Kelly the Culinarian: Race Recap: Beach to Beacon 10K with #CabotFit

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Race Recap: Beach to Beacon 10K with #CabotFit

Six-Word Recap: Hot, hilly but almost a PR.

First thing's first: I am so very grateful for this experience. For the second year running (#DadJokes), Cabot Creamery chose me as a member of its #CabotFit team, which is a part of the organization's commitment to a life of balance and fitness. The company is all about the community, investing in its farmers, volunteers and ambassadors. Additionally, through this ongoing partnership, I was able to run one of the most coveted and highly sought after road races in the country, the Beach to Beacon 10K. There's a reason the population of Portland, Maine, swells this weekend as 6,000 runners, including some of the world's fastest elite athletes, descend upon the town. This race is top-notch.

I have so much to detail about the weekend, but for the sake of expediency, let's start with the race. I went to bed the night before the race shortly after watching the sunset and moonrise over Higgins Beach. We stayed just up the block, so it was an easy walk that calmed my nerves before race morning.

We stayed at the Higgins Beach Inn, where the staff got up extra early to give us access to the kitchen. I had a toasted bagel with peanut butter, banana and salt. I am nothing if not predictable.

#FlatRunner: La Isla bra, asics shorts, Cabot shirt, #FeelNewton Fate shoes, Garmin 910X

Because of our superb semi-professional sherpa and definitely going for sainthood-status photographer Regan, we were deposited at the start line a full 90 before kick off. There were lots of tables with fluids and a ton of port o potties. We were able to walk right up to the start line before milling around and getting into our corrals.

"Before" picture of #CabotFit at the Higgins Beach Inn
I had no big hopes for the day. I've been racing a lot and not focusing on speed in particular, plus I wanted to have fun and savor the moments. I didn't even look up my 10K PR so I didn't feel pressured. When the crowd took off, it was incredible.

The Beach to Beacon 10K attracts elite runners from around the world as well as locals for a race that brings out the entire community. It's overwhelming and incredible to run a race where all you can see in front of you is a mass of people flanked entirely by cheering strangers. The energy is electric, which is great, because I needed it. The first two miles are fairly sunny and by 8 a.m., it was humid and hot hot hot. I wished I would have wore a hat.

My splits were so funny - I was averaging right below 8-minute miles until I hit mile 5. There were a few hills, which shouldn't have been as challenging as they were, but I was feeling it for real. I stopped taking pictures, I stopped shuffling my music and just concentrated on not walking. After that mile, you start to enter the maze that is the finisher's shoot. I busted out a 7:05 average for the last .3 mile because you can hear and see the finish line, but you have to book up a few last winding hills and sharp turns before reaching it.

Runners walk a solid half mile uphill to the post-race party, which was ah-mazingly large. It reminded me of the Chicago Marathon in terms of the length of the shoot, as well as the scope of the party. There were dogs and kids and bikes and people everywhere - it was a village unto itself.

Beach to Beacon 10K post-race party
Plus, the view from the finisher's party is unparalleled. They don't make them like this in Illinois.

Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse
The post-race party includes a well-stocked food tent with bagels, fruit, Greek yogurt, cheese, chocolate milk, blueberries, crackers and Cliff bars. They were also handing out locally made root beer and all sorts of prizes and giveaways. I definitely went trick or treating before exchanging my T-shirt.

It was only after we took the "after" photo as a team, I collected all my stuff and headed back to the van that I looked up my best time for the 10K and realized a new record was within my grasp. Had my shoe not come untied in mile two, I'd be writing a slightly different blog post. But hey, that means if I'm back next year, I can CRUSH my PR.

#CabotFit Team post Beach to Beacon 10K
Time: 49:14 (PR: 49:06 set in 2013)
Pros: So many - personalized bibs, a very well-coordinated race, plenty of port o potties, a rocking post-race party, lots of hydration and the type of crowd support you just don't see at many races
Cons: I wish the course had more vistas and shade, but hey, there's not a ton to complain about
Would I do this race again? If the Cabot folks would have me, these new Newetons are ready to barrel up the course again in 2016.


CabotRD said...

I'm SO glad you were with us again this year Kelly. You bring an amazing energy, excitement and ease to the weekend! As always, I'm so proud of you and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Can't wait to keep watching you run with Speed, Smiles and Safety :)

Deanna - Teaspoon of Spice said...

OK so you are fast on the course and speedy fast on getting a recap post up! So fun to read and reminisce about such a fab race and weekend. And such a treat to get to hang and run with you again this year in New England - seeing you crush it once again!

Maggie W said...

Looks like a gorgeous race! Congrats on your stellar time!

Zenaida Arroyo said...

Congrats Kelly on a great race! I've heard so many great things about it. Did you meet Joan Benoit Samuelson?

KellytheCulinarian said...

I did not, but she was there and I admired her from afar!

Anonymous said...

Awesome job on conquering the hills and heat! Too bad I wasn't able to meet you in person! This was my 4th year running Beach2Beacon:)

Erica A said...

Great job, Kelly! I would love to run that race some day. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos so I could live vicariously!