Iconic summer race was founded by Maine Olympian Joan Benoit Samuelson
(Portland, Maine) – Shipyard Brewing Company will release a new commemorative Export Ale can that celebrates the 20th running of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K. The race was founded in 1997 by legendary Maine athlete Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the gold medal in the 1984 Olympics women’s marathon and Maine’s most famous athlete.
The 2017 race takes place August 5 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Benoit Samuelson’s home town. Shipyard Brewing sponsored the very first Beach to Beacon 10K and has remained a sponsor ever since.
“Joanie called me when she was planning the race years ago,” recalls Shipyard founder Fred Forsley. “Before she could ask me to meet her and discuss it, I signed on. I was knocked out that she called me, she’s a living legend here in Maine. Since that day it’s been twenty great years for us with the race.”
“Shipyard has been with us from the very start,” says Benoit Samuelson, “and Fred and the brewery have been our biggest fans and supporters. They’ve been a great friend to our race and have played a big role in its success.”
“The Beach to Beacon race,” Forsley says, “has been such a big part of our Shipyard lives and summers in Maine. With this special can we’re paying tribute to the race, the runners, Joanie, the visitors and volunteers, all the people that make the race such a big deal here.”
Samuelson got the idea for the Beach to Beacon 10K as she was winning her 1984 gold medal in the first Olympic Marathon for women. “When I ran through the tunnel and won my gold medal in the Olympics,” she recalls, “I promised myself that I would do something for this sport that did so much for me. I pounded the pavement for so many years and I wanted to give something back. With the race, I wanted others to see the beautiful streets and scenery I ran in my early days, that played such a big role in my running career.”
The race draws world-class athletes from the U.S. and around the globe as well as top Maine and New England runners. In 2016, 6,336 runners from 15 countries, 43 states and more than 265 Maine cities and towns finished the winding, rolling 6.2-mile/10K coastal course.
Runners are supported by over 800 volunteers and cheered by thousands of spectators along the race’s tree-lined streets and stunning ocean vistas. The race finish line is near the historic Portland Head Light, one the most photographed lighthouses in the world.
The race supports a different Maine charity each year by providing a $30,000 donation from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank. The race provides additional fundraising opportunities to past and the present beneficiaries through its charity bib program.
This year’s charitable beneficiary -- Let’s Go! -- is a program of the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine. The nationally recognized program works to prevent childhood obesity by increasing physical activity and fostering healthy eating for children from birth to age 18. The program reaches more than 220,000 children in Maine and New Hampshire.
More information on the race can be found at www.beach2beacon.org .
Shipyard Brewing Company is a family owned and independent brewery rooted in tradition and innovation. Established in 1994, Shipyard is located on the historic waterfront in Portland, Maine and served as an economic and cultural catalyst for the rebirth of its neighborhood and the development of New England craft brewing.
Shipyard produced 116,000 barrels of beer in 2016 and is the 28th largest-producing craft brewery in the U.S. The brewery continues to be an American craft beer pioneer in its use of open fermentation and produces over 25 varieties of packaged beer. Shipyard has allied brewpubs, breweries and taprooms in New England and Florida. Learn more at www.shipyard.com .