Conquering the Maine Hills

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Two years ago, Alexi Pappas made her 10km race debut at the Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  Previously known as a steeplechaser, she had a great debut as she finished 10th overall and 2nd American woman in a time of 32:54.6 and realized that road races are just a great party, the 10km distance is not all that bad, and she can compete with some of the best athletes on the planet (also, having a lot of Dartmouth support and grabbing some pre-race advice from race founder and racing legend Joan Benoit Samuelson didn’t hurt either).  She raced here last year, improving both her time  to 32:32 as she was 7th overall (3rd American woman).

On Saturday though, Pappas had to battle with Princeton graduate Liz Costello in the final 1200m for the title of top American finisher.  Pappas, Costello, and USA XC champ Laura Thweatt ran most of the race together before Costello began to surge with 1200m to go, dropping Thweatt.  Pappas hung on and in the final 100m, she gave a final kick that Costello could not respond.  Pappas finished ahead of Costello by 0.7 seconds as the 5th overall finisher and top American woman in 32:56.9, 0.4 seconds  behind 4th place finisher Gemma Steel of Great Britain.   Costello finished 6th overall in 32:57.6.  The race was won by Ethiopia’s Wude Ayalew in 31:55.

Will Geoghegan, like Pappas, has raced here many times since this race is in his own backyard (in 2014, he won the title of “Top Maine finisher” with his 11th place finish).  This year, he broke into the top 10 for the first time as he finished 8th overall and fourth American man in 29:47.6.  Geoghegan was with the front pack for the first 2-miles of the race.  When some of the top international talent started to pull away by the 3-miles, Geoghegan hung back with some of the other top American runners where he helped co-lead the main chase pack with Aaron Braun and Abdi Abdirahman throughout the race.  Braun and Abdirahman finished 6th and 7th overall, respectively.  The race was won by Kenya’s Stephen Koskei Kibet in 28:28.2, while the top American was Geoghegan’s Oregon teammate, Eric Jenkins, in 28:50.0 (4th overall).  Due to Geoghegan residing and training now in Oregon, he was no longer eligible for the “Top Maine finisher” competition.

Full results are available here. Letsrun was able to grab some interviews for their race recap, which you can view and read here.  Ivy results are available below:

Geoghegan – 29:48, 8th overall (4th American man)

Ethan Shaw – 30:06, 11th overall

Maksim Korolev – 31:12, 17th overall

Pappas – 32:56.9, 36th overall (5th woman, top American woman)

Costello – 32:57.6, 37th overall (6th woman, 2nd American woman)

Will Shafer – 34:50, 69th overall

Kristin Barry – 37:22.4, 149th overall (2nd Master woman)

photo from CentralMaine.com Patrick Ouellette

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