For my annual trip to Maine, I adventured to Cape Elizabeth to run the Beach to Beacon 10K race with my friends. This is my second time doing the race and it is definitely one of my favorites to run! It is really beautiful up there- especially in the summer. And starting my Saturday with 6.2 miles of rolling hills really wakes you up! Let’s rewind to a few months ago where I sat anxiously by my computer at 7am to register for this race (which sold out in less than 4 minutes). After seeing that “Congratulations” notification, I was pumped to be returning to Maine to run again. The race itself is very organized considering there are several thousand runners flocking to this small, coastal town.
Friday evening, my grad school BFF, Kim, and I headed to Cape Elizabeth HS for packet pickup and the race expo. Numbers and t-shirts were easy to grab so we wandered around looking at different vendors at the expo. We received free gift cards, entered raffles, snagged some bananas, and had an opportunity to shop around. What a great experience!
5:30AM on Saturday, my alarm is buzzing and it’s time to get going! Lucky for us, Kim’s parents literally live next to the finish line so we head over there, snap a few pre-race pictures and hitch a ride to Cape Elizabeth HS where shuttle buses will take you to the
start line. Because this is a point-to-point race, the busing, bag check, and organization are clutch (this race has nailed it). 7:30AM we arrived to the starting line where there are refreshments (water, Gatorade) and long porta-potty lines (classic). Herding into the corral is the most challenging part because there are so many people!
A few minutes after 8AM and we are off! My goal for this race was just to finish strong and preferably under an hour since this is my triumphant return to the running world. The course begins near Crescent Beach State Park and winds its way north. As you cruise along the rolling hills, there is an energy about this race. There is never a moment without a crowd to cheer you on! Around Mile 3, two firetrucks proudly display the American flag which you get to run underneath. Each mile marker has a water station and tons of volunteers helping runners. As you approach Mile 5, the ocean comes into view just before you tackle the biggest hills on the course. Mile 5.5 is where Kim’s family stands at the end of the street, waiting for us to high five as we run by 🙂 The crowd keeps growing as you head towards a finish line which seems like it will never come. The course twists and turns into Fort Williams Park and then BAM! Your finish line is in sight with the beautiful Portland Headlight just behind it.
Something you don’t know until you’ve done this race- the biggest hill is after the finish line. And it sucks. After running 6.2 miles, you head up a hill in the park where water, food, and massages await you. But that hill still sucks. My friends and I set our designated meeting spot at the top of said hill then headed to grab waters, bagels, bananas, and fresh Maine blueberries.
Success all around! Everyone finished strong and I came in with a time of 59:19 🙂 Nothing like that painful PR of 54:06 last year, but an enjoyable race. I highly recommend you guys signing up for this one. I’ll see you next August!
PS: We also may have found a race photographer on our walk back to Kim’s house…