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13th TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K takes a greener route to youth economic education

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13th TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K takes a greener route to youth economic education

CAPE ELIZABETH — The annual TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K road race, which attracts 6,000 runners from all over the world, will be run for the 13th time on Aug. 7.

This year's race benefits Junior Achievement of Maine, a non-profit organization providing youth economic education programs through volunteers from the community. JA programs are offered in more than 100 schools in Maine and reached nearly 9,000 students in 2009.

TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation, will provide a cash donation of $30,000 to JA of Maine.

The race will continue its tradition of attracting some of the best elite runners in the world, as well as introducing new green features, wider shuttle bus service, and a new timing system.

Runners this year will use the same ChronoTrack UHF Timing System and its single-use tag as they used last year, however instead of using a tag that attaches to the shoe, runners this year will use a tag which goes on the back of their bib. There will be recycling bins at the finish line for tag disposal.

Runners can register, pick up their t-shirts and tags at Cape Elizabeth High School on Thursday, Aug. 5, from 4-8 p.m. and Friday, Aug. 6, from 2:30-8 p.m. The registration event features an expo of products and services.

Also happening during the expo will be the Nike reuse-a-shoe recycling program. Anyone can drop off athletic shoes of any brand at the Nike bin at the high school gym on Thursday or Friday. Shoes are also collected year-round at all Nike U.S. retail locations, including the Nike Store located at 1 Freeport Village Station in Freeport.

Nike recycles the shoes into Nike Grind, a material used in sports surfaces around the world.

Bruce Rayner, the chief green officer at Athletes for a Fit Planet, a leading provider of eco-services for athletic events, said the Nike program was very successful last year.

"We got over 500 pairs last year and are looking to increase that this year," Rayner said.

"Last year we recycled and composted approximately 5.4 tons, or 45 percent of total waste," he said. "This year we're looking to expand the program to approach 55 to 60 percent of waste going into recycling or composting."

One of the ways Fit Planet hopes to help the race achieve this is by using certified compostable paper cups with a wax coating on the course.

"All aid stations will have biodegradable bags to collect the cups in at the end of the race to compost and eventually turn into soil," Rayner said.

Another green feature of this year's race will be the use of volatile organic compound-free paint for the starting line on Route 77.

"When volatile organic compounds get washed off the road, they can seep into the ground," Rayner said.

In keeping with the green theme, runners this year will also be able to take advantage of the website, pickupppal.com.

"Athletes can enter their name into the Beach to Beacon's PickupPal and either ask for a ride or offer one," Rayder said.

Runners can park near the start line at the Sprague Fields near Fowler and Ram Island Farm roads and at Cape Elizabeth’s high school and middle school. There will be signs providing directions. Runners will then be shuttled from the parking lots to the start between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

Runner drop-off is at the Gull Crest Fields parking lot, half a mile from the intersection of Spurwink Road and Route 77. There will be flaggers for direction. Runners are required to be at the start line by 7:30 a.m.

New this year will be satellite parking and shuttle bus service to the start line from South Portland High School at 737 Highland Ave. and the Hannaford Bros. corporate office parking lot at 145 Pleasant Hill Road, Scarborough. Shuttle buses will run from these locations from 6:30-7:15 a.m., and return to these locations from Fort Williams after the race. 

Staff and spectators can park at the finish line, and are advised to arrive before 7:15 a.m. because Shore Road closes at 7:30 a.m. However, people may enter the fort from the north from Shore Road via Cottage Road in South Portland, which will remain open. Shuttle buses will operate from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. to the start area, school parking lots and satellite locations.

The formal awards ceremony will be after the race at 10 a.m. at Fort Williams at the top of flagpole hill.

The Kids Fun Run will be Friday, Aug. 6, at 6 p.m. at the soccer field at Fort Williams, with the rain date Saturday, Aug. 7, at 9:15 a.m. Updates are available at the TD Bank Beach to Beacon website, beach2beacon.org.

The kids races will run in heats, according to age. Registration and packet pick up for the fun run will be Thursday, Aug. 5, from 4-8 p.m. during race registration at Cape Elizabeth High School and Friday, Aug. 6, near the race location.

Victoria Fischman is The Forecaster news intern. She can be reached at 781-3661.