A Morning in Maine

 

As we’ve traveled across the United States on our quest we have been delighted with the opportunity to see a multitude of varied landscapes.  But we have also enjoyed being unofficial ambassadors for our state of Maine.

Yesterday I checked out of my daily routine and soaked up a beautiful Maine summer day.

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An early morning run in our neck of the woods started the day off perfectly.

Arriving at my favorite local beach early ensured plenty of quiet seaside space.

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The clouds and waves seemed particularly mesmerizing.

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Although typically “going to the beach” is virtually code for “sitting in the sun reading”, this visit I spent more time watching the waves swell and crest and the clouds drifting in ever-changing patterns.IMG_1561IMG_1560.JPG

The Maine ocean water is almost always numbingly cold even in the middle of summer but a brief dip into the surf provided instant refreshment from the day’s heat.

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When this little guy ventured close I took some time to assess him more closely and found his knobby knees somewhat hysterical.  His feet made me think he had snapped on tight little flippers at the ends of his tiny stick legs.

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Taking time to soak up nature was the perfect way to spend a morning.

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If you haven’t been to Maine I wholeheartedly recommend a trip.  And if you live here, I urge you to be sure to savor our spectacular home.

Have you been to Maine?

How do you embrace your natural surroundings?

Where is your favorite place to enjoy summer?

 

 

Running with the Kenyans!

 

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The Beach to Beacon 10 K finishes at the Portland Head Light. Don’t let the snow mislead you. The race is held August 1, 2015. There’s a pretty good chance the snow will be gone then.

To use a Maine phrase, you have to be “wicked” fast to run the Beach to Beacon 10K.  And this has nothing to do with your running abilities.  Registration for this incredibly popular race literally fills up within about 5 minutes!  This year’s online registration opens to the public on Friday, March 13 at 7:00 a.m. So if you want to run this amazing race, start limbering up your fingers!

This year marks the eighteenth Beach to Beacon 10K.   The race, which was founded by gold medal Olympic marathoner and native Mainer, Joan Benoit Samuelson, attracts world class runners. The route begins on a quiet, wooded road and travels through scenic Cape Elizabeth.  The course is lined with exuberant spectators who offer encouragement, upbeat music, and welcome mistings from their garden hoses. Runners are rewarded with periodic gorgeous views of the ocean.  The last portion of the race has several rolling hills.  As you near the end of the race you turn into Fort Williams and run along a curvey uphill portion for a short distance before you enter the last approximately .1 mile that is packed with spectators. Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in the US, is visible just beyond the finish. The combination of the dazzling Atlantic Ocean and this quintessentially Maine lighthouse make it truly the most spectacular finish to any race we have run.

My long-time friend, Mary, first introduced me to this race in what I believe was the inaugural running of this now famous race. Mike and I have run it several additional times over the years and we always feel honored to be able to take part in such a renowned event. We have run scores of races and The Beach to Beacon is truly the most phenomenal race we have done.

Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon race director, is the race director of the Beach to Beacon 10K.  So it is no surprise that the entire race is impeccably organized.  The volunteers are fabulous. The route is scenic with just enough hills to make it feel like a bit of a challenge. But one of my favorite parts of the race is the awards ceremony when a veritable “Who’s Who” in the running world is presented as the winners are announced.  Runners from Kenya and Ethiopia are always in the top spots. Having the opportunity to run in the same race as these legendary athletes makes the race just that much more exciting.

State: Maine

Quest Race #: 1

Date Run: August 7, 2010 (as well as other years)

Bottom Line: The Beach to Beacon 10K offers a stunning course and the opportunity to run with world class runners. Whether you come to race or to watch, being on the Maine coast in August is the perfect time to experience our fabulous home state.