CAPE ELIZABETH — For the second straight year, Mary Keitany of Kenya made winning look easy Saturday at the TD Beach to Beacon 10K.

Keitany was so cool in her effort, she didn’t even realize she’d broken her own course record by four seconds with a time of 30 minutes, 41 seconds – 19 seconds ahead of the rest of the women’s field.

“I broke it? Oh, wow. I did not know this. For me, I just came to win,” said Keitany, a 5-foot-2 mother of two.

“She’s small and looks all cute but she’s just like a killer out there,” said the top American, Shalane Flanagan, who finished fourth overall. “You see her and think, ‘Oh, look at that nice lady, and then you get out on the road with her and she’s just brutal. But it’s fun. She elevates everyone’s running.”

Keitany, 35, earned $10,000 for the victory plus a $2,500 bonus for the course record.

In April, Keitany set a world record for an all-women’s marathon while running at the London Marathon. Her time of 2:17:01 was 41 seconds faster than Paula Radcliffe’s 12-year-old record. Keitany will seek her fourth straight New York City Marathon win in November.

Keitany accepted an invitation to last year’s Beach to Beacon after being snubbed in the Kenyan Olympic team selection process. That slight helped fuel her fire for setting the marathon record, “which was something good for me and for my family, too.”

Keitany would have been an obvious favorite Sunday in the marathon at the world track championships had she chosen to go to London. Instead, she felt it was too soon for another marathon.

“Running 2:17 was not easy so I didn’t want to destroy my body to run three marathons in a year,” Keitany said.

Purity Rionoripo, 24, of Kenya was second in 31:00, cutting a minute off her personal-best 10K time in her Beach to Beacon debut, good for $5,000.

Rionoripo ran stride for stride with Keitany until about the eighth kilometer. Keitany put a push into her stride and Rionoripo, herself a 2:21 marathoner, let her go.

“By that time I felt tired,” Rionoripo said. “So I was not able to follow.”

Meseret Defar, a two-time Olympic 5,000-meter gold medalist, placed third in 31:13.9, outdueling Flanagan (31:14.8) in the final stage of the race.

Flanagan had used an aggressive surge on the hills and turns inside the park to make up some ground, only to have Defar slip past her on another turn.

“It was just amazing company and the fact that I was even in the mix was a good sign of things to come,” said Flanagan, 36, a four-time Olympian and the 2008 silver medalist at 10,000 meters.

Flanagan, a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, now living in Portland, Oregon, earned $5,000 for being the top American and an extra $2,000 for finishing fourth overall.

A back injury in January forced Flanagan to halt training for 10 weeks and cancel plans to run the Boston Marathon. It was the first major injury of her long career.

“I ran faster than three years ago (when she was second overall), and three years ago when I ran here I went on to run a 2:21 marathon in Berlin,” Flanagan said.

Jordan Hasay, 25, of Beaverton, Oregon, was the second American and seventh overall for the second straight year. She finished in 32:37.

“I hoped to run a little bit faster time- wise but I was pleased with the effort and felt strong,” Hasay said.

The third American (eighth overall in 33:16) was Erin Finn, 22, a graduate student at the University of Michigan who was the NCAA cross country runner-up as a senior. She still has one season of eligibility in indoor and outdoor track.

Finn said the Beach to Beacon was her first “real legit road race” after taking a crack at a low-key 5K two weeks ago.

“I was really thankful of the invite,” Finn said. “I just wanted to get a taste of the roads. I’d never done it before and I knew this was a great place with a high-caliber field. I was hoping to be a little bit more competitive and maybe closer to 33 minutes, so I was definitely left wanting more, but it was a great first experience.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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