Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Steve Solloway firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Volunteers hold out water to runners along Shore Road in Cape Elizabeth during the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Saturday. To some runners, finishing fast is important. To others, just finishing makes them proud. "I learned to power up the hills so I can let gravity take me down the other side," said Mark Gillis, 53, of South Portland.
Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer
Eighteen-year-old Cadyn Wilson, right, of Hallowell walks from the finish line after her first Beach to Beacon race. Wilson hadn't seen the course before running and was shocked when the final hill appeared. "I said, 'wait a second, what's this?' I thought this was the finish!"
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer
SEE FULL COVERAGE of the 2011 Beach to Beacon 10K at www.pressherald.com/sports/Beach_to_Beacon_2011.html.
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?"
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