Ben True congratulates his competitors after crossing the finish line in the Beach to Beacon, True placed 3rd in a very fast 27:50 (Photo by Kevin Morris)
True finishes 3rd, Flanagan nipped at line in Beach to Beacon
Maine native Ben True mixed it up with the top runners in the 17th annual Beach to Beacon 10k in Cape Elizabeth this morning. True, from North Yarmouth, Maine and currently a Hanover, NH resident went out with the leaders of the race from the gun. Eventual champion Bedan Karoki led the pack out in a quick 4:20 for the first mile, as a pack of 8 followed. The pack stayed together through 2 miles (8:49), until they hit the hills on Old Ocean House rd at the 2.5 mile mark. Karoki used the hills to his advantage as he quicken his tempo, dropping everyone but True & fellow Kenyans Stephen Kibet & Patrick Makau. The 5k was hit in a course record pace of 13:43.
As they turned onto 77, and headed for Shore road the quick pace continued, and it was just too much for True & Makau to hold on. Karoki and Kibet pulled away covering the mostly downhill 4th & 5th miles in 4:23 & 4:18. The rolling hills of the tough 6th mile were too much for Kibet to hold on as Karoki opened up a gap as the duo turned into Fort Williams, at the top of the hill, Karoki took a look back to see where his competitors where and sprinted it over the final .2 miles. Karoki who ran 26:52 for 10k on the track earlier this year broke the tape first with a fine 27:36.4 effort, a 4:27 per mile pace. 6 seconds later, Kibet crossed in 27:42, while True ran the American course record of 27:49.8 (4:29 per mile) for third place overall.
We caught up with Ben after the race to discuss his run and what the rest of the summer looks like for him
The Beach to Beacon also serves as a who's who of Maine road racing, with everyone shooting to be the first Mainer across the line. This year it was recent Dartmouth grad and former Brunswick standout Will Geoghegan who crossed the line first with a personal best 29:51 in 11th spot. Jonny Wilson of Falmouth was second in 30:26, while another Dartmouth grad Henry Sterling of North Yarmouth was the 3rd mainer in 31:38.
Check out our Interview with the new Oregon Duck Will Geoghegan
Also of note in the men's race two time champion Micah Kogo finished 5th (28:14.4) while True's training partner Sam Chelanga was 7th (28:28.9). Fernando Cabada was the second American in 9th place (29:46) while Brian Harvey was one spot behind in 10th (29:49). Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezghi finished 13th running 29:57, while former 10K american record holder Chris Solinsky placed 14th in 30:00
Gemma Steele celebrates as she crosses the finish line winning the women's race in the Beach to Beacon, Shalene Flanagan was a close second.
Steele edges Flanagan
The women's race was an intense battle between Great Britian's Gemma Steele & American Shalene Flanagan as the duo raced stride for stride over the 6.2 miles. In the end Steele who placed second a year ago in a break through race edged ahead in the final 40 meters for the victory over Flanagan. The two were both timed in 31:26.5. As the runners hit the grass section, the change in terrain proved costly for the Shalene, as she had a slight stumble, and was unable to recover, she would have been the first American to win the race in the 17 year history.
There was a gap to the third place finish, Diane Nukuri-Johnson who crossed the finish line in 31:50, next to finish was American Jordan Hasay in her 10k road debut, Hasay was timed in 32:18.
The course record for Maine runners was broken by the top two finishers today. Setting the new Maine course record was Michelle Lilienthal of Portland a Saucony sponsored athlete, who moved from Minnesota last winter. Lilienthal a two time Olympic trials marathon qualifier shattered Sheri Piers course record on 34:17 with her personal best 33:38.8, the time was good enough for a 13th place overall finish. The second mainer was Scarborough's Erica Jesseman, who just missed the course record a year ago, was under the record with her 34:14 effort. The former record holder Piers was the third fastestmainer with her 35:42.
Scarborough's Jacob Terry (#4459) was the top Maine HS boy 34:18 while teammate Colin Tardiff (#2243) was 3rd fastest 35:24
Top Maine High School Boys under 40 minutes
71 7/161 M1519 34:18 5:32 34:22 Jacob Terry 17 M 4459 Scarborough ME
76 9/161 M1519 34:35 5:34 34:42 Christopher Walfield 17 M 4059 Bath ME
93 13/161 M1519 35:24 5:42 35:31 Colin Tardiff 15 M 2243 Scarborough ME
104 15/161 M1519 36:01 5:48 36:07 Aaron Willingham 17 M 4596 Farmington ME
129 18/161 M1519 36:49 5:56 36:57 Benjamin Breton 15 M 4499 Windham ME
145 21/161 M1519 37:20 6:01 37:30 Jacob Bloom 17 M 6791 Scarborough ME
165 24/161 M1519 37:55 6:07 38:38 Sean Soucy 16 M 1035 Falmouth ME
176 26/161 M1519 38:21 6:11 38:34 Kyle Kennedy 17 M 1358 Cape Elizabeth ME 177 27/161 M1519 38:21 6:11 38:29 Xander Keiter 15 M 7655 South Portland ME 179 28/161 M1519 38:24 6:11 38:34 Andrew Sholl 16 M 2181 Scarborough ME 188 29/161 M1519 38:41 6:14 38:51 Sean McGovern 17 M 4014 Scarborough ME 204 30/161 M1519 38:54 6:16 39:47 Benjamin Garcia 16 M 7197 New Gloucester ME 213 31/161 M1519 39:09 6:18 39:15 Jason Higginbotham 16 M 3374 Brunswick ME 225 33/161 M1519 39:22 6:20 39:32 Maxim Doiron 16 M 3694 Scarborough ME
Elizabeth Labun (center) was the top Maine HS girl in 41:08, here she hangs with some of the kenyan runners
Top Maine High Girls under 47 minutes
337 5/169 F1519 41:08 6:38 41:29 Elizabeth Labun 17 F 3422 Hampden ME
340 6/169 F1519 41:11 6:38 41:31 Tessa Cassidy 16 F 2621 Brunswick ME 341 7/169 F1519 41:12 6:38 41:32 Hannah Austin 17 F 3930 North Yarmouth ME 562 13/169 F1519 43:39 7:02 44:15 Joann Bourgoin 17 F 7211 Winslow ME
570 1/45 F0114 43:44 7:03 44:21 Cecilia Morin 14 F 5895 Waterville ME
588 15/169 F1519 44:00 7:05 44:14 Laura Volan 16 F 3631 Scarborough ME
613 16/169 F1519 44:11 7:07 44:48 Emily Mason 17 F 2333 Cumberland ME
650 19/169 F1519 44:27 7:10 44:47 Tiffany Tanner 16 F 5649 Brunswick ME
698 21/169 F1519 44:51 7:13 45:39 Eva Brydson 17 F 1325 Cape Elizabeth ME
707 22/169 F1519 44:57 7:15 45:45 Rhoen Fiutak 17 F 1494 Cape Elizabeth ME
721 23/169 F1519 45:03 7:15 45:51 Samantha Feenstra 16 F 3188 Cape Elizabeth ME
849 3/45 F0114 45:59 7:24 46:29 Bethany Sholl 13 F 4899 Scarborough ME
922 4/45 F0114 46:27 7:29 47:05 Olivia Skillings 14 F 4621 North Yarmouth ME