In honor of the 20th running of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K (held August 5 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine) Shipyard Brewing Co. is donating $20,000 in gift cards to the 20 charities that have been annual beneficiaries of the iconic Maine road race. The Maine-based non-profits will each receive $1,000 in gift cards that can be redeemed at Shipyard and Sea Dog Brewing Co. establishments in Maine and New Hampshire. The charities will auction off these items on their respective Facebook pages, websites and social media outlets and use the funds to further their various efforts. The auctions will run through Monday, August 7.
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 Beach to Beacon has a twenty-year history of helping Maine charities,” Shipyard co-founder Fred Forsley said. “In honor of that fundraising history, we want to offer some extra financial help and shed some additional light on all of the groups that Joanie and the race have helped over the years.”
Shipyard sponsored the first Beach to Beacon 10K and has been a sponsor ever since. “The race has been such a big part of our Shipyard lives and summers in Maine,” Forsley said.
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 recalled, “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.”
The race draws world-class athletes from the United States 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 more than 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. This year’s beneficiary — Let’s Go! — is a program of the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine. The program helps prevent childhood obesity by increasing physical activity and fostering healthy eating.
In tribute to the race, Shipyard has released a special TD Beach to Beacon Export Ale can in Maine. The commemorative cans are available in six-packs and twelve-packs in select stores in Maine. Export Ale is a balanced and artful amber ale of 5.1 percent ABV and 29 IBUs. It is brewed with two-row pale malt, crystal malt, wheat, American hops and locally grown specialty malt from the Maine Malt House, a third-generation farm and maltster in Mapleton, Maine. The beer is fermented with Shipyard’s house ale yeast strain in the brewery’s unique open fermenters.
More information on the race can be found at www.beach2beacon.org.
Marty Jones is longtime evangelist, publicist and status quo smasher for craft beer. His creative ideas, promo efforts and questionable jokes have played a key role in the success of some of the top beer endeavors in Colorado and the United States. Follow him on Twitter @martyjonesinc.