North Yarmouth native and former Greely High standout Ben True will return to Maine’s biggest road race next month.

Now 28 and running professionally, True plans to compete for the overall title at the 17th edition of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K road race in Cape Elizabeth on Aug. 2.

“He certainly is more than capable,” said Larry Barthlow, the race’s elite athlete coordinator, in a prepared statement. “But there are also a handful of international runners who will have something to say about that. We’re set up for another great race day.”

Joining True in the men’s field are reigning Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi and defending B2B champ Micah Kogo of Kenya. The women’s field includes defending champ Joyce Chepkirui and Olympic medalist Shalane Flanagan, a 33-year-old native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who ran B2B while still in high school.

Flanagan placed fourth in the 2013 Boston Marathon and appeared on the CBS television show “60 Minutes” prior to the 2014 race, talking about the bombings and her anger “that someone would ruin … what is such a celebratory day and a historical moment with that kind of action.”

In April, Flanagan led Boston for 19 miles before dropping back to seventh in a time (2:22:02) that was the fastest by an American woman in the 118-year history of the race, and third anywhere behind Deena Kastor and B2B founder Joan Benoit Samuelson.


Samuelson, reached by phone Monday afternoon, said she loves to get even more top Americans in the field, considering this is a year without Olympics or World Championships.

“There are people who want to be part of it because they realize it will be a showcase of American runners,” she said. “There are huge bragging rights that will come with a victory here.”

One name Samuelson mentioned is Molly Huddle, a Rhode Island native and 10-time All-American at Notre Dame who won the International Women’s Mile in 4:26 Friday in Dublin, Ireland, and the U.S. Outdoor 5,000-meter title in late June in 15:01.

True last ran in Cape Elizabeth in 2009, when he set the Maine resident record of 29:10 and placed 10th overall. He now lives and trains in New Hampshire and won the Payton Jordan Invitational 5K in California in early May in 13:02.

“I think it would be huge for him to win in his home state, his home county,” Samuelson said. “It’ll be hard to cheer against Meb, but I’d love to see Ben win.”

Others in the men’s field are Stanley Biwott (the 2012 B2B champion), Patrick Makau (former marathon world record holder at 2:03:38) and Emmanuel Bett of Kenya. Other top Americans are Fernando Cabada, Chris Solinsky, Taylor Gilland and Michael Eaton.


Gemma Steel of Great Britain, the 2013 B2B women’s runner-up, plans to return, as does Emily Chebet of Kenya, Diane Nukuri-Johnson of Burundi and former Dartmouth and Oregon runner Alexi Pappas, who made her pro debut in Cape Elizabeth last August.

Ethiopians Tadelech Bekele and Aselefech Meriga are also expected to compete for the title. Top American women include Desiree Linden, Megan Hogan, Kate DeCamillo, Blake Russell, Frances Koons and Jen Rhines.

A field of 6,200 runners is expected at this year’s race. The field filled online in less than five minutes when registration opened in March. The designated charity is Rippleffect, a Portland-based youth and community development organization leading outdoor adventure programs.


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