CAPE ELIZABETH — When asked to comment on her win in the Maine women’s division at the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Saturday morning, Aly Ursiny’s first reaction was surprise. The 34-year-old from Yarmouth had no idea she had won.
“Oh, seriously? That’s awesome. That is very exciting,” Ursiny said.
Ursiny’s net time of 36 minutes, 17 seconds was 10 seconds better than 16-year-old Ruth White, a rising junior at Orono High. Alexis Wilbert, 37, of Cumberland was third among the Maine women with a net time of 36:35. Wilbert actually crossed the finish line just ahead of White, but White started farther back and had a faster net time.
“This is my favorite 10K in the US. It’s the most scenic, the fans are amazing, so it’s so good to be back,” Wilbert said.
At 9 am, the temperature at Fort Williams Park at the finish line was 75 degrees, with 79 percent humidity, putting the Maine women’s record – 33:39.5 by Michelle Lilienthal of Portland in 2014 – out of reach. While training this summer, Ursiny said only recently she has run in the kind of heat and humidity competitors faced, and she was dreading the conditions, since much of her training has been in cooler weather. She said she started to feel the effects late in the race.
“I haven’t run that fast in a long time. I think this would have been a PR on a better weather day. I’m happy with it,” said Ursiny, who earned $1,000 for her victory. “My PR is 35:45, and that was an October day and I was 24, so 10 years ago. Once I knew it would be super hot today, I was like OK, I’m not going to worry about PRing. I’m just going to go out with people I know that I’m trying to beat.”
Ursiny had a baby last year. Between her pregnancy and riding out the pandemic, Ursiny felt like her training suffered until recently.
“This summer, I’m starting to feel like I’m back in the groove,” she said.
White, the Class C cross country state champion and New England high school champion last fall, set a course record Friday in the Beach to Beacon High School Mile with a time of 5:23.2. Saturday morning, she raced a 10K on the roads for the first time and said her goal was to finish under 37 minutes, which she did easily. She tried to stay cool by pouring water over her head at each water stop, and by using the well-placed sprinklers on the lawns of neighborhood residents along the course.
“I went a little faster than I was predicting, so that was good. I felt pretty good,” White said. “It was fun and it was a good experience.”
Running a hard mile Friday had no effect on how she felt during Saturday’s race.
“I did a little cool down and some stretching and rolling (after Friday’s race), so I was fine for today. I wasn’t sore at all,” White said.
Wilbert gave birth to her son just four months ago and said she’s still working her way back into peak racing form. Earlier this summer, Wilbert edged Ursiny in the Clam Festival Classic, a 5-mile race in Yarmouth, by four seconds. Wilbert knew they would be close to each other again at Beach to Beacon.
“I think I did right about where I was hoping, in terms of time. Aly did fantastic. She and I had run the Clam Fest just a couple of weeks ago, so she and I figured we’d be around each other,” Wilbert said.