This year on August 5th will be the twentieth running of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K road race in Cape Elizabeth. This event attracts elite runners from around the globe, as well as recreational runners from across the country. Today we speak with race founder, Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the first Women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984. We also speak with volunteer coordinator, Maya Cohen, and her husband, Dr. Mylan Cohen, who cares for race participants (when necessary) in the medical tent.
Joan Benoit Samuelson, one of Maine’s most recognizable athletes, founded the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race in 1998 to benefit children’s charities in Maine. This year on August 5 the TD Beach to Beacon will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The TD Beach to Beacon 10K attracts elite runners around the globe, as well as recreational runners throughout New England. Joan ran many of the same coastal roads while growing up in Cape Elizabeth and training for the first Women’s Olympic Marathon in Los Angeles in 1984. While a senior at Bowdoin College, Benoit entered the 1979 Boston Marathon as a virtual unknown and won, setting a record for American women. Following surgery on her Achilles tendons, she again won the Boston Marathon in 1983. The eyes of the world were watching Joan when she won the first ever women’s Olympic Marathon. She has remained a dominant figure and a role model in the running world and women’s athletics ever since.
Maya Cohen is the volunteer coordinator of the TD Beach to Beacon. She started her work with the race in 2001, and prior to her work with the TD Beach to Beacon she worked as a hospital pharmacist at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. She obtained her bachelor’s of science degree from Northeastern University in 1990. Maya lives in Cape Elizabeth with her husband, Dr. Mylan Cohen.
A native of Bangor and having grown up in Presque Isle, Dr. Mylan Cohen has been associated with the TD Beach to Beacon 10K for 19 years, joining the Board of Directors in 2006 and assuming the role of co-medical director in 2008. He received a BA from the University of Maine, his MD degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, and a MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Cohen practices clinical cardiology with Maine Medical Partners MaineHealth Cardiology. He is the medical director of the Imaging and Diagnostics Section of the Cardiology Division at Maine Medical Center.