Spoon-fed drivel for lazy reporters

You will undoubtedly see a great deal of media coverage of the upcoming Beach to Beacon road race, slated for Saturday, August 2, in Cape Elizabeth. But the dirty little secret the newspapers and TV stations never tell you is that many of those stories, and even the story ideas, are not generated in the newsrooms of Maine. Instead, they are dreamed up in Arizona by the capable - and friendly - folks at Wolfe PR (they used to be based in Scarborough, but aren't anymore), and spoon-fed to Maine journalists.

As a guide to the stories you'll see on TV, in the local daily, and in weekly newspapers, here's their official media pitch list, in full, as it arrived in the Phoenix's inbox just minutes ago. Note the cheery salutation (Hi Media).

To be sure, some of these are legitimately interesting stories. The problem is that they're being prepped, researched, and fact-checked not by the decreasing number of journalists working in Maine, but by former journalists now in PR all the way across the country.


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Hi Media -- below is a list of Story Ideas re: this year’s TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K. The race is just 12 days away. We want to assist you with your pre-race news stories about the race, which attracts runners from across Maine , NE and the world’s best to scenic Cape Elizabeth , Maine . Also, one-on-one interviews with Joan Benoit Samuelson are being scheduled for next Tuesday morning at Fort Williams , July 29 - if you haven't set up a time, call me at 520 207-9551 this week, or my cell at 520 399-5770, or e-mail me at And if you need help reaching any of the people below, let us know. We also can help you locate runners from your coverage area for any advance stories – contact Jason at for assistance. Thanks! -- Beryl Wolfe


-          Story Ideas re:


TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race - 2008



Race Beneficiary


Susan L. Curtis Foundation


This year’s beneficiary of the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K is the Susan L. Curtis Foundation, formed in 1971 after the death of Susan, the 11-year-old daughter of Maine Governor Kenneth and First Lady Pauline Curtis.


The mission of the Susan L. Curtis Foundation is to lift Maine children out of the cycle of poverty with a strengths-based experiential outdoor education and a culture designed to discover and develop each child’s individual talents. 


Camp Susan Curtis opened in 1974. Since then, more than 13,000 children living in poverty from every county in Maine have attended.   Each summer, more than 650 Maine kids ages 8 to 18 are provided this remarkable experience of self-discovery, challenge and personal growth - tuition free. 


Also known as the “Trout Lake Campus”, the camp’s primary location is on Trout Lake in Stoneham. A second campus recently opened on Kezar Lake at Hewnoaks, after the Foundation entered into a partnership with the University of Maine for an Arts Education Center.


The foundation also provides a four-week Leadership Education curriculum for 13 and 14-year-olds, combining this with Venture-Out expeditions and weekend leadership retreats.  Nearly half of “Camp Sue” counselors are graduates of the leadership program.


To arrange a story on the camp or the foundation, contact Alan Cartwright, executive director, in Portland at 207-774-1552. The foundation offices are located on Washington Avenue in Portland, and the camp is located in Stoneham, Maine, about an hour and a half northwest of Portland.


If looking for an event to cover in Portland, the first “Kids to Campus” event will be held on Monday, Aug. 4 at the USM campus.  Kids to Campus will bring Susan Curtis Foundation (SCF) campers to the USM campus for a tour to familiarize them with the higher education environment and encourage them to continue their education.  Larry Wold, president of TD Banknorth in Maine and Joan Benoit Samuelson will join the staff and campers for lunch and to accept SCF’s campers appreciation for the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon. 

Media Contact: Call Julie McQuillan, public affairs director at TD Banknorth, at 207-828-7558 for details.

Top Master’s 50 Runners Coming to Maine


For the first time, the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon will feature some of the top Masters 50 (M50) runners in the United States – and has added prize money for the winner.


52-year-old Tom Ryan of Cape Elizabeth – the second-ranked Masters 50 (M50) runner in the U.S. last year – will be joined this year by four other top M50 runners, who compete in the 50-54 age group. Ryan met the other runners at national races and invited them to Maine to run this year’s TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon. 


Race organizers added $500 in prize money for the winner of the M50 category. Here is a brief description of each of the top M50 runners coming to Maine to join Tom Ryan. Each will be designated as an elite athlete.


