Hello my friends! I’m back in DC after a great weekend up in Portland, Maine with Cabot as part of their Cabot Fit Team. I have a lot of fun adventures to share from the weekend but first I wanted to start with the #1 reason why we were there: to run the famous Beach to Beacon 10k on Saturday morning!
Cabot hooked us up with bibs for the race as part of the weekend experience with them to share the love for health and wellness. Beach to Beacon is a crazy popular race (they let 6,000 people in and this year it sold out in 4 minutes), so I was extremely excited to have the chance to run it!
In addition to boasting a gorgeous finish line area (more on that later), this race is also really cool because it’s full of elite runners! About 30 elite runners from around the world were in attendance, including quite a few Olympians. This was the 16th annual race; it was founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson, who is also an Olympian/elite runner.
The other Cabot Fit Team members and I attended the race press conference the day before the race and were all lucky enough to meet some of the inspiring athletes in attendance. Here I am with Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, and Deena Kastor!
As a runner, it was a BIG honor to meet such inspiring athletes from the running world. I can’t even fathom how fast these people run. They were all really nice, too!
Our team was up bright and early on Saturday morning and at the race start with plenty of time to spare. Clearly, we used that time to take photos.
After a couple trips to the porta potties (told you we had plenty of time! although the race would have benefitted from a LOT more porta potties – the lines were insane), we all lined up and got ready to go. Everyone split up and headed to the pace area of their choice; I settled in just before the 8:00 minute mile area.
Shortly after and we were off!
My previous 10k PR (personal record) of 49:43 (8:00 min/mile pace) was set last fall at the Clarendon Day 10k that I ran the morning of my bachelorette. Given that I just did a 7:54 minute/mile pace half marathon in April (the Nike Women’s Half Marathon), I was hoping that I’d be able to set a new PR in Maine. I settled in to a speedy but comfortable pace, knowing that there would be some hills later on in the race and that I might want a little time in the bank to spare.
- Mile 1: 7:50
- Mile 2: 7:59
- Mile 3: 7:52
I haven’t been working much on speed lately given that it’s been so hot and I’m marathon training and doing slower, longer runs, so I was happy that I was able to maintain that pace. It felt hard but not totally insane. I made it my mission to keep it up!
Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy and rainy during the race so I didn’t get as many photos as usual, but I loved this American flag arch that we ran under – it was held up by two fire truck ladders!
We learned at the press conference that the race director for Beach to Beacon is also the Boston Marathon race director. He said some very moving words about what happened in Boston this year, and on Saturday the race start announcement was given by a woman who was injured at the starting line in Boston. As a result, there was a lot of Boston love out on the race course, too, which was great to see.
The race went by REALLY quickly. Around the halfway point, it started raining, so I put away my camera, but by the time we neared the end of the course the skies cleared a little and the crowds along the sidelines cheering thickened, which was great.
It’s amazing how much of a difference crowd support and music make for me in races. I was so appreciative of everyone who came out to cheer us on in the rain! Any time we ran past a group cheering, or even better, someone blasting music outside their house, I felt myself pick up the pace and smile. What’s your favorite music to hear while running? I love rap and anything upbeat – a few favorites of mine are the Rocky theme song, the Fall Out Boy Song "Light Em Up," "Black and Yellow" by Wiz Khalifa, and "Stronger" by Kanye West is great, too.
Mile 4: 7:47
Mile 5: 7:40
Mile 6: 8:02
I was pleased I was able to keep up my pace for the hilly final mile! I just kept telling myself to keep it up, and before I knew it, we were approaching the finish area.
Blurry action shot of my sprint to the finish! My pace for the last 0.2 miles was 6:27 – sweet!
I was really excited to see a shiny new PR on my watch.
My official time was 48:54, for an average pace of 7:53. Yay!
Go Cabot Fit Team!
The race finished right by the beautiful Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, which was completed in 1791 and is the oldest lighthouse in all of Maine. Beautiful!
After finishing, Monica, Gina, and I headed closer to the lighthouse to do a little sightseeing.
Guess who ran by doing his cool down run while we were taking photos? Meb, one of the elite runners/Olympians at the race! I can’t even say enough about how nice of a guy he was. He was really friendly when we met him at the press conference, chatting away and saying he’d love to talk to us more later when he was pulled away, and this time he actually stopped running and was like “Hey again, ladies! Want to get another picture?” I was already inspired by him before I met him, but after seeing how nice he was I’m now pretty much his #1 fan.
What a great race! Thanks again to Cabot for having me, and a big congrats to all my fellow Cabot Fit Team members for rocking the race, too. I was really proud of all of us! In addition to the group of bloggers I listed in the photo above, we were also joined by Sara from Cabot (bottom left) and Becky and Leah (and her boyfriend Michael) who are part of one of Cabot’s family farms. We toured their farm on Friday – more on that to come!
I’ll be back tomorrow to share the rest of our adventures. Until then, my friends – have a great night!
Did anyone else race over the weekend? How’d it go?