Gorham's Orach takes B2B Maine Men's crown

Jacob Terry of Scarborough, 19, finished first among males 15-19, in a time of 33:00.Staff photo by Adam Birt 

The Beach to Beacon 10K – one of the world’s premier road races – unfolded for the 19th time in Cape Elizabeth on Saturday, Aug. 6, with Maine native Ben True winning the men’s title and Kenya’s Mary Keitany winning the women’s.

True, 30, became the first American to ever win the Beach to Beacon. The North Yarmouth native, who now lives in West Lebanon, N.H., faced stiff competition from Dathan Ritzenhein of Belmont, Mich., and William Malel Sitonik, Daniel Salel and Micah Kogo, all of Kenya.

“You just try to stay on it and keep grinding it out and not relax at all and just keep that foot on the gas pedal,” True said of vying with such a talented field of runners. “You just hope that one of you guys are going to falter first and hopefully it’s not you.”

“Possibly,” said True, asked if his experience running road races, and in particular the B2B, provided an advantage. “But I always think running is running, competition is competition; the major difference between a road race and a track race is a track race is really all rhythm. On the roads, with the uphills, downhills and turns, it’s much more broken-up, and you have to keep changing your pace. If you’re not used to changing your pace and that effort, I guess it could wear on you a little bit more.”

Gorham’s Jesse Orach took the Maine Men’s crown, while Portland’s Michelle Lilienthal won the Maine Women’s division.

Orach, 22, was happy with his victory, and his performance. “It feels pretty good,” he said. “It’s about as close as I’ve run. In college I ran around the same time, 31:30 in college. I’m training for cross-country right now, so it was a good start … I haven’t done any races this summer, so I figured this would be a good thing to try.”

“I wasn’t really expecting to do this well,” Orach said. “It’s the first time I’ve run the Beach to Beacon … (and) I didn’t really start in the front, so I didn’t really know what to expect.”

Orach had only a passing familiarity with the course before setting foot on it, making his victory all the more impressive.

Scarborough’s Erica Jesseman didn’t run her best race, but still managed to claim third among Maine women. “It was okay,” she said of her performance. “It was definitely way slower than I’ve done in a very long time here. I went out conservative.”

“I haven’t been feeling that great for a little while. So I didn’t expect a lot today, I just wanted to come out. I love this race; it’s Joanie’s race,” she said, referring to race founder Joan Benoit Samuelson.

Jesseman has twice won the Maine Women’s title, including in 2015. She expressed gratitude for the mere opportunity to run, despite not performing to her peak. Moreover, she heaped praise on Maine’s other top women, many of whom she counts among her friends.

“I’m happy and I feel blessed that I’m even able to do this…I just feel thankful I’m able to,” she said. “I’m happy for Sheri (Piers) and Michelle (Lilienthal); they’re awesome women.”

Piers, 45, of Falmouth took second among Maine women and won the Maine Masters Women’s division. Piers finished in 35:59.2. Freeport’s Andy Spaulding, also 45, won the Maine Masters Men’s division in a time of 33:47.5.

Cape Elizabeth’s Christina Kouros, 21, won the women’s wheelchair race in a time of 38:19. 48-year-old Tony Nogueira of Glen Ridge, N.J., took the men’s wheelchair title in 22:45.

Jacob Terry of Scarborough, 19, finished first among males 15-19, in a time of 33:00.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Cape Elizabeth’s Liam Simpson took fourth among men 20-24, needing just 32:11 to do so.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Gorham’s Jess Orach won the Maine Men’s division.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Maine native Ben True, who hails from North Yarmouth, became the first American ever to win the Beach to Beacon.

Scarborough’s Erica Jesseman collapsed after finishing and needed medical attention, but got back on her feet soon enough. The effort earned her third place among all Maine women.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Falmouth’s Sheri Piers took second among all Maine women and won the Maine Women Masters’ division.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Portlander Michelle Lilienthal won the Maine Women’s division.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Mary Keitany of Kenya won the women’s side, setting a new race record in the process.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Cape Elizabeth’s Christina Kouros won the women’s wheelchair race. 

