Meeting the BEST Runners in the USA–Beach to Beacon Press Conference

Wow. Friday was The.Best.Day. I have been bursting with excitement to tell you all about how I met Meb and Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor!!!  I can’t even handle it.

monica meets ryan hall

First let me back up a step… I got into Maine super late Thursday and took a cab to the Inn. We stayed at Higgin’s Beach Inn and it was the cutest!

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I woke up and took a walk down to the beach on Friday, but it was drizzling so I headed back pretty quickly. beach in maine near higgins (800x450)

We had breakfast at Higgin’s. They had really good food! ( I had lunch there later too.)

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Then, we piled in the cheese van and headed to the press conference for the Beach to Beacon 10k. I made a ton of cheezy jokes on the way Winking smile

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This is the biggest road race in Maine and a VERY popular one too! There were A LOT of elite runners. The race sold out in under five minutes this year.

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I spotted Ryan Hall and Meb right away, but tried to act cool. (Tried is the key word there. I was probably more like an 8 year old girl meeting One Direction.)

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After the conference the elites were available to for questions and pictures. I got it together and went up to Ryan Hall who was the the nicest!

Then, I met Deena Kastor! We talked about traveling from CA to ME. It’s a long haul, so I’d like to think we bonded a bit.monica meets deena kastor at beach to beacon

I feel like I had already met Meb since he hails from just down the way in San Diego. I asked him the most important questions of the day which is obviously, “What are you going to eat tonight before the race?” He said “Pasta!” pretty excitedly. So we should all eat pasta before a race from now on. Do it.


(Spoiler: I ‘ran’ into Meb again after the race! More on that later!!)

After the conference we headed to Ridley farm.

Cabot works with family famers and the company has very strong relationships with the people who produce the milk for the cheese. This farm was close to the Beach to Beacon race so we were able to visit them and their cows. Three Ridley family members ran the race with us too!

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The Ridley’s are one of the 1200 farm family owners of the Cabot Cooperative who live in New England and New York.  Most of the farms are considered ‘small’ – the smallest one only has 16 cows. I love that this huge company still works with the little guy. For more information check out the Cabot site here. I learned a lot on this trip, but I’m no expert so check that out for a ton of cool info and a virtual farm tour!

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The cows at Ridley farm all have names.  When they are brought in to be milked they walk right to their spot! I wonder if they can read their name or just know where to go… Winking smile

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I am super curious about how farms ‘work’ so it was great to ask a ton of questions. The family is up by 4am to milk the cows each day. They milk them twice a day.

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A truck comes to pick up the milk every two days. Until then it’s stored in this refrigerated tank.

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After hanging out with the cows for a while we had a picnic lunch outside the family’s house. It was awesome to be able to hang out with everyone and experience all the beauty. IMG_2799 (800x533)

I keep saying I want a simpler kinda life one day and I thought something like this would be it – but farming is a TON of hard work. Plus, these family farmers never get a day off because the cows need to be milked and other animals and plants need to be tended to every day. I fell in love with the idea of it though…

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And as if all of that isn’t enough – we had dinner HERE. Gorgeous. This picture doesn’t even capture it. Heaven.

maine in the summer beach to beacon

Updated to add video of traveling to Maine:

Question: Should I pack it up and be a farmer in Maine? Would you?

I’m tempted. But my friend Leann responded to my announcement to stay in Maine with one word that would scare me away: “Snow.” Touche.

Disclaimer: I am in Maine with the Cabot Fit Team, a group of bloggers and farmers put together to connect and spread the word about a healthy lifestyle. This trip was organized by Cabot. All opinions are my own.


  1. says

    We packed up and moved from Boston to Maine last year! It’s been a big adjustment for me (Target and Starbucks are over an hour away!!!) and running through the winter was CRAZY!!! But- its beautiful here and I’ve never sat in traffic! There’s some great marathons in Maine!!!

  2. says

    It was so much fun having you and the other Cabot FitTeam bloggers here in Maine for the Beach to Beacon 10K. What a great weekend for fitness, new friends, great food, and fun! On behalf of the farm family owners of Cabot…Thank you for being part of the the Team!

  3. says

    It looks beautiful! I would love to visit Maine. I live in Michigan, so we’ve already got the snow, but I wouldn’t want to farm – too much hard work! I have the utmost respect for farmers.

  4. Sara says

    It was so great to meet and run with you! I love your photos of the Ridley farm. For clarification, the Ridley’s are one of the 1200 farm family owners of the Cabot Cooperative who live in New England and New York – we are extremely proud of our farmer owners and the high quality milk they provide for our cheese. Look forward to connecting with you about tips for running a 1/2 marathon – need to get one on my schedule for the fall.


  5. april says

    wow, maine looks beautiful. as a fellow southern californian, i’ve never really even thought about traveling to new england, but i’d definitely love to visit someday (not live, though – yikes, snow!).

    that’s so awesome that you got to meet meb, ryan, and deena! i feel like i almost know deena kastor since i ran rock ‘n’ roll pas with her…except she finished wayyy before me! :)

  6. says

    My husband tried to convince me that I would like Maine and that the weather isn’t bad – then he moved me to Kansas which isn’t even as far north and I can barely handle the winters here!!!
    Very cool that you got to meet Ryan, Meb and Deena!!

