Sisters Erica Vargo, 33, of Raymond and Kristal Ward, 35, of Windham, toed the starting line together this year at the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K road race in Cape Elizabeth. Both had run the race before in past years, but because of busy schedules and Vargo’s brief residence in New York, they have not had a chance to run it together.

“We’re not running it to race it, we’re running it to run it,” said Vargo. She and her sister finished four minutes apart.

Ward is a teacher at Windham Middle School. Vargo works for Camp Sunshine in Casco and reviews applications from the families of children with life-threatening illnesses who wish to attend the nonprofit retreat.

Vargo has a long history of running, including triathlons and half-marathons. She said she likes to push herself and likes that the money raised by this year’s race, to benefit STRIVE, will go toward helping young people with intellectual and emotional disabilities.

“Running is great anyway, and when you put it to a good cause it becomes something special,” she said.

“This is perfect running weather, the sun’s not out, it doesn’t feel too humid and it’s cool,” said Vargo before the start of the race on Saturday, when the sky was still misty.

Ward said she doesn’t have the years of running experience her sister does, but the two trained together over the last few months.

“We actually help each other, we work off one another,” she said, saying close proximity to one another keeps them from giving up or slacking off.

“Usually I’m nervous, but I’m not nervous this year,” said Ward. She and her sister said they don’t like to eat on the morning of a long-distance run.

Beach to Beacon officials said the morning fog helped keep the heat down during the first half of the race, but the sun did start to poke through a half-hour after the 8 a.m. start.

Ward said some of the neighbors set up garden hoses and lawn sprinklers to cool them off as the course curved around their homes. There were water stations every mile, but, she said, drinking water would have made her feel ill and she dumped it on her head.

She finished in 59 minutes.

“There’s just masses of people,” said Ward. “And it’s fun to run in a big group.”

“I feel great, it was lots of fun,” said Vargo after she crossed the finish line. She said her time was somewhere between 54 and 56 minutes.

“We’re both Maine natives and this is something we’ve been trying to do together for the last five years,” said Vargo.

B2BWindham1-2: From left: Sisters Erica Vargo, 33, of Raymond and Kristal Ward, 35, of Windham finally got a chance last weekend to run the 10th annual Beach to Beacon 10K road race together in Cape Elizabeth.B2BWindham1-2: From left: Sisters Erica Vargo, 33, of Raymond and Kristal Ward, 35, of Windham finally got a chance last weekend to run the 10th annual Beach to Beacon 10K road race together in Cape Elizabeth.


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