CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine ( July 27, 2016 ) – North Yarmouth, Maine native Ben True, the American 5K record holder who just missed an Olympic berth earlier this month, has been added to the world-class field for the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, race organizers announced Wednesday.
Bangor native Riley Masters also will be among the professional runners at the starting line in Cape Elizabeth on Aug. 6, race officials said, adding even more Maine flavor to the front of the pack.
Together with a few other recent adjustments, the 32-member professional field for the 2016 race has been finalized, barring any last-minute travel or injury issues, according to Elite Athlete Coordinator Larry Barthlow. (see up-to-date list below)
The addition of True and Masters deepens an already strong field of top U.S. distance runners, who will compete for the second year in the $23,000 American-only prize category, with $5,000 going to the winner. Eric Jenkins, a New Hampshire native who won the American category last year, is back to defend, and the field also includes former U.S. Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein and Abdi Abdirahman.
Jenkins and True fell just short in their bids to make the U.S. Olympic team, finishing fourth and fifth in the 5000m final at the U.S. Olympic trials in Oregon. The top three finishers qualified for the Rio Games. Masters finished 16th in that same race.
True, 30, a former Greely High School and Dartmouth College All-American, placed third (27:50) in his professional return to the TD Beach to Beacon in 2014 – the fastest road 10K by an American in 29 years. He won the Maine resident title in 2008 and 2009, when he set the course record in that category.
True had planned to run the 2015 TD Beach to Beacon, but decided instead to rest in preparation for the World Championships, where he took sixth at 5000m. Earlier in 2015, he broke the American 5K record in Boston.
Masters, 26, is a former Bangor High School standout and All-American at the University of Maine and University of Oklahoma who won the Maine category at the 2013 TD Beach to Beacon. He returned as a professional last year and finished ninth overall.
Race Founder and Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson said she was elated that True and Masters decided to again return to their home state and compete in this year’s race.
“Ben and Riley will bring a large amount of inspiration to our younger runners, especially in our inaugural year of the high school mile,” Samuelson said.
True also will be among the favorites for the Open title, where he and Jenkins will compete against a handful of young international track speedsters, Olympic medalists and high-level marathoners for the $10,000 top prize.
The world-class athletes will join a race day field of more than 6,600 runners who will wind along the fast, relatively flat course that 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 TD Beach to Beacon 10K is directed by Dave McGillivray of DMSE Sports ( www.dmsesports.com ), who also directs the B.A.A Boston Marathon and is regarded as one of the world’s elite race directors.
The 2016 race beneficiary is My Place Teen Center (MPTC), a free, year-round, after-school youth development program for kids in Greater Portland, which receives a $30,000 donation from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®. TD Bank has now donated $570,000 to Maine charities over the history of the race.In addition to TD Bank, other major corporate partners include Nike, Hannaford, Poland Spring, MaineHealth, L.L. Bean, IDEXX, Northeast Delta Dental, WCSH6 TV and Olympia Sports. 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.