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Kibet, Ayalew win Maine's TD Beach to Beacon road race

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CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — Stephen Kosgei Kibet of Kenya and Wude Ayalew of Ethiopia won the men's and women's divisions, respectively, in a Maine 10K road race Saturday founded by Olympic hero Joan Benoit Samuelson.

More than 6,000 TD Beach to Beacon runners enjoyed sunny weather on a coastal course that began at Crescent Beach State Park and ended at the Portland Head Light.

Kibet finished in a time of 28 minutes, 28 seconds in the men's division. Ayalew was the top woman to finish at 31:56.

Samuelson, winner of the first Olympic women's marathon in 1984, founded the TD Beach to Beacon in 1998 as a way to give back to her home state of Maine. Runners were competing for more than $90,000 in prize money.

Kibet, one of the world's all-time half marathoners, stretched away from a three-man pack inside Fort Williams in a tactical race to claim his first title in four tries, including runner-up finishes in two of the previous three years. Moses Kipsiro (28:40) of Uganda outkicked Kenyan Daniel Salel (28:41) for second.

Ayalew, who ran the second-fastest time ever on the course in her last appearance in 2010 only to place second, this time outdueled Diane Nukuri (32:00) for her first win, also in four tries. Sentayehu Ejigu (32:16) took third while defending champion Gemma Steel of Great Britain finished a distant fourth (32:57).

In the new American-only prize category, the top Americans were former Oregon standouts Eric Jenkins (28:50) and Alexi Pappas (32:57), who also finished fourth and fifth overall, respectively. They will each collect $5,000 in addition to their prize money in the open category.

In the Maine resident races, Erica Jesseman, 26, of Scarborough (34:53), the 2013 champ, regained her title in dominant fashion while 19-year-old Ben Decker of Yarmouth (32:49) won a wide open men's race.

Runners came from 15 countries, 41 states and more than 265 Maine cities and towns.

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