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Kogo, Kiros take Beach to Beacon Titles

Beach to Beacon 10k 2011

Beach to Beacon 10k 2011

CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine – (August 6, 2011) – Kenyan Micah Kogo used his Olympic track speed to wear down a talented men’s field, while Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia cruised to victory on the women’s side in the 14th TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race on Saturday in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

In the Maine resident races, Sheri Piers of Falmouth pushed through the heat and humidity to reclaim the women’s title, while Louie Luchini of Ellsworth, a decorated collegian turned State Representative, put a stamp on his legacy in the men’s race.

The winners were among the event record-setting 5,878 finishers from 12 countries, 43 states and more than 200 Maine cities and town who finished the winding, picturesque 6.2-mile course on a sunny, warm and humid morning on the Maine coast. Thousands of spectators lined the course and filled bleachers at the finish to cheer the runners.

Kogo, 21, who won bronze at 10,000m in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, pushed the pace at the outset in record-setting fashion, pulled away at mile 4 and then hung on in 27 minutes, 47 seconds as the heat took a toll, preserving the course record of 27:28. Lucas Rotich (27:56) of Kenya took second and countryman Ed Muge (28:00), the 2008-09 TD Bank Beach to Beacon champion, finished strongly for third. Patrick Smyth, 25, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif. was the first American at 29:29, good enough for ninth place.

On the women’s side, 25-year-old Kiros, a race favorite, did not disappoint and became the first Ethiopian woman to win the women’s title in 32:09. Jelliah Tinega, 25, of Kenya, was runner-up and Buzunesh Deba, 23, of Ethiopia, third after they finished with identical times of 32:36. The first American female finisher was Sara Slattery, 29, of Boulder, Colo., who took sixth (33:37).

U.S. marathon record holder and Olympic medalist Deena Kastor, 38, did not race after becoming ill on Friday in Maine. She is returning to competitive racing after having a baby in February and had targeted the race as a test of her conditioning. She also was looking forward to competing for the first time in the race founded by her idol Joan Benoit Samuelson. Catherine Ndereba, 39, a two-time Olympic silver medalist from Kenya and five-time TD Bank Beach to Beacon champ, finished 11th (34:30).

“Micah and Lucas went out fast and teased us with a course record pace, but the conditions caught up with them,” said Elite Athlete Coordinator Larry Barthlow. “On a different day, that record falls, but they still put on a good show. And Aheza just dominated, which was nice to see for her.”

The humid conditions also put a damper on the highly-anticipated women’s side of the Maine resident races. The race was viewed as a tossup between friends and training partners Kristin Barry, 37, of Scarborough, the defending champ; Piers, 40, of Falmouth, the 2009 champ and course state record holder; and Erica Jesseman, 22, of Scarborough, the young rising star. But the epic battle turned into an epic struggle. Barry (38:32) needed to stop along the course for three minutes before continuing and Jesseman (35:38) collapsed and passed out after crossing the finish line in second, 26 seconds behind Piers, whose winning time (35:12) was almost a full minute behind her 2009 course record of 34:17. Barry, a two-time champ and former course record holder, finished fifth, behind Kristine Guaraldo, 35, of South Portland (38:04) and Mary Pardi, 41, of Falmouth (38:31).

The men’s Maine race was Luchini’s opportunity to put a stamp on his legacy like so many other top Maine runners have done over the years with a win at the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K. Maine’s most decorated collegiate athlete ever, the 30-year-old Ellsworth native was an 11-time All-American at Stanford who now serves as a Maine state representative. He controlled the race from the start, staying comfortably in front of Jonny Wilson, 23, of Falmouth, the hottest racer on the Maine road race circuit this year. Luchini (30:36) won by six seconds with Wilson (30:42) in second with 27-year-old Joshua Trevino (31:34) of Orono in third.

Other winners included: Masters men – James Koskei, 42, of Kenya (30:28) – his third straight title; Masters women – Nuta Olaru, 40, of Romania (34:07) – Piers finished second.