  7. says

    Seriously I think you just caused me to add Maine to my list of places I MUST visit! It looks beautiful! I can’t even begin to describe how jealous I am that you got to meet all those awesome people!

  8. says

    Dear lord, I may or may not have peed my pants if I met all those amazing runners…I hope you didn’t also have the same reaction — I don’t mean to say it’s embarrassing or anything (enter Billy Madison joke here…)

  9. Devonshire says

    You should totally move to Maine! It’s wicked awesome to live here. I was born and raised and still living here in Southern ME. The snow isn’t that bad, you’d get used to it.

  10. Annemarie/Carmie says

    First of all, it was wonderful to meet the best blogger in the USA – you! I love living in Portland, Maine. Summer and fall are so amazing that I completely forget about winter (and this year we didn’t really have much of a spring). Life is pretty easy here (unless you are a farmer). You can always visit farms…I am so glad that you had a wonderful time. I wish I had a chance to meet some of the elite runners. Thanks to Alexi Pappas, I now want to run with a bun! Come back sometime if you can! Safe travels home!

  11. says

    So glad it was a good trip!! The only downside for me… not being there to meet you in person :) I’ve loved getting to know your blog and can’t wait to see where you turn up running next : )

    And as Sara and Candace said, on behalf of the family farmers who own Cabot, thanks for being a part of this year’s #CabotFit team :)


  12. says

    I’d love to say that I could enjoy the “simpler” life of a farmer, but like you pointed out, farming is no joke. My mom’s ex-boyfriend owned a medium-sized dairy farm and he had to be there round the clock in order to help with the milking. It kind of cramped their style- taking off for just a night was a huge ordeal. I’ll stick to the suburbs and getting my milk at TJs 😉

  13. says

    Can’t believe how thin Ryan Hall is. Then again, this applies to most marathon and distance runners.

    BTW, just a small comment/note. I know your trip was sponsored by Cabot and you’re obligated to write about this but putting them in the same post as the B2B seems a bit disjointed and out of place.

    • says

      Thanks Sue. I was just kinda life-casting my day since it included both. Friday was packed with stuff that was hard to meld together. I do appreciate the feedback for next time :)

  14. Sarah says

    It’s too bad you didn’t include the story of B2B and Joan Benoit Samuelson and more information about the importance of the race in Maine. It’s more than just bringing in elite runners to Maine. It’s also a hugely competitive race to even get into with the lottery. Weather this year was amazing for it.

  15. Half-Crazed Runner says

    Just ran the Old Portland Maine Half Marathon. I wasn’t expecting the hills, or the heat. It was pretty challenging! Maine is so pretty!

  16. says

    What an awesome trip! I’m so glad to hear that Cabot still works with the little guy. As for farming, my husband grew up on a dairy farm but has no intention to do it again- it is a LOT of work! But like you, I kind of romanticize the farm life… maybe an organic veggie farm? You don’t have to milk them at 4am!

  17. says

    I wouldn’t want to work on a farm, but I love having farms close by for fresh produce, eggs, and meat. Better piece of mind when you know where your food comes from! I do recommend having “breakfast on the farm” if you ever get a chance. It’s popular in WI and a great experience!

  18. says

    I love Maine! We are going up on Saturday for the week. My baby brother met his fiancé there and they will be getting married on Sunday! Every time we leave Maine I propose moving there. If I lived in Maine I’d like to live on the beach. Not sure farming is for me, but every time I leave Vermont I think I should live there and have a farm.

  19. says

    Yeah, running a farm is no joke. I grew up on a dairy/beef farm and we never got to go on vacation or anything. The one time I remember leaving as a family for a day, our hired hand did not show up to milk that day, so when we got home late that night we had a bunch of pissed off cows that we had to go milk!

    Most of our cows had names too. Not all of them because had quite a few- but all of the baby calves that we bottle fed got a name for sure!

  20. ginger says

    LOVE Maine – we actually honeymooned in Winter Harbor, and it was just beautiful and wonderful. If anyone is looking for a great place to stay RIGHT on the harbor, stay at the Main Stay Inn in Winter Harbor in the Boathouse. So beautiful and so nice – full kitchen and nice little (older) accommodations.

    Maine does roll up its sidewalks early though, at least in the off season (we were there in October). I haven’t been there in the winter, but I’d probably move there if my family weren’t in Missouri.

    Farms are awesome, but they are a lot of work, and I wish more people understood and appreciated the agriculture system we have in place in America. We’re lucky. Unfortunately, our abundant, safe food supply gives some people the ability to downgrade the very system that allows them to be so picky about where they buy their food.

    It’s ok to be picky if you can afford it, but please don’t put down modern agriculture just because it isn’t how you decide to eat. We’ve got to feed the world, and we cannot do that locally, as much as everyone would like to do so. Your grandparents ate what they had on the farm because they didn’t have much choice – we’ve moved forward and have so much for which to be thankful.

  21. says

    This is a great description of the first day. Wow! We really packed a lot in didn’t we? I love the video Monica. It came out great. Your shots of the Beach at Candace’s house are amazing. Love it;) It was so great to meet you and spend the weekend together.

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