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Top Five Men by Gun Time

1. Ben True (30; West Lebanon, N.H.) – 28:16.3

2. Dathan Ritzenhein (33; Belmont, Mich.) – 28:27.3

3. William Malel Sitonik (22, Kenya) – 28:31.6

4. Daniel Salel (25, Kenya) – 28:43.5

5. Micah Kogo (30; Kenya) – 28:57.4

Top Five Women by Gun Time

1. Mary Keitany (34, Kenya) – 30:45.0 (race record)

2. Wude Alayew (29, Ethiopia) – 31:39.8

3. Caroline Chepkoech-Kipki (22, Kenya) – 32:02.8

4. Emily Sisson (24; Providence, R.I.) – 32:20.7

5. Aliphine Tuliamuk (27; Santa Fe, N.M.) -0 32:24.0

Top Five Maine Men by Gun Time

1. Jesse Orach (22, Gorham) – 31:31.2

2. Liam Simpson (20, Cape Elizabeth) – 32:10.1

3. Spencer McElwain (27, Portland) – 32:14.9

4. Justin Tracey (21, New Vineyard) – 32:19.0

5. Robert Gomez (33, Windham) – 32:30.5

Top Five Maine Women by Net Time

1. Michelle Lilienthal (34, Portland) – 34:52.6

2. Sheri Piers (45, Falmouth) – 35:59.2

3. Erica Jesseman (27, Scarborough) – 36:24.6

4. Kristin Barry (42, Scarborough) – 38:06.3

5. Jessica van Binsbergen (31, Portland) – 38:23.0

The top man and top women earned $10,000 apiece for their efforts. The top American man and woman picked up $5,000 each. The Maine men’s and Maine women’s winners, the male and female Masters winners, and the male and female wheelchair champions collected $1,000. Additional purses were on offer for seniors and new course records.

Joan Benoit Samuleson, a Cape Elizabeth native who now resides in Freeport, won the inaugural Women’s Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles in 1984 and founded the Beach to Beacon in 1998. The race is a charity event, and this year bestowed a $30,000 donation on My Place Teen Center, based in Westbrook.

19-year-old Mitchell Morris of Cape Elizabeth finished third among males 15-19 in a time of 33:24.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Freeport’s Andy Spaulding, 45, won the Maine Men Masters’ division in 33:48.

Ben Garcia, 18, of New Gloucester finished in 33:53.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Nearly 7000 runners take part annually in the Beach to Beacon, meaning they stream across the finish line for some time.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Scarborough’s Justin Lerman, 38, finished in 38:40.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

18-year-old Brandon Whitlock of Westbrook crossed the line in 38:24.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

There’s Waldo! Gorhamite Ben Foster, 19, finished in 37:17.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Yarmouth High School standout Luke Laverdiere, 16, finished in 36:38.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Cape Elizabeth’s Pete Bottomley, 54, finished in 35:40.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Nate Priest of Gray, 34, finished in 35:21.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

17-year-old Colin Tardiff of Scarborough, one of the state’s best high school distance runners, completed the Beach to Beacon in 34:36.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Freeporter Chandler Vincent, 18, finished 70th overall and sixth in the male 15-19 division, with a time of 34:31.


Windham’s Robert Hall, 21, finished in 34:25.

Staff photo by Adam Birt 

Top Five Men by Gun Time

1. Ben True (30; West Lebanon, N.H.) – 28:16.3

2. Dathan Ritzenhein (33; Belmont, Mich.) – 28:27.3

3. William Malel Sitonik (22, Kenya) – 28:31.6

4. Daniel Salel (25, Kenya) – 28:43.5

5. Micah Kogo (30; Kenya) – 28:57.4

Top Five Women by Gun Time

1. Mary Keitany (34, Kenya) – 30:45.0 (race record)

2. Wude Alayew (29, Ethiopia) – 31:39.8

3. Caroline Chepkoech-Kipki (22, Kenya) – 32:02.8

4. Emily Sisson (24; Providence, R.I.) – 32:20.7

5. Aliphine Tuliamuk (27; Santa Fe, N.M.) -0 32:24.0

Top Five Maine Men by Gun Time

1. Jesse Orach (22, Gorham) – 31:31.2

2. Liam Simpson (20, Cape Elizabeth) – 32:10.1

3. Spencer McElwain (27, Portland) – 32:14.9

4. Justin Tracey (21, New Vineyard) – 32:19.0

5. Robert Gomez (33, Windham) – 32:30.5

Top Five Maine Women by Net Time

1. Michelle Lilienthal (34, Portland) – 34:52.6

2. Sheri Piers (45, Falmouth) – 35:59.2

3. Erica Jesseman (27, Scarborough) – 36:24.6

4. Kristin Barry (42, Scarborough) – 38:06.3

5. Jessica van Binsbergen (31, Portland) – 38:23.0

The top man and top women earned $10,000 apiece for their efforts. The top American man and woman picked up $5,000 each. The Maine men’s and Maine women’s winners, the male and female Masters winners, and the male and female wheelchair champions collected $1,000. Additional purses were on offer for seniors and new course records.

Joan Benoit Samuleson, a Cape Elizabeth native who now resides in Freeport, won the inaugural Women’s Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles in 1984 and founded the Beach to Beacon in 1998. The race is a charity event, and this year bestowed a $30,000 donation on My Place Teen Center, based in Westbrook.