LLBean 10K Fourth of July Race

I was “home” in Maine this past weekend for the the Fourth of July for a last minute trip. I had seen on twitter that  Kara from One red head and lighthouses had signed up for a 10K on Saturday morning, the 38th Annual LLBean race on July 4th. Perfect timing ! I thought.

I started running while living in France and thus had never run a race in the US. So I signed up and on Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m. my dad was wishing me luck as he was leaving to golf and I was off to Freeport, Maine.

dad and Karen Maine 2015


Race packed pick up started at 6 a.m. We had received several emails about how important it was to pick up your bib Thursday or Friday because there would be a lot of people Saturday. So I arrived about 6:10 a.m. for a race start at 7:30. I was greeted by completely empty streets, empty parking lots and an empty LLBean store. For those of you who know Freeport, this is a rarity. So I snapped a couple pictures to capture the moment !



Bib pick up was a breeze and we also received a New Balance T shirt.  I had time for a quick tour in LLBean (open 24/7) and to use the restrooms, and to check out the race map. A bit hillier than I am used to !



At 7 a;m. I met up with 3 other bloggers who were also running the race.


Lisa at lisarunsforcupcakesJen at Running with the girls and Kara at One red head and lighthouses. It was so much fun meeting people I had only interacted with through social media.


The race started promptly at 7:30 a.m.


With a 4:15 a.m. wake up, the time difference with France, and the hills I wanted to finish the race in under an hour. The race itself ended up being pretty typical of my recent 10Ks.

  • KM 1 5:48
  • KM 2 5:50
  • KM 3: 6:15
  • KM 4 5:31
  • KM 5 5:57
  • KM 6 6:21
  • KM 7 : 5:50
  • KM 8 5:56
  • KM 9 : 5:44
  • KM 10: 5:38

I finished in  59 ‘ 23 ”. I placed 806 / 1 242 and 44 / 68 in my age group. Not too bad !

A couple things I really liked :

  • As you were coming to the finish line, they were announcing your name with some kind of encouragement. They must link your bib number in real time to a computer, but it was nicea hearing your name announced.
  • They sang the National Anthem before kicking off the race. Not sure if this is something that is done at every US race ? or was this done for the Fourth of July ?
  • I thought the food afterwards was great. With such an early wake up, I was dying for a big cup of coffee, and there it was ! with bagels, home made muffins and a ton of fruit.



A couple differences compared to what I see in France :

  • They had announced that you could not run with a stroller. I still saw some people doing this but was unsure if this is something regular that goes on at races in the US ? I have never seen a stroller in a race in France.
  • In France you get a ton of running clubs at races, with big groups of people wearing the club’s running shirt. I didn’t seem to see that here.
  • I felt the runners skewed to an older crowd than what you would typically have in France (older = over 50).

The only think I didn’t like was the last 2 km of the race, which are run on Route 1, the major road that goes through Freeport. While there were cones to separate the runners from the traffic, and the traffic was at a standstill, I didn’t particularly enjoy running next to major traffic.


It is definitely a race I would do again, and loved doing my first US race in my home state.

Did you race this past weekend ?

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Comments: 8

  1. Jen July 9, 2015 at 1:25 am Reply

    Great recap! Now I need to do mine!!!!

    Strollers used to be allowed at the race. I did see some this time around too and was confused because I thought it was clear in the rules! 🙂 There are lots of strollers in many races – mostly smaller local ones. The bigger ones tend to say no strollers due to crowds. People get upset by a person passing them with a stroller.

    It was great meeting you even for those few moments prior to the race! Great job!!!
    Jen recently posted…Join Me for the Rise.Run.RetreatMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration July 9, 2015 at 6:31 am Reply

      Thanks Jen for the stroller insight…. thought I would pass you on the rail trail during the weekend but you were out running elsewhere. Maybe next time !

  2. I bet it was a beautiful race-can’t beat the scenery up there right!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Ton of Bricks WorkoutMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration July 9, 2015 at 6:29 am Reply

      It was a good race and luckily no humidity which is often a killer in Maine.

  3. Jennifer July 12, 2015 at 10:28 pm Reply

    Great recap! So nice you were able to meet up with a few of the other bloggers.
    Jennifer recently posted…Friday Five – Fitness Trends I Will/Will Not TryMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration July 14, 2015 at 4:03 pm Reply

      Thanks Jennifer. It was fun meeting up with other bloggers. Living so far away from the US, I (obviously) don’t get too many opportunities.

  4. Lisa @ Lisa Runs for Cupcakes July 15, 2015 at 3:04 am Reply

    It was nice to meet you! And, I’m happy to connect with you on your blog now!

    I thought the same thing about the strollers. The race instructions and the pre-race announcements made it clear that strollers were only to run in the Family Fun Run. As a stroller runner, I have no problem with them in smaller races. But, given the size of the race and the course, it was not the safest decision for parents to make and I hope that the race discourages the use of strollers next year.
    Lisa @ Lisa Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Lily Trotters Compression Socks Review and Giveaway!My Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration July 15, 2015 at 6:55 am Reply

      Nice meeting you too, always great to connect with new bloggers. Glad I was not the only one surprised by the stroller thing. Have a great summer !

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