CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (August 2, 2010) – Top road racers from around the globe will gather with the best in Maine and New England in Cape Elizabeth on Saturday for the 13 th running of the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race.
The elite athletes will share the scenic coastal course with thousands of recreational runners who are cheered on by a multitude of enthusiastic spectators. The festive atmosphere each year re-affirms the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K’s reputation as a world-class event with small-town charm.
This year’s field of 6,000 includes runners from 17 countries and 41 U.S. states.
More than $60,000 in prize money is at stake, including a $10,000 prize to the top man and woman. Also, a $2,500 bonus is available for an open course record and $500 for a course record in the Maine category, providing added incentive in a race that consistently ranks among the fastest and most competitive 10Ks in the world.
The race beneficiary this year is Junior Achievement of Maine ( 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. The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, will provide a cash donation of $30,000 to the organization, which also is benefiting from fundraising activities and publicity through its association with the race.
“At TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, we are pleased to remain a part of such a special event that seems to get better year after year, thanks to the hard work of all involved, including the volunteers, runners, race organizers and the Town of Cape Elizabeth,” said Larry Wold, president of TD Bank Maine who has run in every previous TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10k and will again toe the start line on Saturday. “This year it is an honor to donate to JA of Maine, a like-minded organization, as we cannot stress enough the value and importance of financial literacy. TD Bank is pleased to offer free financial literacy lessons, WOW! Zones, across our footprint and we are pleased to support non-profits that reach out to impress positive financial lessons upon our youth.”
Running Legends Join Defending Champs and Hottest Runners on Circuit in Elite Field
The elite field will include a pair of running legends – Kenya’s Catherine Ndereba and the U.S.’s Khalid Khannouchi – and the two defending champs – Kenyans Ed Muge and Irene Limika .
But don’t be surprised if Saturday’s winners come from outside this impressive quartet.
In the men’s race, the favorite has to be Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, who is coming off a high-quality win (27:56) at the AJC Peachtree Road Race and is ranked 14 th in the world by Running Times .
Another top contender is 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 finished fifth in the marathon at the 2008 Olympics.
The field also includes Boaz Cheboiywo of Kenya, who finished second to Muge at the TD Bank Beach to Beacon last year and fifth in 2008; Andrew Lemoncello , a British Olympian; and Dejene Berhannu of Ethiopia, another Olympian. Elite Athlete Coordinator Larry Barthlow also is expecting good things from a pair of relative unknowns on the American road race circuit: Kenyans Joel Kemboi Kimurer and Stephen Koskei. Ben True , who set a course record (29:10) in winning the Maine division last year, is now living out of state and returns as a part of the elite field looking for a Top 10 finish.
Khannouchi, 38, a world record holder in the marathon and four-time Chicago Marathon champ who still holds the American marathon record (2:05:38), won the 1999 TD Bank Beach to Beacon but last took part in 2004. He is on the comeback trail following a series of injuries and will use the race to gauge his progress.
On the women’s side, Limika has her work cut out for her against a star-studded collection of young runners.
Leading the way is Kenyan Lineth Chepkurui , 22, who is ranked 9 th in the world by Running Times . She is coming off a dominating victory at the AJC Peachtree 10K (30:51) and also ran the fastest 10K (30:45) so far in 2010 at the Crescent City Classic and set a world record at 12K (38:07) at the ING Bay to Breakers.
She will be pushed by Wude Ayalew Yimer , 23, of Ethiopia, who is returning for the first time since getting tangled with another runner and finishing fourth in the 2007. She set a course record (31:58) to win the 2010 World 10K Run in India.
Also in the field is Edna Kipligat of Kenya, who set a course record (47:57) in July to win the Utica Boilermaker 15K, and Worknesh Kidane of Ethiopia, a former World Cross Country champion and World Championship silver medalist on the track. She took third (31:18) in a strong field at the NYRR New York Mini 10K in June. Top American runners Rebecca Donaghue , Ilsa Paulson, Heidi Westhover and Clara Peterson also are in the field.
Popular Ndereba, 38, a Kenyan running legend and two-time Olympic marathon silver medalist known as ‘Catherine the Great’, is a five-time TD Bank Beach to Beacon champ and former course record holder (31:33). She is a four-time BAA Boston Marathon champ and two-time World Champ.
“We’ve got a little bit of everything is each of these races,” Barthlow said. “Catherine and Khalid are crowd favorites, the defending champs will be looking for repeats, and Gebre and Lineth are coming here to win, period. I can’t wait.”
(Unofficial) Maine Road Race Champions to be Crowned
The TD Bank Beach to Beacon is considered the jewel for Maine’s top road racers and the winner each year wears the unofficial crown as the Maine Road Racing Champion.
This year’s race will have a new winner among the men as two-time defending champ Ben True is now living out of state and training as an elite athlete. He will compete Saturday in the elite field.
That leaves Pat Tarpy , 28, of Yarmouth, as the favorite for the Maine title. A former standout runner at Brown University who has competed in the elite field at the TD Bank Beach to Beacon in the past, Tarpy has re-located to Maine and now qualifies for the Maine race. He won the L.L. Bean 10K in Freeport last month, which is always a good barometer for the TD Bank Beach to Beacon.
