CAPE ELIZABETH – The sound was part yip, part grunt and punctuated by cries of “I beat the runners, I beat the runners.” It was the sound of Mike Noyes’ joy.

Noyes is a 58-year-old from Bangor who lost the use of his legs 11 years ago after a 20-foot fall. Six mornings a week he delivers the Bangor Daily News to about 250 homes from the seat of his car. Saturday morning he delivered a performance on the roads of Cape Elizabeth that made him proud.

He finished third in the men’s wheelchair division of the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race. Never mind that he was more than nine minutes behind Tony Nogueira, a world-class wheelchair competitor from New Jersey and this year’s winner. Never mind that the three males and one female on wheels were given a head start of more than 15 minutes over a field of nearly 6,000 runners. Do know that in two other years, Noyes had been overtaken by the elite Kenyan runners.

“I was so excited,” said Noyes. “It’s the first time I beat 50 minutes.” Micah Kogo’s winning time was 27 minutes, 46 seconds.

Kogo of Kenya and Aheza Kiros of Ethiopia captured the running world’s attention with their victories among the men and women who race for prize money and recognition. Noyes and the thousands of others who put their self-confidence on the line Saturday — they capture your hearts.

They are what makes this race special. They are your family members, friends, co-workers and the guy who delivers your newspaper. They are the people who otherwise would be anonymous.

Noyes’ girlfriend and sister spent about three and a half hours delivering newspapers for him Saturday morning so he could come to Cape Elizabeth the day before the race to sleep in St. Bartholomew’s Church, which opens its doors to competitors.

Now that the race was over, he had more plans. “I’m going to get a massage, I’m going up on stage (where the top finishers are recognized) and then to Crescent Beach for a swim, and then I’ll drink a couple of cold ones.”

They don’t ask for much more than the opportunity to run in a race that gives back great scenery, great organization and cheering crowds.

Brett Baker, 21, (83rd finish) of Sanford is a sports management major at the University of Southern Maine and an intern for Urban Epic, a company that stages triathlons. The day before the race he worked, packing a truck to help set up for a triathlon in Boston.

Carrie Corbett, 24, (227th finish) and her boyfriend Doug Bova, 24, (508th finish) came from Manchester, Conn. She’s a runner, he was a hockey player. She persuaded him to try this race. “I put an alarm on my phone, for the moment registration opened.” Within eight minutes, registration was closed.

Cadyn Wilson, 18, (1,274th) of Hallowell ran for the first time. She hadn’t seen the course beforehand, hadn’t talked to anyone about strategy. When she took the sharp right off Shore Road into Fort Williams Park she thought she was home free. Then she saw that last hill that can drain a runner both physically and emotionally. “I said, wait a second, what’s this? I thought this was the finish,” which was a few hundred yards later, after the hill was crested.

“I learned to power up the hills so I can let gravity take me down the other side,” said Mark Gillis, 53, (1,819th) of South Portland. “What scares me more is the day I stop doing this.”

Paul Silvia, 58, (3,335th) of Bridgewater, Mass., was running with a cold, an infection or a deep allergy, he said. Not that he cared. It was all part of the challenge. He competes in triathlons as well. Saturday afternoon he planned to play 18 holes of golf with a fellow Colby College alum. “I’m going to walk. I’m not using a cart. And they’re not giving me any strokes. How fair is that?”

Linda Carbone-Goodwin, 41, (4,311th) of Silver Lake, N.H., stood off to the side of the chute that led runners away from the finish. She was looking for two friends. Carbone-Goodwin ran Beach to Beacon for the first time last year. She was so excited afterward, she recruited two newbies.

“I decided I wasn’t going to tell them anything about the course. I wanted them to experience it fresh, like I did.”

Which didn’t sit well with Heather Kennedy, 48, (4,971st), a fellow operating room registered nurse at Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H. “She was a jerk,” said Kennedy, with some affection. “I like to know what I’m getting into. I wished I knew about that last hill. I would have saved a little extra for it.”

Cynthia Shirley, 54, (5,378th) also of North Conway, simply smiled.

Health-care professionals can build up stress. Carbone-Goodwin, in fact, was coming off a 10-hour shift. A run of more than six miles can relieve a lot, if you’re prepared.

“I was so pumped for this race,” said Carbone-Goodwin. “You see the trees, the rocks, the ocean. It’s the most beautiful race I’ve run. The people cheering … I was blown away.”

Then there was Pastor Tim Owen, 41, (5,811th) of South Portland. “Did you see me beat that guy at the end?” It didn’t matter that Owen was running near the rear of this mass of humanity. As the finish line came into view, he and someone he’d never seen before eyeballed each other, and they started to sprint. For a few seconds, this race was just between the two of them. Within seconds, maybe 20 years had melted away from Owen as he raced his rival.

“He fell before the finish line,” said Owen, a big man dripping sweat and good will who ministers to the youth at the Nazarene Church of South Portland. “I went back to tell him I was sorry I made us do that.”

That’s your TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K.

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

[email protected]