The day started somber and gray, with 10 seconds of respectful silence to remember victims of the April 15 bomb blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

It ended, for the first time in the 16-year history of the Beach to Beacon 10K road race, amid raindrops inside Fort Williams Park. Not for every finisher, mind you.

Men’s winner Micah Kogo of Kenya got wet at Pond Cove but beat the sprinkles to the break tape in 28 minutes, 3.2 seconds, his second victory in three years.

Women’s winner Joyce Chepkirui held off a surprising and determined Gemma Steel of Great Britain for a 12-second victory in 31:23.2.

“There just seemed to be renewed energy here this year,” said the race founder, Joan Benoit Samuelson, the Olympic champion and Cape Elizabeth native.

“It’s always a great event but it just seemed like a lot of people were so happy to be here. I saw a lot of first-time runners, a lot of legacy runners (who have run all 16 Beach to Beacons) and a lot of families running together.”


Veazie native Riley Masters, who returned last week from his first professional track races in Europe without the racing gear emblazoned with his sponsor’s name, tugged at the MAINE on the Maine Track Club singlet he purchased for $20 at Friday’s prerace expo just before crossing the line as the Maine men’s champ in 30:19.3, good for 15th overall.

“Home-state pride,” Masters, 23, said of his gesture. “There’s a lot of pride for winning this.”

Erica Jesseman of Scarborough collapsed and sat on the grass for several minutes after a finishing sprint that wound up six-tenths of a second shy of a course record in the Maine women’s category. Still, she won her first Beach to Beacon title in 34:17.6.

The sun finally began to break through during the awards ceremony on the top of a hill overlooking the lighthouse. Temperatures that began in the low 60s climbed barely to 70 by the time the last of the 6,244 finishers completed their journey.

– From the Aug. 4, 2013 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram

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