  • Dave Cannon, 50, of Seattle, M50 winner of the 2007 10,000 meter U.S. Track and Field outdoor nationals, M50 winner of the 2007 USATF 5K national cross country championships and M50 winner of the 2008 USATF 10k national road race championships.
  • Stephen Chantry, 53, of Williamsburg, Vir., a six-time U.S. Track & Field national champ who helped set an M50 world record in the 4X800 (he ran the anchor).
  • Norm Larson, 52, of Burlington Vt., who was the M50 winner of the 2008 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:39:13
  • Kevin McMahon, 54, of Essex Jct., Vt., 3rd in the USATF indoor masters miles in 2007, holder of the Clarence DeMarr 5K road race master’s record.
  • Tom Ryan, 52, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, the second ranked M50 road runner nationally in 2007, M50 winner of the 2005 USATF 10k national cross country championships, M50 winner of the 2006 USATF 5k national cross country championships and second-place finisher in the 2007 USATF 5K national cross country championships.


Media Contact: Tom Ryan - during the day at (207) 688-4339 or Dave Weatherbie, race president, at (207) 773-3533 ext 4016.



Race First in Nation to Offer Personal Health Record Service to Runners


This year the race has launched a pilot program to collect the medical history of runners and enhance care on race day. Race officials are urging runners to participate in the groundbreaking, voluntary program.  The TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon is the first road race nationwide to implement an online personal health record service as part of the medical care provided to runners.

Race officials are partnering with a company called to offer the 2008 race field an opportunity to submit vital medical information safely and securely online. In the past, race officials relied solely on a rapid medical team response from a well-educated staff to help an ailing runner, as doctors had no way of determining medical history along the course.  With the new program, the medical team will use secure codes to access potentially lifesaving information, such as whether someone has diabetes or is prone to anaphylactic shock.

Participation is voluntary and free for runners from the point of registration through a two-week period following the race. Race volunteers also are eligible to participate.

Media Contacts:  Christopher Troyanos, ATC, the medical coordinator for the race, and Margie Kelly, the owner of Athens, Georgia-based and a part-time Cape Elizabeth resident, (706) 207-9223


Going Green

This year, race organizers are expected to unveil an all electric motorcycle for use at the races. Shawn McKenna, the coordinator of the motorcycles that are primarily used by media along the course, rode this type of bike during this year’s Boston Marathon and U.S. Olympic Women’s Marathon trials.

The potential story line here is a beginning of an ‘all green’ environmental friendly lead vehicle program that will someday include hybrid press trucks. Another step toward this goal is the race has replaced a large, diesel flatbed press truck with two smaller trucks – reducing the exhaust factor for the runners and spectators.

If you have interest in this story and want background, go to the Vectrix web site and scroll down to “Vectrix in the Boston Marathon” -

Media Contact: Ron Kramer, DMSE, at (561) 252 5159.


Let’s Go – Story Walk

TD Banknorth is a founding partner in the United Way’s “Let’s Go” program to fight childhood obesity, and one of the ideas they have been testing is to take a children’s book and put one page at a time on a poster, and then place the pages along a trail and have the kids run/walk from page to page.  It gets them outside and active, and at the same time promotes reading.  They are setting one of these up at Fort Williams to keep kids active and to promote the Let’s Go program.  

This year, Let's Go has developed a Story Walk with the children's book “Scoot!” written and illustrated by Maine author Cathryn Falwell (jpeg available).

The Story Walk was featured at the Morse Street School in Freeport on June 10, and the Windham Summerfest on June 21. 

Media Contact: Call Julie McQuillan, public affairs director at TD Banknorth, at 207-828-7558 for details.

New Portland Symphony Orchestra Conductor to Run Beach to Beacon

Robert Moody, the new Musical Director for the Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO), will properly introduce himself to life in Maine and his new community by making his first road race in Maine in this year’s TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K. Moody was impressed with the outpouring of community involvement and the outstanding reputation of previous years’ races, and is thrilled to be involved. Executive Director of the PSO, Ari Solotoff, will join Moody in the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon, his first competitive race. The duo can be found training together around Portland’s Back Cove. PSO Board Member Harper Lee Collins, inspired by the motivation of Moody and Solotoff, will also complete the PSO trio of TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon runners.

