A large contingent of legacy runners, those who have participated in every TD Beach to Beacon 10K since its inception, gather at the starting line prior to Saturday’s race. (Photo courtesy of Brent Doscher)

CAPE ELIZABETH — Nearly 6,500 runners coompleted the TD Beach to Beacon 10K on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Alex Korio placed first at 27 minutes and 34 seconds, the second-best finish in Beach to Beacon history, and Joyciline Jepkosgei placed first in the women’s race, at 31 minutes, 5 seconds.

After each crossed the line, they were tracked by hawk-eyed Cynthia and Steven Gray of Cape Elizabeth, who are both responsible for escorting elite runners to the media tent after they place first.

“From the moment she crosses the finish line, I trail after her, make sure she’s rested, and get her to the interviews once she’s ready,” Cynthia Gray said. “Steve typically does the same thing for the male elite runner.”

Steven and Cynthia Gray have been volunteering at the Beach to Beacon since 2006. They moved to Cape Elizabeth in July 2005, and live adjacent to Cape Elizabeth.

“We watched the race from our road, not really understanding what was going on,” Steven Gray said. The enthusiasm of the runners and people watching was overwhelming. “We said, ‘Let’s volunteer next year,’ and we have been ever since.”

The pair started off as race marshals, and have been in the media tent for ten years.

“We love living here, and being a part of the race is a no brainer,” Cynthia Gray said.

She said that the best part of the race isn’t watching elite runners zip over the finish line, though that part is amazing, too.

“It’s watching the expressions of the rest after they accomplish their goal,” she said. “Every person who enters Beach to Beacon has their own special reason for doing so. Seeing their triumphant, sweaty faces glow with achievement makes my heart sing.”

Bruce Rayner is the founder and chief green officer of Athletes for a Fit Planet, the organization responsible for handling Beach to Beacon’s waste in an eco-friendly and sustainable fashion and reducing its carbon footprint.

“This year, we had a bike valet, provided by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine,” Rayner said. “We had close to 400 bikes on site.”

Rayner moved with his family to Cape Elizabeth from Boston two years ago. He’s been working with the race since 2009, and each year, he said, it gets a little better.

TD Bank Beneficiary Liaison Catherine Adams grew up in Cape Elizabeth. She oversees TD corporate sponsorship and has been involved in Beach to Beacon for 13 years.

“Very rarely in my industry do I get to see the results of our sponsorship firsthand, from beginning to end,” Adams said. She said Beach to Beacon is her favorite weekend of the year.

“It unites the community. All around town you see love, reunions, weddings.”

The race is part of the town’s identity, Rayner said.

“The residents here embraced it. I live on a quiet country road here in Cape, and I see more runners and cyclists on the road than I do vehicles. There’s a big contingent of Cape and local runners.”

Evelyn Waugh can be reached at [email protected] or 780- 9026.

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