Race Recap: 2013 Beach to Beacon 10k

Beach to Beacon 10kBack in March, I set my alarm to register for the 2013 Beach to Beacon 10k.  This was the first year that Jake and I made it into the race and boy was it worth the nerve-wracking efforts of registration!  This race brings together runners of all paces from  around the world.  Joan Benoit Samuelson, the race founder and Olympian, noted that “I’ve always wanted to create a race that brings runners to some of my most favorite training grounds, so that they can enjoy the same beautiful environment, sense of community and rich history that has played such an important role in my life.”  Beach to Beacon was an amazing race and there is no doubt that it is due to Joan’s devotion to the sport.Beach to Beacon Bib

We have family in Freeport so it was the perfect opportunity to sneak up to Maine for a weekend getaway.  Jake and I woke up around 5am and made the hour drive to the Cape Elizabeth High School satellite parking area.  Since we made it there by 6:30am, there were no lines for the school buses.  We hopped on and made our way to the starting area.  At the start, there were plenty of porta potties, water, bananas, and coffee to keep runners happy.  Good thing, because with the 8am start time, there was a lot of waiting around to be done.Farm Start Beach to Beacon

My friend, Kara, showed up shortly after and we did our best to make the time pass.  Kara and I talked about our goals for the race.  We were both having issues (my knees and her shins) so we decided to take it easy at first.  I wanted to try and treat the race like a progression run.  Kara and I agreed that we went out too fast at the L.L.Bean 10k a couple weeks earlier.  Between that and the heat, I think that is why I fizzled.  I really wanted to stick to my plan this race and push the pace faster and faster with each mile as long as my legs felt good.  I know Kara is speedy so we also agreed that if one of us felt good enough to push ahead without the other that was okay too.  Honestly, she is such a great pacer and I wish she was around for all my races!  Someone convince her to run MCM! LOL

Start – Mile 1 (8:49):  It was a perfectly chilly morning and finally around 8:05am, the race started!  The race starts off near Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  It’s a bit of a descent for the first mile so it was hard to not go out faster than I wanted!  I thought we did a great job of staying conservative in Mile 1 and the congestion of the race certainly helped hold us back.

Mile 1 – 2 (8:42):  We ran through the Kettle Cove area where there was a lot of town support.  We then turned off on to Old Ocean House Road.  My knee was starting to loosen up a little around this point and I was confident that we could continue to slowly drop the pace.

Mile 2 – 3 (8:31):  Just around the half way point of the race, we ran by the Town Hall and under an arch created by two fire trucks holding an enormous American flag.  This was one of my favorite parts of the race despite the start of the rain.  And, as we made our way through the 5k point, I couldn’t help but think of the elites that would soon to be crossing the finish line.

Mile 3 – 4 (8:12):  After leaving town, we ran along Shore Road.  At this point, I felt good and I knew we had dropped the pace a little bit more.  We both wanted to PR and since Kara’s PR was a bit faster than mine, I knew we had to push if we wanted it.  Good thing there was a pretty solid decline through Mile 4.

Mile 4- 5 (7:58):  The pond cove area was breathtaking.  After lots and lots of trees, the roadway finally opened up to Casco Bay and it was just gorgeous.  And the downhills through Mile 5 didn’t hurt the pace either!

Mile 5 – 6 (8:12):  I was warned about the hills near the final mile of the race.  That is part of the reason I wanted to make sure that I took it slower at the beginning of the race.  I do have a thing for going out too fast.  I guess I would consider the course to have rolling hills throughout but these inclines did take a little bit of wind out of my sails.

Mile 6 – 6.25 (6:23):  Turning into the Fort Williams was pretty awesome.  There were tons of spectators lining the roadways bringing you into the finish.  I heard my name tons of times as I made the push to the finish (Love having my name on my bib!).  The finish was like none other – the view of the Portland Head Light and the grassy finish line offered a unique and inviting end to the race.

I was really, really happy when I crossed the finish.  This PR felt different than others.  I ran the race I wanted and that made all the difference.

Chip Time:  51:55
Pace:  8:22

Lucky Lady Bug

I think I had a little luck because of this little lady!

Finish Flag

Beautiful flag at the end of the finisher’s chute.

Finish B2B

View of the finish line from the flag.

Finish B2B

Kara! Best race partner!

After we finished, we walked around and took some pictures.  The scenery was amazing!  Plus, Beach to Beacon did an excellent job of providing lots of food, drinks, and a positive post race atmosphere.  My only quip with the event was the LONG bus lines to get back to our car.  The whole point to point race gets in the way of minimizing travel time to and from the race.  And, once we got in our car, there was a ton of traffic to get back home.

Lisa and the Head Lamp

Portland Head Lamp



Have you ever run the Beach to Beacon 10k?  Were you a spectator?  What were your impressions?



  1. That looks like a beautiful race Lis! Great job, you flew through those miles!!

  2. Nice job! It looks like a beautiful race! I've only been to Maine once but would love go to back and run there if I could.

    • Lisa_Cupcake says:

      Thank you! It's one of my favorite places to run. We have family that lives in ME and one of my favorite things to do is get out and run while we are there.

  3. Congrats Lisa, You ran a great race! The scenery is beautiful in Maine and you are lucky to have family that you can visit there. I would love to run that race someday!

    • Lisa_Cupcake says:

      Thank you, Pam! You and Christine should make a weekend of it next summer. It is such a beautiful area and I am so thankful that we get the opportunity to spend lots of time up there!

  4. That looks amazing!! so beautiful. And GREAT job on the PR!!
    My recent post Play Time is Over!

  5. What a beautiful race! Congratulations on an amazing PR, too!

  6. Congratulations on the PR. It sounds like you ran a really smart race, and had fun while you were at it too! Awesome!

    I have never been to Maine, but it is on my list of places to visit. It looks beautiful!
    My recent post Tri for Fun Sprint Triathlon: Race Recap

    • Lisa_Cupcake says:

      I love Maine. My hubby and I talk about retiring there! Yes, smart race = happy girl! Next up, THE BIG ONE!

  7. Jessica Creedon says:

    I am reading this as I am setting my alarm and getting my credit card all set out next to my computer! Beach to Beacon 2014 registration is tomorrow! I hope I get in again and I hope you get in if you are hoping to do it again!


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  2. […] Maine and the execution of this race is pretty darn close to flawless.  You can read my recaps here and here.  Plus, in good news, the lottery opens on March […]

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