Media Contact:  Gillian Britt, gBritt PR,, 207-775-2126

Returning World-class Runners

The TD Banknorth Beach to Beach 10K Road Race attracts some of the world’s best road racers from around the globe. Another stellar elite field is expected for the 2008 race, including ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­returning men’s champ Duncan Kibet and Gilbert Okari, a fellow Kenyan who recently won the race three times in a row and is looking to regain his crown. They will be pushed by Terefe Maregu of Ethiopia, who recently won the prestigious Peachtree 10K.

The women’s field is also deep. A new champ is guaranteed as defending champ Luminita Talpos will compete in China on the Romanian Olympic team. That leaves the door open for a pair of strong Kenyans, Millicent Gathoni and Lineth Chepkurui, as well as Wude Yimer of Ethiopia, another top-flight road racer.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Elite runner bios will be posted at as the race approaches.

MEDIA CONTACT: FMI on the elite field, contact Larry Barthlow, the elite athlete director, at (617) 438-8098 or

TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon Showcase Event for Maine Runners

The elite distance runners from around the world who converge on Cape Elizabeth for the TD Banknorth Beacon 10K Road Race each year get most of the attention. But the growing and intriguing competitiveness of the race among Maine's top runners is also a worthwhile story. Maine runners consider the race the jewel of the racing season. The winner of this showcase event wears the unofficial title as the state road race champion.

MEDIA CONTACT: Race President David Weatherbie, or (207) 781-5970, himself an avid, top-flight runner, could provide valuable insights into the stature of the race among Maine runners. Also available as sources about what makes the race special are Byrne Decker of Yarmouth (207-846-4461) and Michael Payson of Falmouth (207-781-4617), both top Maine runners; and Julia Kirtland of South Harpswell (207-781-4617), winner of the first three races, and Christine Snow-Reaser of Dayton (207-499-2198), a two-time champ.

Race Beneficiary – A Gift that Keeps On Giving

Getting named the beneficiary of the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K is a huge deal in Maine’s non-profit community. And the $30,000 donation is only part of it. Another story idea might include talking with some past beneficiaries and how the race did and continues to benefit their non-profit organizations. Many of the past beneficiaries have continued their involvement with the race. A list of past beneficiaries can be found at in the press kit under the race logo.

Media Contacts: Sam Beal, Big Brothers Big Sisters (207) 773-5437; Peg Libby, Kids First Center (207) 761-2709; Tory Dietel-Hopps, Riding to the Top (207) 892-2813; are ready and willing to talk about the race and its impact.

International Flavor

Each year, families from Cape Elizabeth and surrounding areas invite elite athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia, Japan and elsewhere around the globe into their homes. The home stays serve as a sort of cultural exchange for the athletes and the host families as they swap recipes and stories. Each year, more and more families from around the area are getting involved.

Media contact: Janet McLaughlin, Host Family Coordinator, 799-6190

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Founder of the race with lead sponsor TD Banknorth, Joan Benoit Samuelson remains Maine’s most admired athlete. She is an inspiration and a role model for girls and women around the globe. Her quiet determination, on display for all the world to see at the 1984 Olympics, played a key role in making her dream of staging a major road race in Cape Elizabeth a reality. Humble and deferential, Joan rarely takes credit, but this year presents a nice opportunity to take a closer look at some of her most recent accomplishments, including her induction into the Olympic Hall of Fame and her age-group (50-54) record setting performance in the 2008 Olympic marathon trials in Boston.  

MEDIA INFO: If you would like to interview Joan prior to the press conference on Aug. 1, one-on-one interviews are being scheduled with Joan on Tuesday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to noon that day. Contact Beryl Wolfe at or 520-399-5770 to schedule an interview with Joan that morning.

Volunteer Effort

The volunteer effort necessary to make TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon 10K a premier event is often taken for granted. It shouldn’t be. Coordinating more than 800 volunteers is a monumental task that requires patience, perseverance and a certain amount of guile. Volunteer Director Maya Cohen of Cape Elizabeth brings a personal touch to her management of the volunteers. Her program is structured to include a host of coordinators who oversee volunteers in different areas, including water stations, parking, security, course set up and breakdown, and directing traffic.

