For most, preparing to run a 10-kilometer road race along Maine’s scenic and hilly coastline means an extra hour of sleep, a break in training for a day or two of pre-race recovery and perhaps some carb loading.

If you’re Isaac Gammon, however, you don’t change a thing.

“I don’t do any of that,” said Gammon, who joining some 6,500 other runners in the field for the TD Beach To Beacon 10K on Saturday. “I don’t do anything, really. I just rely on my stamina to keep going.”

When you’re 13 years old and have spent the bulk of your summer participating in basketball and soccer camps and a Babe Ruth baseball all-star team, you can afford to take that approach.

For Mike Gammon, Isaac’s father, it’s not quite that easy. The father-son duo from Randolph are running the Beach To Beacon together for the second consecutive year.

“The fact he’s an athlete and loves to compete, it’s kind of innate in him to begin with,” said Mike Gammon, 49. “For him it comes a little bit natural. My wife and I both love to compete.”


The elder Gammon has been running for much of his adult life, and like in many families, his son has shown an interest in something dear to his dad.

The two ran together last year and completed the race in just over an hour at a roughly 10-minute mile pace.

Though there are countless other five- and 10-kilometer races throughout the calendar year in central Maine, the Beach To Beacon — founded in 1998 by Olympic marathon gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson in her hometown of Cape Elizabeth — is truly one of the state’s most unique sporting events. This year, registration for the event filled in a record 3 minutes, 43 seconds through the online process in early March.

The Gammons logged on via two separate computers, frantically pounding away on the keyboards to get both Mike and Isaac registered, Mike said.

With its “mini-Boston Marathon feel,” the Beach To Beacon features elite and amateur fields, the state’s largest field of runners, and friends and family members lining the entire 6.2-mile route to offer encouragement and support.

That support is most helpful over the final mile, a hilly sprint to the finish line in August heat.


For Mike, watching his son forge through that last mile in 2015 remains one of his fondest memories.

“One of things that was great about running this race was watching him compete,” Mike said. “At his age, his mind typically gives out a lot sooner than his body does. The last mile of that race is really hilly, and it feels like it goes on forever and ever and ever. You really have to have intestinal fortitude to just suck it up and get it done.”

Isaac, who turns 14 today, hasn’t forgotten that hill.

“My favorite part was the last mile with all the hills. It’s tough to go up that after you’re so tired from the first five miles, but that’s the trick. You just have to do it,” said Isaac, who relied on the big crowd for a litle extra energy in his push for the finish line. “It keeps me motivated. They say some nice things. Last year, my dad and I were both wearing Superman shirts, and they were saying ‘Let’s go Superman. Keep it going!’ That was pretty cool.”

Mike Gammon thinks the race is good for something beyond spending time with his son, too. In many ways, he said, the obstacles you face in a road race are just like what you face out in the real world.

“That’s how real life is,” he said. “You’re going to be presented with all kinds of challenges, but all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.