-class athletes, race officials announced Wednesday.
The TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K ( www.beach2beacon.org ), set for Saturday, Aug. 7 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, is again attracting some of the world’s top elite runners to Maine’s scenic coastline for the 13th edition of the race founded by Olympic champion Joan Benoit Samuelson, a Maine native and running icon.
“It’s good to have both Ed Muge and Irene Limika coming back to defend,” said Larry Barthlow, the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K’s elite athlete coordinator. “Ed will be gunning for his third straight title, which would tie a men’s record, and if Irene thought she had it tough with running legend Berhane Adere of Ethiopia in the field last year, she’s going to find the going even more difficult this time around. We’re going to have really competitive fields in both races.”
Limika, 30, ran a personal-best 32:06 to cruise to victory in the 2009 TD Bank Beach to Beacon. Her biggest challenge this year may come from Emily Chebet of Kenya, who just happens to be Muge’s wife.
Little-known Chebet, 24, made a big splash on the world stage in March with a sprint finish to win the senior race at the 2010 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Poland. She followed up earlier this month by setting a course record 15:12 at the Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K in Albany, N.Y.
Also in the field is Edna Kipligat, 30, of Kenya, who finished second behind Chebet at Freihofer’s and won the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon in her second marathon ever. Not to be outdone, Lineth Chepkurui, 22, of Kenya set a course record 38:07 in winning the 2010 Bay to Breakers 12K.
Wude Ayalew Yimer, 23, of Ethiopia, returns to the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K for the first time since 2007, when she came in as a race favorite but got tangled with another runner early in the race, never recovered and finished a disappointing fourth. Her career has continued to elevate since then. She took home the bronze medal at 10,000m at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, and set a new course record (31:58) to win the 2010 World 10K Run in Bangalore, India, beating the defending champ in the homestretch.
Barthlow said he expects to add a few Eastern European runners and a few more Americans to go along with Rebecca Donaghue, 33, one of the top U.S. distance runners.
“I like what we have going in the women’s race with some of the hottest runners out there entered,” he said. “I think there are four or five women with a legitimate shot to win, and you never know who else might pop in there.”
On the men’s side, Barthlow is working to secure the entry of Martin Lel of Kenya, who is one of the world’s top marathoners with three London Marathon and two New York City Marathon titles. Lel, who finished fifth in the marathon at the 2008 Olympics, won the Mardi Gras Half Marathon earlier this year but pulled out the London Marathon in April due to injury.
Ridouane Haroufi, 29, of Morocco is expected to give Muge a strong challenge after finishing sixth (28:32) at the 2009 TD Bank Beach to Beacon. Haroufi has already recorded a sub 28 – 27:51 – in 2010, which placed him second at the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, S.C. in March.
The field also includes Simon Bairu, 26, who set the Canadian National record at 10,000m (27:53.63) earlier this year; Andrew Lemoncello, 27, a British Olympian who took eighth in his marathon debut in April at the London Marathon, the first European to finish; and Shadrack Biwott of Kenya, a former University of Oregon All-American and rising star on the U.S. road race circuit.
Barthlow said he expects to round out the men’s field in the coming weeks with two or three more strong international runners and other top American runners once the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships conclude.
“Things are going to evolve a bit based on some different circumstances, but I like where we’re at right now,” Barthlow said. “The TD Bank Beach to Beacon always attracts the best in the world, and this year’s race will continue that tradition.”
The group of 30 or so elite athletes will be joined in Cape Elizabeth by the best in Maine and New England and thousands of recreational runners. Last year, a record 5,624 runners from 16 countries and 43 U.S. states finished the winding, ocean-hugging, 6.2-mile course.
The TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K begins at Crescent Beach along Route 77 in Cape Elizabeth and ends in Fort Williams Park at Portland Head, the most photographed lighthouse in the world.
Prize money for the winner of the men’s and women’s races is $10,000. In all, nearly $60,000 in prize money will be awarded to the top finishers and place winners in the various categories for men and women. A $2,500 bonus also is available for any runner who breaks an open course record.
TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank ®, ( www.tdbank.com ) is the title sponsor of the race founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson, the Olympic gold medalist and Maine’s most admired athlete.
The race director is Dave McGillivray, president of DMSE, Inc. ( www.dmsesports.com ), a nationally recognized event management company. McGillivray also serves as the race director of the BAA Boston Marathon and many other top events in the U.S. and around the globe.
In addition to TD Bank, other major corporate partners this year include Hannaford, Poland Spring, MaineHealth, Fairchild Semiconductor, Nike, Northeast Delta Dental and WCSH6. For additional info about the race, visit www.beach2beacon.org or call the race hotline at (888) 480-6940.
The beneficiary of this year’s race is Junior Achievement of Maine, Inc. (JA) ( www.jamaine.org ), a non-profit organization providing economic education programs that help inspire Maine children to develop the skills, attitudes and behaviors of success in a global economy. Offered in more than 100 schools across the state, JA programs reached almost 9,000 Maine students in 2009.
The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, will award a cash donation of $30,000 to JA of Maine. The organization also will benefit from fundraising activities and publicity through its association with one of Maine’s premiere sporting events.
About The TD Charitable Foundation
The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank ®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed over $199 million and more than 19,400 grants through donations to local nonprofits from Maine to Florida. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including the online grant application, is available at TDBank.com.
About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank ®
TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,200 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In management services through TD Wealth ®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.
TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of the Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit www.td.com.