They all expected the worst.

From the runners, who expected to wake up Saturday morning to either rain or humidity, to the organizers, who thought, surely, after last year’s near perfection, there would be some major gaffe.

But no. The second running of the Peoples Beach to Beacon 10K road race went better than anyone could have expected, better than anyone could have hoped for, better, dare say, than the first running.

“I didn’t think it was possible that we could do better than last year, ” said Dave McGillivray, the race director. “But look. The weather was perfect again. It might have even been a little less humid than last year. And the race was better. We’ll take this.”

The event was almost too good to be true. From the crystal clear weather – again – to the postcard-perfect view of Casco Bay, to what race organizers like to call “the little things.” There were no public address problems, no pileups at the finish line, no major injuries or illnesses reported.

The runners, hailing from more than a dozen countries and 47 states, put on a thrilling show for the thousands of fans who lined the 6.2-mile route along Cape Elizabeth’s coastline and crowded into Fort Williams Park for the finish.

Khalid Khannouchi, a Moroccan national trying to gain U.S. citizenship, won the men’s race with a course record time of 27:48 – 31 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Joseph Kimani. The two were shoulder-to-shoulder with a little over a mile remaining.

Khannouchi began the race by sprinting through the green and white balloon arch at the starting line on shaded Route 77, near Crescent Beach. Behind him were well over 3,000 more runners.

Catherine Ndereba of Kenya successfully defended her Beach to Beacon title, once again winning with an all-out sprint in the final meters. She ran the course in 32:05, 10 seconds faster than a year ago and a second faster than fellow countrywoman Teresa Wanjiku.

– From the Aug. 8, 1999 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram

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