The Beach to Beacon 10k has long been on my short list of Maine / NH road races . Since it overlaps with the Top Notch Tri and I missed the lottery last year, I'd have to wait for the right timing. Fortunately this summer I received entry from Norman, Hanson, & Detroy via Christopher Brooks. I also was hoping for a 10K PR but that was out the window as soon as my Direttissima project took president in July. So just a week removed this run became a "recovery" / systems check race where I had no goals but to go by feel and enjoy it.
Logistics meant getting Chris to pick up our bibs on Friday afternoon, saving us a trip up to Cape Elizabeth the day before. We (Hilary and I) also stayed on Sebgao Lake which meant we had to leave at 5:30AM to pick up our packets in Portland at 6:30, and we arrived at our parking spot just 0.7 from the race start. Runners were streaming by and we followed the herd as we made our way to the start. At the intersection of Charles E Jordan road we did a 1.5 mile warm up, more so just to make sure the legs were fine to run on pavement, something I hadn't done in a few weeks. The body felt good so we continued to the start, grabbing some sports drink along the way. It took a few minutes to make our way through the crowds to find the 7 minute mile pace section. I had originally planned to pace Hilary but quickly backed out and decided to race. After the Wheelchair and Elite Women's wave, we were started at 8:12AM.
I ran an excellent race purely off feel. The first mile was 6:12 pace and that felt good. Not easy but about as fast as my flat legs would allow. I weaved my way through the slower runners until I was able to settle in around Mile 2. It was pretty easy to hold pace in the 6:10 - 6:20 range so I started thinking about a goal time and 38:30 seemed good for the day. Halfway through I was feeling strong but definitely didn't have much in the way of quick turnover. I took some video (see video below) and enjoyed the big race atmosphere. The next few miles clicked off as the course continued to roll with a general downhill feeling (although it's probably a net gain near 0). The course turns up to Fort Williams Park and follows a walking path to the finish. It was a new experience to be finishing in a pack of 20+ people. I waited for Hilary to arrive and felt a little guilty for bailing on my pacing duties. She still ran a good race but went out too hard.
She needed more miles on the day so we ran 5.4 miles back to the car and then I drove back to the park while she ran. I got there just in time to snag what was left of the finisher's food and watch the awards. Ben True took home 10k for the win plus another 5k for the top US male. Takes the sting off missing the Olympics I'm sure!
Side note, we bumped into Michael Westphal on our way back to the car. I knew about Michael through my friends on Great Cranberry Island and had watched this video. So incredibly badass.
Photos to come!
Results | Strava