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TD Beach to Beacon 10k: Take your mark ...

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TD Beach to Beacon 10k: Take your mark ...

CAPE ELIZABETH — About 6,500 runners will queue up Saturday near Crescent Beach State Park for the start of the 16th TD Beach to Beacon 10k Road Race.

The annual 8 a.m. start will follow some changes in organization and logistics, reflecting post-Boston Marathon concerns about safety. For runners, there are new locations for parking and shuttle service, and new security measures. For motorists, road closures will affect four roads and begin as early as 6 a.m. and end at 10 a.m.

Runners

As a security precaution, backpacks are not allowed at the start this year. Instead, runners are required to place all belongings inside small clear plastic bags, which will be provided. Organizers ask that runners limit the amount of clothing and other belongings that must be transported to the finish by bus service.

The park-and-ride option for runners this year will be "easier than ever," according to organizers. Parking and shuttle service to the starting line will be provided from 6-7 a.m. from three locations:

• Cape Elizabeth Middle School and High School, 343 Ocean House Road.

• Hannaford corporate offices, 145 Pleasant Hill Road, Scarborough.

• Southern Maine Community College, 2 Fort Road, South Portland.

Post-race shuttle service runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Fort Williams Park.

Additional parking will be provided to runners near the starting line, on the Sprague Fields at Fowler and Ram Island Farm roads. Roadside parking is not allowed.

Runners can also be dropped off at the Gull Crest Fields parking lot, on Spurwink Avenue.

Cyclists will find secure bicycle parking from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Route 77, just east of the starting line.

Runners are required to be at the starting line by 7:30 a.m., but organizers recommend arriving by 6:30 a.m. to avoid congestion.

A formal awards ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at the top of flagpole hill at Fort Williams Park. A total purse of $60,000 will be distributed among race winners.

Spectators

Limited parking is available to spectators, sponsors and staff at Fort Williams Park. Race organizers recommend carpooling to the site before 7:15 a.m., because Shore Road south of the park will be closed at 7:30; however, the approach to the park from Cottage Road, South Portland, and Shore Road north of the park will remain open throughout the event.Race officials ask that no one except race participants be on the course after 8 a.m.

Motorists

Four roads will be closed to traffic as early as 6 a.m. Saturday. Some roads will be closed at several sections.

• Route 77, from Sprague Hall to Kettle Cove Road, 6-10 a.m.

• Scott Dyer Road, eastbound, 6:45-8 a.m.

• All of Fowler Road (except shuttle buses), 7:15-10 a.m.

• Route 77, from Kettle Cove Road to Old Ocean House Road; all of Old Ocean House Road; Route 77 at Hillway, 7:30-10 a.m.

• Shore Road south of Fort Williams Park, 7:30 a.m to end of the event.

Crescent Beach State Park will be closed from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30.

Running for a cause

The beneficiary of this year's Beach to Beacon is The Opportunity Alliance, a Portland-based nonprofit organization that provides community-based clinical programs to children and families throughout Maine. The group will receive $30,000 from the TD Charitable Foundation.

For additional information, visit beach2beacon.org, or call the race hotline at 888-480-6940.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or bmccanna@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.