Mark Bancroft, 37, of Paris, hasn’t been a runner all his life. In high school, he ran track, but only to stay in shape for skiing.

Then, he married Angela, a Cape Elizabeth native. She introduced him to the inaugural Beach to Beacon 10K.

“This race got me started in running,” Mark said. “My wife is a long-time runner, and she got me to do this race the first time it opened, and I got hooked.”

For the first few years, the Beach to Beacon was the only race on Bancroft’s schedule.

Slowly, he adopted the lifestyle.

“The obvious health benefits of running kept me in it,” Bancroft said. “It was one of the reasons for me to get back into, or stay, in shape.”

Bancroft said hob-nobbing with the elite runners is one of the main draws to the race.

“I like to joke that I stay within about 10 feet of those elite runners for five or seven minutes or so, and then the starting gun goes off,” he said. “Then I never see them again.”

Angela might have done all 10 with him, save for the fact that she’s had three kids since the first race.

“I’d contend that you and I wouldn’t have done much running those years, either,” Mark said with a laugh.

Both Mark and Angela are back into the running scene together, and Mark has even started to get into triathlons. The kids are running, too.

As for who is the better runner now?

“When I started, I was just barely able to finish with her, and then I got so I was faster than her, and now she has more than caught up with me. Now, I hope to be able to stay with her this year.”

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