Other contenders will include Levi Miller , 23, of Belfast, a Georgetown standout and former Maine state champion in cross country and track; Robert Gomez , 27, of Westbrook, a former Bates College star who is chalking up win after win this season in Maine road races; Jon Wilson , 22, of Falmouth, who will be trying to improve upon his top 5 finish last year; and Phil Richert , 23, of Bar Harbor, a dark horse to keep an eye on.
The women’s race is again stacking up as a race between defending champ and course record holder (34:17) Sheri Piers , 39, of Falmouth, and 2008 champ Kristin Barry , 36, of Scarborough, who is in great shape. Erica Jesseman , 21, of Scarborough, a Maine schoolgirl standout now competing at the University of New Hampshire, could mount a challenge as well.
Financial Literacy Steps to the Front of the Race
With the selection of Junior Achievement of Maine ( www.jamaine.org ) as the race beneficiary and the support of TD Bank as the lead sponsor, financial literacy is taking center stage at this year’s race.
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. JA of Maine offered programs in more than 100 schools across the state in 2009, reaching almost 9,000 Maine students. Through JA classroom programs and Job Shadow experiences, JA of Maine brings volunteers from the community face to face with students to make economic concepts relevant, raise aspirations, and challenge the students to excel.
JA of Maine will be able to expand its program to reach even more Maine children as a result the donation and support from TD Bank ( www.tdbank.com ), already a strong proponent of financial literacy for young people. To make sure kids get the skills they need, TD Bank created the TD Bank WOW! Zone, a multimedia financial education program that has recently been rolled out in the New England area. The free workshops, presented in the classroom with additional resources online, are designed to help students in grades K-12 develop strong economic skills.
In addition, TD Bank has launched the Penny Arcade Anniversary Video Contest this summer to celebrate the 10 th anniversary of its signature Penny Arcade machine, a free coin-counting machine located in TD Bank stores. The contest gives young savers ages 6-12 the opportunity to step into a TD Bank “Penny Pod” and explain what “saving” means to them for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship. A “Penny Pod” will be set up beginning at 5 p.m. at Fort Williams for the Kids Fun Run on Friday, Aug. 6 for children to share their thoughts. The public will vote on their favorite video with the winner announced in October.
Race Getting Greener by the Year
The TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K continues to be on the leading edge of road races nationally in finding and implementing new and innovative ways to become more environmentally friendly.
The race has expanded its environmental practices in 2010 thanks to its green corporate sponsor, Fairchild Semiconductor, and green consulting partner, Athletes for a Fit Planet. Together, they are building on the race’s long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility that starts with lead sponsor TD Bank, which is the largest U.S.-based bank to go carbon neutral and is committed to building LEED-certified stores and offices such as its just-announced new call center in Auburn, Maine.
This year’s “green” activities at the race include recycling and composting from start to finish. All plastic, cardboard, paper, glass, and metal will be recycled, and certified compostable paper cups will be collected in biodegradable bags to compost and eventually turn into soil. The race is looking to exceed last year’s total of 5.4 tons, or 45 percent of total waste, recycled and composted.
The race also is using eco-friendly portable toilets on the course, has painted the start line with volatile organic compound-free paint, and will again offer the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe Program to collect old running shoes and keep them out of landfills. Nike recycles the shoes into Nike Grind, a material used in sports surfaces around the world.
To help reduce its carbon footprint, race officials are encouraging ride sharing to the event, and the race also has a page on the website www.pickuppal.com , where runners and volunteers can enter their names to either ask for a ride or offer one.
“Running is a pure sport – runners are in tune with environmental changes by the nature of their daily runs and running experiences,” said Joan Benoit Samuelson, the race founder. “It only makes sense for a race that receives great acclaim and visibility to do its part to reduce the runners’ footprints throughout the event – from before they start the race until well after they cross the finish line.”
13th Year for Special Event
Year in and year out, expectations run high for the TD Bank Beach to Beacon. And each year, the race does not disappoint. The gorgeous course, local hospitality, tireless volunteers, generous sponsors, flawless operation and the involvement of founder and running icon Joan Benoit Samuelson all blend together to create a special event for the runners.
The TD Bank Beach to Beacon attracts more than 700 volunteers and brings out an extraordinary effort on the part of the town of Cape Elizabeth. TD Bank is the title sponsor of the race founded by Samuelson, the Olympic gold medalist and one of Maine’s most admired athletes. She ran the same roads while growing up in Cape Elizabeth.
The race director is Dave McGillivray, president of DMSE, Inc. ( www.dmsesports.com ), a North Andover, Mass.-based international sports event management company. McGillivray, considered one of the best in the business, also serves as the race director of the BAA Boston Marathon.
In addition to TD Bank, the title sponsor, other major corporate partners this year include Hannaford, Poland Spring, MaineHealth, Fairchild Semiconductor, Nike, Northeast Delta Dental and WCSH6.
The wheelchair entrants begin at 7:55 a.m. at the start line on Route 77 near Crescent Beach State Park and the runners start at 8:10. The ocean-hugging course ends 6.2 miles later in Fort Williams Park at Portland Head, the most photographed lighthouse in the world.
Prize money of more than $60,000 is awarded to the runners, including $10,000 for the winner, $5,000 for the second place winner and cash prizes for the top 10 finishers. Other cash awards go to the top men and women master’s 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 additional information about the race, visit www.beach2beacon.org, and find the TD Beach to Beacon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.