Also, in the Corporate Challenge, pitting teams of athletes from a number of New England corporations and businesses, Unum again won first place in the mixed team division, the Freeport School Department won the men’s division, Maine Health the women’s division, and Fairchild Semiconductor for the first time 10K division.

“It was another spectacular TD Bank Beach to Beacon with a race record 5,878 finishers,” said Race President David Weatherbie, 43, who ran 37:00 to finish 150th overall and also served as Official Race Starter with his mom Sue Weatherbie. “It was certainly warm and humid, which in general slowed the times down compared to last year. However, the race volunteers and spectators were incredibly supportive. A huge and enthusiastic crowd lined the course and cheered on the runners which really helped them tremendously. It’s a ton of work to put on this event and I am very proud and grateful of our sponsors, organizing committee, volunteers, DMSE and the Town of Cape Elizabeth and its residents.”

The TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K is one of the most popular road races in the country, combining small town charm with big city crowds and top world class athletes, year in and year out. Founded by TD Bank and Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, a Cape Elizabeth native, the race benefits a different charity each year.

The beneficiary of this year’s race is Day One a non-profit agency providing substance abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and aftercare programs for Maine youth. TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation, provided a cash donation of $30,000 to the organization, which also benefited from fundraising activities and publicity through its association with the race. TD Bank has now donated a total of $420,000 to Maine charities over the history of the race.

Benoit Samuelson, a running legend who remains a role model for women athletes worldwide, spent most of Saturday’s event at the finish line cheering, greeting and shaking hands of world class and recreational runners alike.

“I continue to see this race change lives, and to see the faces of these runners as they close the finish line is truly inspiring to me,” Benoit Samuelson said. “Every one of these runners is a champion to me.”

Larry Wold, president of TD Bank in Maine, completed the race for the 14th time on Saturday, this time in 41:01, which placed him in the top 6 percent of all runners.

“We at TD Bank feel tremendously fortunate to be a part of this world class event, one of the best road races in the country,” he said. “The dedication and commitment to this race from everyone involved is just incredible. It was another special day.”

14th TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K
Cape Elizabeth, ME, Saturday, August 6, 2011

MEN
1) Micah Kogo (KEN), 27:47, $10,000
2) Lucas Rotich (KEN), 27:56, $5000
3) Ed Muge (KEN), 28:00, $3000
4) Hosea Mwok-Macharinyang (KEN), 28:01, $2000
5) Alan Kiprono (KEN), 28:13, $1000
6) Lani Rutto (KEN), 28:35, $900
7) Evans Cheruiyot (KEN), 28:35, $800
8) Shawn Forrest (AUS), 28:39, $700
9) Patrick Smyth (USA / CA), 29:29, $600
10) Gilbert Okari (KEN), 29:32, $500

MEN 40+
1) James Koskei, 42, KEN, 30:28, $1000
2) Takaoka Toshinari, 42, JPN, 33:33, $500
3) Michael Payson, 48, USA / ME, 33:35, $250

TOP MAINE
16) Louie Luchini (ME), 30:36, $1000
18) Jonny Wilson (ME), 30:42, $500
22) Joshua Trevino (ME), 31:34, $250

WOMEN
1) Aheza Kiros (ETH), 32:09, $10,000
2) Jelliah Tinega (KEN), 32:36, $5000
3) Buzunesh Deba (ETH), 32:36, $3000
4) Diane Nukuri-Johnson (BDI), 32:44, $2000
5) Benita Willis (AUS), 33:16, $1000
6) Sara Slattery (USA / CO), 33:37, $900
7) Adriana Nelson (USA / CO), 33:44, $800
8) Melissa White (USA / MI), 33:46, $700
9) Yosiko Fujinaga (JPN), 33:49, $600
10) Nuta Olaru, 40, ROU, 34:07, $1500

WOMEN 40+
1) Olaru, see above
2) Sheri Piers, 40, USA / ME, 35:12, $500
3) Mary Pardi, 41, USA / ME, 38:31, $250

TOP MAINE
13) Piers, see above, $1000
16) Erica Jesseman (ME), 35:38, $500
23) Kristine Guaraldo (ME), 38:04, $250