Boston Marathon weekend got underway on Saturday with the Boston Athletic Association’s 5K road race through the city. A Maine native broke his own American record at the 3.1-mile distance in the process.

Ben True, a native of North Yarmouth who attended Greely High School in Cumberland Center, went into Saturday’s race as the owner of the American 5K record at 13 minutes, 22 seconds.

He came in just under that time, blitzing the field at the BAA 5K, completing the race in 13:20.

True’s previous mark of 13:22 came in a winning effort at this same race.

According to a news release posted on the BAA Web site, True and and defending race champion Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia set the pace right from the start, with Stephen Sambu and James Kibet also challenging.

True took the lead for good shortly after a turn onto Boylston Street, according to the release, and never let up to surge to the victory. Sambu finished second in 13:22 and Kibet was third (13:28).

“The record was in the back of my mind,” True said in the BAA statement, “but it wasn’t something that I was aiming for at the start. People know my tactics; I generally like to sit in. This year, I’m trying to change things up and put my nose in there a bit more.”

True, who ran competitively at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, is coming off a successful 2016.

That campaign included becoming the first American runner to win Cape Elizabeth’s Beach to Beacon 10K. There, the second-place runner finished 11 seconds behind him.

Shortly prior to winning the Beach to Beacon last summer, True finished 11th in the men’s 10,000-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

The 2017 Boston Marathon is scheduled for Monday.

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Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports freelancer Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins.