CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine – The 2011 TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race will feature reigning champ Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia and two Olympic medalists, American marathon record holder Deena Kastor and Kenyan Catherine Ndereba.
The trio headline yet another deep and talented field of world-class athletes for the 14th edition of the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K ( b2bdevelopment.wpengine.com ), set for Saturday, Aug. 6, along the scenic coastline of Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The race was founded by Olympic champion Joan Benoit Samuelson, a Maine native and running icon.
For Kastor, the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K marks the strategic next step in her return to competitive racing after giving birth to her first child in February. The 38-year-old is building up to the Olympic marathon trials in January, hoping to regain her form as the most decorated American distance runner over the past decade.
Kastor broke Samuelson’s long-held American marathon record in 2003 and won bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She also won the Chicago (2005) and London (2006) marathons, set an American record in the half marathon in 2006, and won the 2008 Olympic Trials. But a foot injury at the 2008 Beijing Olympics caused her to withdraw early in the race. Her goal is to again chase gold in London next year.
Kastor will find a familiar foe in Ndereba, 39, a Kenyan running legend and two-time Olympic marathon silver medalist – in Beijing in 2008 and in Athens in 2004, when she finished one place ahead of Kastor. Known as ‘Catherine the Great’, she is a four-time BAA Boston Marathon champ, two-time World Champ and former world-record holder. Ndereba won five of the first six TD Bank Beach to Beacons and is the former course record holder (31:33). Following a five-year absence, Ndereba returned to the race in 2010 and, rehabbing an injury, finished sixth.
“Catherine and Deena are legends in their sport who add something really special to our elite field,” said Larry Barthlow, the race’s elite athlete coordinator. “Many of the younger runners look up to them the same way they revere Joanie. And it’s neat to think of how they finished 2-3 at the 2004 Olympics and here they are together again in our race.”
But any quest for a top spot at the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K will likely need to go through Ethiopians Werknesh Kidane and Wude Ayalew.
Kidane, 29, a two-time Olympian, is a former World Cross Country champion and World Championship silver medalist on the track, where she has clocked 30:07 at 10,000m. The wife of defending men’s champ Gebremariam, she made her marathon debut at the 2011 Boston Marathon, finishing seventh.
Ayalew, 24, might be the most determined runner in the race. In 2010, she finished second to Lineth Chepkuri’s record setting performance (30:59). Her time of 31:07 also broke the record, and stands as the second fastest time ever on the 6.2-mile course.
In Ayalew’s only other TD Bank Beach to Beacon performance in 2007, she came in as a race favorite but got tangled with another runner early in the race, never recovered and finished a disappointing fourth.
On the men’s side, the speedy Gebremariam, known as GG, who is the reigning NYC Marathon champ, will have his work cut out for him to repeat, and will likely need to improve on his 27:40 from 2010.
Two top Kenyans, Micah Kogo and Mike Kigen, were upset in their highly competitive national track championships recently and have decided to test their speed in Cape Elizabeth, Barthlow said.
That means the course record (27:28) is in jeopardy, he said. Kogo, who won silver at 10,000m in the 2008 Olympics, has recorded the fastest 10K so far in 2011 – 27:15 at the Parelloop 10K in Holland. Kigen finished second in that race with a 27:26.
Also, the three runners who finished right behind GG in 2010 are back – Kenyans Alan Kiprono (27:42), Wilson Chebet (27:45), and Stephen Kipkosgei-Kibet (27:51). The race also includes two runners who know what it’s like to break the tape in Fort Williams – former multiple champs and Kenyans Ed Muge (2008-09) and Gilbert Okari (2003-04-05), who set the existing course record in 2003. Also, another former champ, Kenyan James Koskei (2002), is back seeking his third consecutive master’s title.
“We’ve had some fast fields in the history of this race, that’s our reputation, but this may be the fastest yet,” Barthlow said. “We have six runners who have already run sub 28s on this course, plus two newcomers who happen to have the fastest 10K times in the world so far this year. It’s going to be something to see.”
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.
The TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K is considered one of the gems on the U.S. road race circuit. The race begins near the Crescent Beach State Park entrance on Route 77 in Cape Elizabeth and ends 6.2 miles later in Fort Williams Park at the Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in America.
The race is directed by Dave McGillivray of DMSE Sports ( www.dmsesports.com ), who also directs the BAA Boston Marathon and is regarded as one of the best in the business.
TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, is the title sponsor of the race. Other major corporate partners this year include Hannaford, Poland Spring, MaineHealth, Fairchild Semiconductor, Nike, Northeast Delta Dental, Wright Express and WCSH6. For additional information about the race, visit b2bdevelopment.wpengine.com or call the race hotline at (888) 480-6940.
The beneficiary of this year’s race is Day One ( www.day-one.org ), a non-profit agency providing substance abuse prevention, intervention, treatment, and aftercare programs for Maine youth. TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation, will provide a cash donation of $30,000 to Day One. The organization also will benefit from fundraising activities and publicity through its association with the race.For additional information about the race, visit b2bdevelopment.wpengine.com, and find the TD Beach to Beacon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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 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.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.
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TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race – List of Elite Athletes – as of 7-26-11
Shawn Forrest, Australia
Gebre Gebremariam, Ethiopia
Tekeste Kebede, Ethiopia
Toshinari Takaoka, Japan
Wilson Chebet, Kenya
Ed Muge, Kenya
Alan Kiprono, Kenya
Hosea Mwok Macharinyang, Kenya
Stephen Kipkoskei-Kibet, Kenya
Sammy Chelanga , Kenya
James Koskei, Kenya
Patrick Smyth, USA
Chris Barnicle, USA
Paul Hefferon, USA
Tim Young, USA
Jason Hartman, USA
Benita Willis, Australia
Diane Nukuri, Burundi
Werknesh Kidane, Ethiopia
Bizunesh Deba, Ethiopia
Wude Ayalew, Ethiopia
Aheza Kiros, Ethiopia
Mikister Mekonnin, Ethiopia
Belainesh Gebre, Ethiopia
Yumi Sato, Japan
Yosiko Fujinaga, Japan
Yui Sakai, Japan
Catherine Ndereba, Kenya
Jelliah Tinea, Kenya
Nuta Olaru, Romania
Kathy Butler, UK
Rebecca Donaghue, USA
Melissa White, USA
Deena Kastor, USA
Adriana Pritea, USA