BREWER, Maine — Ellsworth’s Louie Luchini won the Tour du Lac 10-mile road race in Bucksport last Saturday but he wasn’t happy with his performance or his time (55:57), saying, “I finished kind of weak. It was pretty hot.”
So the former Stanford University track star “just wanted to come out and run hard and see what I could do” Wednesday in the 32nd annual Walter Hunt Memorial 4th of July 3K road race from Brewer to Bangor.
And that’s exactly what he did over the 1.864 miles.
Luchini took the lead just before the one-mile mark and pulled away impressively to win by a comfortable 20-second margin over Bangor’s Adam Goode with a time of 8 minutes,10 seconds.
That was the second-fastest winning time, tying him with Gerry Clapper (1988) and Tim Wakeland (1987).
Bangor’s Riley Masters, who recently competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 1,500 meters, broke the record last season with a time of 8:02. He didn’t run Wednesday because he is en route to Mexico for the NACAC (North America, Central America, Caribbean) Under-23 championships.
It was Luchini’s third win in the Hunt race. He last won it in 2001 and this was the first time he had run it since 2002, when he finished second to his brother, Joey, by one second.
Louie Luchini also had won it in 1999.
Goode’s second-place finish was his best showing in the event, which had 544 finishers, the second most behind last year’s 581.
Recently graduated University of Maine standout distance runner Spencer McElwain of Caribou was third (8:37), with Brewer’s Caleb Lander (8:57) and Waterville’s Jeff Hale (9:11) completing the top five.
Blue Hill’s Nikos Christ (9:13), Sidney’s David Currier (9:14), Bangor’s Jon Stanhope (9:22), Glenburn’s Alex Beals (9:35) and Bangor’s Jake Archer (9:40) rounded out the top 10.
Former Brewer High School runner Kristine Guaraldo was a first-time winner in the women’s division with a time of 10:35. A year ago, she finished second to Jen Dagan by seven seconds.
Dagan didn’t run Wednesday.
Like Luchini, Guaraldo had won her division at the Tour du Lac.
Bangor’s Casey Dunn was second in 11:14 and Orland’s Phoebe Peckenham was third in 11:17.
Rounding out the top 10 in the women’s division were Hampden’s Elizabeth Labun (11:27) and Molly Ballentine (11:35), Orono’s Lily Koffman (11:45), Miranda Monk of Bangor (11:47), Brewer’s Heather Knowles (11:55), LaGrange’s Brenda Litzinger (12:01) and Winterport’s Katherine Collins (12:02).
With an overcast sky and seasonable temperatures, Lander sprinted out to the lead over the first half-mile but Luchini passed him and never looked back.
“Caleb took it out quick, especially the first half-mile,” said the 31-year-old Luchini, who is a state representative serving Ellsworth, Otis and Trenton. “I had given him a lot of room and I thought I should probably bring him back in. I caught him a little before the mile mark, took the lead and felt pretty comfortable coming down the hill.
“I wanted to push it over the bridge because once you get to Main Street, the crowd [for the parade] carries you. They’re so loud. The crowd really lifts you up and brings you to the finish.”
He added that he was pleased with his time.
Lander said, “I like to hit it hard and run as fast as I can for the first mile. Louie is a great runner. I don’t even try to keep up with him. As long as I can keep him in my sights, I’m happy.”
Goode knew Luchini was the man to beat.
“If I’m racing with Louie, I’m racing for second,” said Goode. “There’s no doubt in my mind.”
Goode was pleased with his showing.
“I had never finished in the top three. My best is fourth, I think,” said Goode, the cross country coach at Bangor High School, from which he graduated in 2001. “It was great. It’s a hometown race and I’m proud to be from Bangor. My grandmother [Audrey Dyer] always watches at the end of the bridge and my mom [Molly] was at the finish line.”
In the women’s division, Guaraldo termed her performance “OK, considering how I’ve been running this year. I haven’t been running as well [as I would like].
“It wasn’t as good as last year,” added the 36-year-old Guaraldo, who finished 31st overall.
Guaraldo clocked a time of 9:59 a year ago and was 22nd overall.
Peckenham’s third-place showing was noteworthy because of her dramatic improvement.
“This is my best finish here by almost two minutes,” said Peckenham. “I ran better than I thought I would. I’m just getting over a cold. I’ve been training more for races this year and I’m doing better in them.”