This is one of Maine's foremost races, and definitely one of the most popular. The race takes place in Cape Elizabeth Maine, which is a beautiful coastal town.
This race was founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson herself! She was very active at the race yesterday and spent a fair amount of her time talking with people and taking pictures. Here she is posing with some of our local Mainely Running girls.
I was lucky enough to win a bib through TD Bank. On the day of registration I wavered, not knowing if I wanted to commit or not, and then registration sold out in 5 mins. When TD Bank put 3 bibs up for grabs on facebook, I submitted my name and was lucky enough to be chosen! That sealed my fate!
Hubby and I spent the night in Portland which is about 20 mins from Cape Elizabeth. I had him drop me off at the high school, which is where I got on a bus to the start line. Since we were there early, at 6am, there wasn't too much commotion going on yet. I had been warned by friends that with over 6000 runners it gets crazy. I wandered around a bit, and watched for people I might know. Eventually I spotted my friend Carrie and I had someone to chat with until it was time to line up.
I put myself in what I thought would be the 11min pace section. I didn't want to be way in the back, but I didn't want to get trampled on either. Turns out, it was the perfect place to be. I had my Garmin set for run/walk intervals of 7/2. In my mind however, I had decided that I was going to run most of this race...but common sense told me to stick to the plan that my coach Caleb Masland had given me, so that I wouldn't burn out too quickly. Well I kind of stuck to the plan.. I ran a bit more than my 7 min intervals and walked less. This was my very first big race and I was nervous for a bit before, but once we got lined up I was excited and ready to go. The crowds were great! Lots of encouragement, which was so helpful. Lots of smiles and tons of people playing music to keep us entertained as we ran.
I purposely did not eat much before the race. I had a banana and a bottle of water with Tailwind in it. I have been having colon issues when running, so my plan was to not eat in the a.m. and take 4 Immodium before the race. I passed on the water stops until mile 3. I think I got more on my shirt than in my mouth as I was walking. I felt pretty good until mile 5. I stopped to get another drink and couldn't seem to get my eyes to focus at that point. I was feeling like I was going to face plant right there in the middle of the road, so I slowed down to a shuffle and just slogged along. When I saw a video this morning of me at mile 5, I was shocked at how bad I looked! I think I am going to have to plan better for my next race. Eating before and during might need to be the plan. Anyway.. I got through mile 5 and then the spectators kept saying how the downhill was coming and it was going to get easier.. so that pumped me up a bit. I tried to keep focused on the crowds and the beautiful houses and scenery... anything to keep me moving. I struggled hard... but I kept moving. There was one young woman that I ran beside for almost all of the race. She gave me a focus to keep up with.
When I finally reached mile 6, I got my second wind, and started to look for my husband who had told me he was around the gate area. We had to run through a loooong series of gates and up a hill and finished on the grass over by the lighthouse. I spotted him and tried to smile the best I could. It was awesome to finally cross that finish line and be done. My first Beach to Beacon was done!