The rain never showed up and the humidity faded. The fourth annual Peoples Beach to Beacon 10K began like the previous ones – thousands of runners lined up on Route 77 ready to begin another Vacationland August day with a 6.2-mile run. But there were surprises, with unexpected runners named Evans, Christine and Andy collecting championships and first-place checks.

And there was more of the same, namely Catherine Ndereba of Kenya.

Ndereba, 29, won her fourth consecutive Beach to Beacon women’s title with a time of 31 minutes, 34 seconds, beating her own course-record time by 31 seconds. Lornah Kiplagat finished two seconds behind.

The crowd cheered on Ndereba and others, like 23-year-old Evans Rutto, who outkicked his fellow, but elder, Kenyans to win the men’s race in 28:30.

Both Ndereba and Rutto accepted $7,500 in prize money. Andy Spaulding (31:29) of Freeport and Christine Snow-Reaser (36:13) of Dayton will cash $1,000 checks, having each won the Maine-only divisions for the first time.

But the winners were only part of the 3,718-runner throng that finished the race. The number was a record as Cape Elizabeth neighborhoods again welcomed the world-class event.

Five hundred children – the limit – took part in the kids’ run as parents and a few racing legends looked on, including (Joan Benoit) Samuelson and Sir Roger Bannister. Bannister, 72, famous for running the first sub-4-minute mile in 1954, was a special guest of the race this year.

– From the Aug. 5, 2001 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram