What a morning it was in Cape Elizabeth, Maine for the 19th running of the TD Beach to Beacon 10k! Not only did the storms come in the form of runners flooding the roads, but some milestones were reached as well. On that note, this weekend’s Beach to Beacon was one to remember.
On the women’s side, a course record was broken in quite the impressive fashion. After opening the race in a pedestrian 10’21 first two miles via 5’18, 5’03, Kenyan sensation Mary Keitany (Adidas) took off and took command. The next top contenders were able to hold onto Keitany’s massive pace drop until about the 5k mark, then she hammered the rest of the race solo, dazzling the crowd on the course. In the end, Keitany broke the tape in 30’45.0, a 55 second gap on 2015 champion Wude Ayalew. Keitany’s 30 minute, 45 second traversal broke the previous course record of 30’59, set by Kenya’s Lineth Chepkurui in 2010. The third honors went to Caroline Chepkoech-Kipki a 22-year old rising star from Kenya. Providence alum Emily Sisson (New Balance) grabbed the top spot for Americans with a 4th overall finish in 32’20, nipping Aliphine Tuliamuk of Santa Fe, NM by a mere four seconds.
The men’s race also began as a tactical affair. A pack of 20+ athletes were bunched up through the mile in 4’51, then two-time Olympic Marathoner Dathan Ritzenhein started applying the pressure, dropping off the runners who settled into that 4’50 rhythm and dragging all the possible contenders along with him. After a 2nd mile of 4’37 and a 3rd mile of 4’28, things were picking up and it was down to Ritzenhein, Ben True (Saucony), 22-year old Kenyan William Sitonik, 2015 BAA Distance Medley Champ Daniel Salel, Kenyan standout Micah Kogo, and 2x NCAA D1 Champ Eric Jenkins (Nike ORPJT). The miles continued to clip off at that 4’2x rate, negative splitting from the conservative effort set from the gun. By the 4th mile, Sitonik dropped a surge that opened a quick 20 meters on the rest of the field, but everyone was still in tact. Out of the entire Men’s Elite field, William Sitonik held the quickest 10k PR via 26’54.66, but that was set on the track and this was the first road race of his professional career. Sitonik seemed to be slowly breaking the rest of the field, but that rookie experience showed as he ran wide on a turn a little before the 5 mile mark and all of a sudden, Ritz and True were starting to close in as they ran the tangents. True and Ritz both caught Sitonik prior to the 6 mile mark. True found one last gear late in the race and it was plenty good to break things open, securing a victory in 28’16.3. Never before has an American man took home the Beach to Beacon title until Ben True won the race today. And to put the icing on the cake for the Americans, Dathan Ritzenhein ran away with the runner up spot just 11 seconds back in 28’27.3. The Kenyan sensation William Sitonik grabbed a solid third in his road racing debut, proving he’s got some legitimate potential for the future.
As a bonus, legion representatives were on site to witness the event. Check out a first-hand video from the men’s press truck. Here we can see the progression of the race from the gun till the 5 mile mark, then the epic finish.
Overall results courtesy of Granite State Race Services