Kidney Recipient, Donor Among More Than 6,000 Beach to Beacon Runners

Aug 1, 2014

Joan Benoit Samuelson speaks at a Beach to Beacon press event Friday.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — More than 6,000 runners are expected to take part in the annual TD Beach to Beacon 10K road race in Cape Elizabeth tomorrow. The 6.2-mile course runs from Crescent Beach to Portland Headlight. Thousands of spectators are also expected to line the coastal route.

Runners from all levels, all backgrounds, and from all over the globe are taking part. One pair of runners who plan to cross finish line together are Daavid Swift of Freeport and Patty Blankenship of South Portland. What's unusual about them is that Daavid is only able to run the race because Patty donated one of her kidneys to him last year.

Maine's largest road race was founded by Maine native Joan Benoit Samuelson, who twice won the Boston Marathon and who also won the first-ever women's Olympic marathon in 1984 in Los Angeles.

"For me it's all about the story in one's life," she says. "Twenty-five years ago Nike ran a campaign with me entitled "There is No Finish Line." Back then I didn't get it. I get it now. There's so much good in this sport and it only gets better with each mile we run."

TD Bank Maine President Larry Wold, who has run the race every year, says this year the race will include runners from 14 different countries and 42 different states and the District of Columbia.