Media Contact: FMI, contact Maya Cohen at (207) 838-8816 or  

David McGillivray, Race Director Extraordinaire

Joan Benoit Samuelson will tell anyone who will listen that the key to the success of the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon was getting Dave McGillivray on board to direct the event. McGillivray, who was recently named a “Hero of Running” by Runner’s World magazine, is considered one of the most talented race directors in the world. And the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Participants marvel at how well run and organized the race is in comparison to other events.

McGillivray and his ‘Team DMSE’ make it look easy, but there are endless steps, countless details and innumerous obstacles in making the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon happen. He also directs the Boston Marathon and other events around the country.

McGillivray’s athletic exploits also are interesting, as well as his work as a motivational speaker, author, and commitment to children’s fitness and charitable organizations. In fact, McGillivray and his DMSE events have raised more than $50 million for charities over the years.

CONTACT INFO: Contact McGillivray directly at (978) 258-8226 or

TD Banknorth and other sponsors

Without the help of primary sponsor TD Banknorth and other major corporate partners, including Nike, Hannaford, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine, Poland Spring, WCSH TV-6, Maine Health and Northeast Delta Dental, the race would not be the first-class event it is today. TD Banknorth’s Bill Ryan met with Olympic Gold Medallist Joan Benoit Samuelson 12 years ago to create this premier running event in her home state.

This year, Larry Wold, President and Senior Loan Officer of TD Banknorth in Maine, will run the race for the 11th time. Wold, a resident of Freeport, is an active member of the community and is often involved in fundraising events and causes. He joined the company in 1991. If interested in an 11-year runner, Wold would make a great feature story.

FMI, contact Julie McQuillan of TD Banknorth at 207-828-7558, or visit the race web site at or the bank’s site at

Technology Aspects

The use of advanced technology is yet another aspect of the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon that makes it a premier event. Computer chips made by ChampionChip attached to each runner's shoes determine each finisher's exact time for the race. The chips are processed by Granite State Race Services to compile a list of finishers and their times. In addition, because of a history of razor-thin finishes, organizers will again use a finish line camera – unusual for a road race of its size. Lynx System Developers, Inc., based in Woburn, Mass., is providing a FinishLynx, the world's most popular and versatile digital photofinish and timing system. A FinishLynx line-scan camera only sees a very narrow piece of the world: the finish line. It looks at the finish line many times a second and stores each of these images. In case of a close finish, the images become a vital tool for the race judge to use in determining the winner.

Media Contact: FMI about ChampionChip or FinishLynx, visit online at or Also, at FinishLynx, contact Giles Norton, Director of Corporate Communications, at (800) 989-5969 or

A Peek at the Race’s Future Participants

A children’s 1K race – touted as the Kids Fun Run – will again complement the TD Banknorth Beach to Beacon. The race, which has received little media attention in the past, continues to grow. Open to kids ages 12 and under, the event will be held in Fort Williams Park following the 10K at 9:30 a.m. The kid’s race boasts a field size of more than 500 youngsters.

Start Line Painting

The painting of the Start Line will take place the Sunday before the race, July 27, beginning at 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. on Route 77 near the entrance to Crescent Beach State Park on Route 77 in Cape Elizabeth. Media welcome to film or photograph the event, which signals the final countdown to race day.

MEDIA CONTACT: Beryl Wolfe, Wolfe PR, or (520) 399 5770

Town of Cape Elizabeth

The Town of Cape Elizabeth really comes through for this event. Town officials serve on the 50-plus-member Organizing Committee and are involved from the time they begin meeting in January to the day in early August when 5,500 runners and more than 10,000 spectators line the streets of this coastal town.

For more information about the town’s involvement, call Town Manager Mike McGovern at Cape Elizabeth Town Hall at 207-767-3323.

NOTE TO REPORTERS/EDITORS: For more information or assistance with any of the above items that do not contain contact info, please contact Beryl or Jason Wolfe at Wolfe PR – (520) 399-5770 or 5097, or by e-mail,, – or Julie McQuillan at TD Banknorth – (207) 828-7558, Also, bios, a Fact Sheet, statistics, news releases and other race materials are available at for your use. Thanks!


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