CAPE ELIZABETH – Kirby Davis knew better.

As the former Falmouth High School and University of Maine runner crossed the line, the race announcer blurted Davis’ name, and recognized him as the first Maine-based runner to cross the line.

But Davis knew that wasn’t possible.

“I knew (Ayalew) Taye was in front of me, but I was like, all right, I’ll take the mistake,” Davis said laughing. “I knew he was in front of me, though.”

Taye bolted out with the back end of the lead pack from the start, and though he faded a bit at the end, his lead was good enough to earn him a victory in the Maine runners’ category at the 10th annual TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K on Saturday.

“I just tried to pace myself from the beginning,” Taye said.

Running alongside Taye for most of the race was Auburn native Jeff Caron, who now lists his home as Medford, Mass. He and Taye ran together for most of the race, and Taye helped Caron set a personal best of 30:51. Taye’s time of 30:46 was still 12 seconds off of Eric Giddings’ record, set in 2005.

But Caron thinks that might be in jeopardy.

“He’s a great runner,” Caron said. “It’s nice just to be rubbing shoulders with him. He’s got bright things in his future.”

Davis took second among Maine men, followed by Evan Graves of Presque Isle and Stephen Monsulick of Kents Hill. Ethan Hemphill, a former Maine division champion, took fifth.

In the Maine women’s category, Emily Levan of Wiscasset extended her winning streak to three with a decisive run of 35 minutes flat. Levan ran 40 seconds faster than last year, and 52 seconds batter than in her first win in 2005, but fell four seconds short of Julia Kirtland’s course record.

“My main goal coming in was to run a better time than last year, and to use this race as a gauge for my fitness for my fall marathon,” Levan said.

Levan was surprised at her time, too, given the humidity in the air.

“I don’t do real will in the humidity and the heat, even though I’m originally from Oklahoma,” Levan said. “I was a little bit nervous. In the back of my mind, I was kind of shooting for the Maine women’s course record, but when I saw the weather for today, I wasn’t sure.”

Jenna Krajewski of China followed Levan to the line with a time of 36:12. Kristin Pierce-Barry of Scarborough finished in third, followed by Sheri McCarthy-Piers and Cary Buterbaugh of South Portland.

Racing for the first time in the Maine masters’ division, Tina Meserve of Livermore outpaced the competition with a 38:19 finish. Dan Franek of South Portland captured the Maine men’s masters division in 33:05.

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