Local runners have to be ecstatic with the way the weather of late has been turning around.
Especially if your name is Ryan King and you’re in charge of the Bangor Labor Day 5-mile road race.
The forecast looks bright in many ways for the 47th annual race, set for Monday morning at 9, starting and finishing at the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department on Main Street.
“The big deal is it’s part of the 175th anniversary of Bangor,” said King.
He added that no special celebrations are planned, but the event just happens to be on the same weekend as events such as the Skowhegan-Bangor football game Saturday, which will commemorate the 50th anniversary of an NFL preseason game played at Garland Street Field in 1959.
As for the race, there are a few big names planning on running.
“I talked to Judson at [the Machias] Blueberry race and he’s planning on running, he’s not registered but planning on running,” King said.
“Judson” is Judson Cake of Bar Harbor, the 2008 Labor Day champ who will be gunning for his fourth crown.
He also owns the course record of 25 minutes, 29 seconds, which was established in 2005, and Cake was timed in 26:50 in winning last summer.
His competition will likely come from former champs Phil LeBreton (2001-03) and Adam Goode (2006), both of Bangor.
But the beauty of road racing is that it’s never a given who is going to be at what race from week to week.
“You just don’t know if somebody may show up from southern Maine. It’s hard telling,” King said.
There will likely be a new champ in the women’s division, as former Hampden Academy standout Oriana Farley, last year’s winner, is attending graduate school in Scotland.
However, there are a few runners who are poised to come home with the win, among them former champ Kristine Guaraldo of South Portland, a Brewer native, and Elizabeth Brunton of Birch Harbor, a running coach at Ellsworth High.
Among the nearly 50 runners that King has preregistered are Dennis Morrill and Robin Emery, both of whom have retired bib numbers.
Plenty of points will be up for grabs, too, as the race not only represents the 11th event in the Sub 5 Track Club race series, it’s also part of Maine USA Track and Field’s Grand Prix Road Racing series.
Even though runners in their mid-to-late 20s are usually found in the lead pack, King would like to see some of the older folks rewarded for their efforts in the future, outside of age-group medals.
“The only kind of thing we want to pursue for next year is having a masters overall award,” he said.
The challenging course winds through downtown Bangor before heading down Harlow Street, turning onto Holland Street for that daunting hill — where many Labor Day races have been won and lost — then heading up Union Street and turning onto West Broadway, passing author Stephen King’s house before shifting onto Buck Street, then Main Street for the trip home.
A message was sent earlier this week to Sub 5 members seeking volunteers, but King has that down pat.
“We’re in really good shape now,” he said. “We’re in really good shape for volunteers, it’s nice to have that.”
It’s also a vital necessity to have Tracy Willette and his crew at Bangor Parks and Rec Department on board, along with the Bangor Police Department, which does an excellent job coordinating traffic while the runners are on the roads.
“They provide a lot of support, and it’s just nice, and they help mark the course,” King said. “It’s nice to have the support of Sub 5 and the city, they do so much. Many thanks to Tracy and his crew.”
Runners who haven’t registered yet can do so starting at 7:45 Monday morning, and the fee is only $15.