Bangor Labor Day Road Race Notebook

Emery, 64, recalls her first Bangor Labor Day race

Posted Sept. 05, 2011, at 5:27 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 05, 2011, at 8:13 p.m.

She has won the women’s division of the Bangor Labor Day Five-Mile Road Race 15 times.

And Lamoine’s Robin Emery, who was the first woman to enter the race in 1971, will continue to run the event as long as she’s healthy.

“I’ve only missed one since 1971 and that was because I was injured,” said the 64-year-old Emery after finishing her 39th Bangor Labor Day race in 51 minutes, 5 seconds. She was 136th out of 153 runners.

“It’s a tradition. It marks the end of summer,” said Emery.

Monday’s race was particularly challenging for Emery.

“It was humid and I don’t like that,” said Emery. “It was hard to breathe and that hill (midway through the race) gets steeper every year. I thought I was going to croak. I saw an ant going faster than I was.”

She recalled the first year she entered the race.

“I went to the Bangor Auditorium (to get my number) and they said, ‘Oh my goodness. We’ll give you a number but please don’t die or get in the way,” she said.

“There were no trophies for four years and when I finally got one, there was a male basketball player on it,” said Emery. “But it was good that they did that. It was fun to be the first.”

DAD, DAUGHTER ENJOY FIRST RACE

Brewer’s Joe White was running his first Bangor Labor Day race and he had company.

His 3 1/2 daughter, Breanne, was in a stroller in front of him as he pushed her through the course.

“It was rough,” said the 34-year-old White, who finished 84th in 40:52. “I had to really slow down to do the hill. I was doing 7 1/2-minute miles but we did the hill in 9 1/2 minutes. The (dirt) trail was the worst part. It was kind of lopsided,” he said.

He said he was very happy with his time.

“I did better than I thought,” said White.

He takes his daughter running whenever he can. This is their “third or fourth race.”

“She likes running with her dad,” said White. “She likes waving to the people.”

HUSSON TEAM COMPLETES RACE

Jim Karcanes, the Husson University women’s cross country coach, brought his team to run the race and he also ran it, finishing sixth overall in 29:54 and winning the men’s masters division (40 and over).

“The team did fantastic,” said Karcanes. “This was a real good training run for them. They had just raced on Saturday.”

He was also pleased with his effort.

“I wanted to break 30 minutes. I’ve been training for the MDI marathon,” he said.

Karcanes said he likes to bring his team to events like this because Husson encourages community participation and service.

His runners enjoyed the race.

“Coach told us there would be a lot of hills but it wasn’ t too bad. It was better than I thought,” said sophomore McKenna Peat of Greenville. “I was still pretty sore from Saturday (3.1-mile cross country meet) and we didn’t have a very good warmup. But it went better than I thought.”

“It was pretty tough,” said freshman Alecia Palmer of Presque Isle. “There were some pretty good hills. Other than that, it was pretty nice. It was humid but it wasn’t that bad. It was good for practice.”

Palmer finished 49th overall among 153 runners and fourth in the women’s division with a time of 37:11 and Peat was 99th, 22nd among women, with a time of 42:55.

There were also members of the boys cross country team from Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln and the John Bapst of Bangor cross country teams in the race.

SISTERS RUN WITH COUSIN

Thirteen-year-old Anne McKee of Hallowell did the race because her 10-year-old cousin, Gabriel Coffey of Bangor, suggested they do it. McKee’s 11-year-old sister, Kate, also ran it.

Anne McKee was 58th overall in 38:38 and she was third in the 1-19 age group for women; Coffey was 82nd in 40:44 and Kate turned in a time of 57:11 and was 145th.

“I really liked it,” said Anne McKee.

BRUCE, 72, WINS CLASS

Seventy-two-year old Mary Alice Bruce of Corea said she felt good while winning the female 70-99 age group in 56:08.

“It was fun,” said Bruce, who considers it one of the toughest five-mile races she runs.

“The Pembroke five-miler is the toughest,” she said.

Sixty-three-year-old Katherine Martin of Hermon enjoyed her run, saying “I like challenges.”

ORGANIZER ELATED WITH TURNOUT

Race organizer Ryan King was extremely happy with the turnout.

There were 153 compared to 118 a year ago.

It is one of the largest turnouts in 10 years.

King is part of the Sub5 Track Club that helps run the race which is sponsored by the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department.

“The Sub5 Track Club encourages people to run and we promote a healthy lifestyle,” said King. “This (turnout) was nice to see.”

He said you can expect a few “bells and whistles” next year for the 50th anniversary of the race.

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