CAPE ELIZABETH — Dave McGillivray has dealt with extreme heat and humidity, a dead skunk, a pile of fish guts and nest of bees during his 16 years as race director of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K.

One hazard yet to affect the race – but a possibility for Saturday morning – is a thunderstorm.

“We’ll be prepared,” McGillivray said. “We’ll be in touch with our medical team and public safety and collectively we’ll make the call. I can only imagine there would be a delay. There wouldn’t be a cancellation.”

One of the advantages of the B2B’s remote starting location, a wooded area along Route 77 near Crescent Beach State Park, is that so many runners bring cars and park them in nearby fields.

“So they could just go back to their personal vehicle and wait it out,” McGillivray said, “until we came along and said, ‘OK, we’re going to start in 20 minutes. Come on back out.’

“Whereas in Hopkinton (for the Boston Marathon) we don’t have shelter for 36,000 people. Where do they go? Here, they could literally go back to their cars.”

McGillivray spoke Friday morning after the traditional press conference at Inn by the Sea to introduce the elite athletes in contention for the overall men’s and women’s titles as well as those for the top Maine residents.

The field of approximately 6,500 includes runners from 14 countries, 42 states and 260 towns and cities in Maine.

Defending men’s champion Micah Kogo is back in an attempt to win his third title. The women’s field, for the first time, is absent of Kenyans after that country’s Olympic Committee refused to allow Joyce Chepkirui (the 2013 B2B champ) or Emily Chebet to compete abroad in non-track races. One of two Ethiopian women expected, Tadelech Bekele, is also a scratch because of visa problems.

That leaves only two East African women in the field: Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia, who is a sub 2:20 marathoner with little experience on the roads. Diane Nukuri-Johnson is a two-time Olympian from Burundi who ran collegiately in Iowa and placed fourth and eighth in previous B2B races. Both are 29.

“We have an Ethiopian and somebody from Burundi,” said race founder Joan Benoit Samuelson. “So Africa is in the race.”

Among the women attempting to become the first U.S. winner are Shalane Flanagan, Desiree Linden, Jordan Hasay and Alexi Pappas. Gemma Steel of Great Britain, last year’s runner-up, is also in the mix.

At 5 p.m. Friday, Flanagan will join Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi and North Yarmouth native Ben True in a question-and-answer session with local middle and high school runners at the awards stage at Fort Williams prior to the Kids Fun Run, which begins at 6 p.m.

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