CAPE ELIZABETH – Of all the races he’s won through the years, Saturday marked the first Beach to Beacon 10K title for the state senator in the red Nikes.

Louie Luchini, 30, an 11-time college All-American and former Olympic hopeful, cut through the sweltering morning to best the field of runners from Maine with a time of 30 minutes, 35 seconds.

It wasn’t close to his best time in a 10K, but it was pretty good for someone who’s been squeezing in runs around the legislative session this spring while serving as a freshman state representative for Ellsworth.

Falmouth’s Jonny Wilson, 23, finished a strong second in 30:42, and Orono’s Josh Trevino, 27, came in third in 31:33.

“Running has been on the back burner for me and I’d only run this race once before,” said Luchini. “You get a little break after mile three-and-a-half and then the crowds kind of carry you. You can’t even hear yourself think.”

Luchini said he ran with a group of four early in the race, including Wilson, and pulled ahead at about the 5K mark. He heard Wilson’s footsteps and once turned to catch a glimpse of his closest competitor.

“He was right ahead of me, seven, eight seconds. Miles 4 and 5, I tried to surge to catch up but couldn’t,” said Wilson.

“He’s older than me, so we never ran in high school or college together. It was nice to be out there and mix it up with him.”

Trevino said he could see both Luchini and Wilson up ahead, but was focused on staying in third place.

“They were pretty far away,” said Trevino, a former University of Maine runner who is pursuing a doctorate. “I’m pretty pumped, I was trying to maintain my position and did.”

Luchini finished 16th overall and pumped his right fist into the air as he crossed the finish line and accepted a congratulatory hug from race founder Joan Benoit Samuelson.

“He’s got a tough job in Augusta,” said Samuelson. “The fact he can fit that kind of training around his schedule is impressive. I was especially happy for Louie.”

Race organizer Dave Weatherbie said he is pleased to finally have Luchini’s name on the list of Beach to Beacon winners from Maine.

Luchini ran the race once during his college career at Stanford but was under strict orders to use it as a training run and not finish quicker than 30 minutes.

“It’s fitting given his running legacy,” said Weatherbie. “It’s great to have him on our list now with guys like Ben True (2009 winner), Pat Tarpy (2010), now Louie Luchini. Those are three of the greatest high school and college runners from this state all-time. Louie belongs in the winner’s circle.”

Luchini said he has plans to try to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials in Houston in January, then return to Augusta to make strides in Maine.

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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