The 16th running of the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K is just hours away.
The latest chapter of 1984 Olympic women’s marathon champion Joan Benoit Samuelson’s brainchild once again features an impressive field.
“Overall, we are thrilled with our elite field,” said race president Dave Weatherbie. “The women’s field is extremely strong. Lineth Chepkurui, Joyce Chepkirui, and Linet Masai should stage quite a battle along the roads in Cape Elizabeth and challenge the course record of 30 minutes 59 seconds.
“A deep field of American women led by Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Deena Katsor should produce several top 10 finishes by the American women. For Deena to come to Maine and race on her way to the world championships speaks volumes about her commitment to the sport and her appreciation for Joanie.”
Weatherbie is excited about the quality of the men’s field as well.
“Defending champion Stanley Biwott will be challenged by 2011 winner Micah Kogo and last year’s runner up Stephen Kipkoskei-Kibet,”Weatherbie said. “With the right conditions these men could go well under 28 minutes. In addition, we are thrilled to have Olympic Marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi back as well as Olympian marathoner Ryan Hall. This is Ryan’s first trip to the TD Beach To Beacon 10K. They lead a deep field of American men in this year’s race.”
Local fans will also be keeping a close eye on several elite Maine runners.
“We expect Erica Jesseman, Sheri Piers and Abby Leonardi to contend for the women’s title,” said Weatherbie.
Last year, Piers, Jesseman and Leonardi wound up first, second and third, respectively.
“On the men’s side, Jonny Wilson, Rob Gomez, Riley Masters, Will Geoghegan, Matt Rand and Kirby Davis are expected to be in the hunt,” Weatherbie said.
Wilson was second last year to Falmouth’s Ethan Shaw in the boys’ race.
“Hopefully the weather will cooperate and it will be another glorious TD Beach To Beacon 10K,” said Weatherbie.
Kenya’s Stanley Biwott returns as the defending Beach to Beacon champion.
Falmouth’s Shari Piers is the four-time defending Maine women’s champion.