Another strong field will be on hand for the 21st Beach to Beacon 10K, to be contested Saturday in Cape Elizabeth.

Former Greely High School standout Ben True, the 2016 men’s champion and 2017 runner-up, is one of the favorites this summer.

The countdown is on for yet another exciting TD Beach to Beacon 10K.

Last year, 6,885 runners from 18 countries, 43 states and more than 270 Maine cities and towns participated.

This summer, the brainchild of 1984 Olympic women’s marathon champion Joan Benoit Samuelson (who plans to run this year) will boast a field of over 6,500 runners (nearly triple the original field of 2,400). The field will be led by 2016 men’s champion Ben True, the one-time Greely High standout who was runner-up in 2017, and Olympian Molly Huddle, the American record-holder at 10,000 meters and the half marathon who is making her first appearance in the race.

The race meanders 6.2 miles from its start on Route 77 near Crescent Beach State Park to its finish at Fort Williams, in the shadow of the famed Portland Head Light. 

True, who won the 2016 race with a time of 28 minutes and 16 seconds and improved his time by 20 seconds in last year’s runner-up showing, is a favorite to win his second title, but he’ll be pushed by the likes of Jake Robertson, the winner of the Houston half-marathon, Lopez Lamong, a two-time Olympian, and Chris Derrick, 27, a three-time USATF Cross Country champion, among many others.

On the women’s side, Huddle, a resident of Providence, Rhode Island, is the favorite. She’ll get competition from Kenyan Caroline Chepkoech, Ethiopian Boze Diriba, Gwen Jorgensen and American Emily Sisson, among others.

Last year’s champions, Kenyans Stephen Kosgei Kibet and Mary Keitany, aren’t competing this summer.

The 2018 race beneficiary is WinterKids, a nonprofit organization that helps children develop healthy lifelong habits through education and fun, outdoor winter activity.

Over $90,000 in prize money is up for grabs.

There will also be a high school mile and a children’s 1K race Friday at Fort Williams. Freeport’s Lily Horne will defend her girls’ title, while Mt. Ararat High School standout Lisandro Berry-Gaviria is the boys’ favorite. Greely’s Carolyn Todd is another top female to watch, while Deering’s Alec Troxell is also in the mix.

The boys’ mile is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth, with the girls’ race to follow at 4:15.