CAPE ELIZABETH – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, experts pine.

That’s because it’s the first meal of the day.

Likewise, for many runners, their first major running experiences – and coaches – tend to play a pivotal role in their development.

Consider Jeff Caron, 23, of Auburn in that category.

Caron, who finished seventh among Maine men Saturday, got his competitive start at Edward Little High School.

“I had a great start, with (coach Dan) Campbell, and with all of the other guys I trained with at Edward Little, that was the best time,” said Caron.

“We won three state championships. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to a running career, and I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for those guys.”

Caron graduated from the University of Maine, and will take a job in Cambridge, Mass. He still plans on coming home – at least once each year.

“I’ll definitely be back for this race, though I won’t be a Maine resident next year,” said Caron.

“I’m going to be back for this one, no matter where I am in the world.”

Stepping out…literally

Former Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School star and Colby College freshman-to-be Amanda Ivey was on her way to a respectable time Saturday, but she wasn’t running nearly fast enough to think she would out-run her own shoes.

Or so she thought.

With less than a half kilometer to go, Ivey felt a tug at her left shoe and was all of a sudden running without it.

“I only had about a minute and a half left in the race,” said Ivey.

“I just wanted to finish and worry about my shoe later.”

Her only problem with that decision? The chip that records runners’ times as they cross the finish line was in that left shoe.

As she retrieved her shoe at lost and found, Ivey was unaware what time she might be assigned.

“I think I ran in the low 39s,” said Ivey. “That’s a little slower than I have, but it wasn’t bad.”

Officially, though, Ivey’s time was recorded at 1:29.46, 181st out of 182 runners in the 15-19-year-old women’s category.

Wheeling along

The women’s course record isn’t the only mark that fell Saturday.

Patrick Doak of Concord, Mass., finished the men’s wheelchair race in 23:59, eclipsing the old mark of 24:12 set in 2002 by this year’s runner-up, Tony Nogueira of New Jersey

For the first time since the inception of the race, there were no women entered in wheelchair competition.

Bringing in the talent

Larry Barthlow, the Beach to Beacon’s elite athlete coordinator, has what he calls an “easy job.”

“It’s become the premier 10K in the country,” said Barthlow. “We’re very fortunate because people want to run here. It makes it easy.”

Still, Barthlow doesn’t intend to rest on his – or the race’s – laurels.

“We’re always trying to get different people than the other races,” said Barthlow. “It’s hard, because you’re dealing with costs from Kenya or Ethiopia or wherever.

“We were lucky this fit into Thomas’ (Nyariki, this year’s race winner) plans, and the same thing, we’re lucky that Alvetina (Ivanova, this year’s women’s winner) waited to come over this late.”

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