BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Labor Day 5-Mile Road Race will celebrate its 50th anniversary Monday morning, and race organizers anticipate one of the larger turnouts in the event’s history.
One hundred fifty-three runners finished last year’s race, and with advance registrations this year the most in recent memory as of Thursday morning and a healthy number of race-day entries expected, as many as 200 runners may turn out, according to Ryan King of the Sub5 Track Club, which organizes the race with the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department.
“I think there’s an excitement about this year’s race because it is the 50th anniversary,” said King. “I’m getting a lot phone calls from people asking if they can register on the day of the race, and I tell them they can.”
Race-day registration will be from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. at the Bangor Parks and Recreation Center at 647 Main St. in Bangor, with the first 200 entries each receiving a commemorative brass belt buckle designed specifically for the race.
The race starts at 9 a.m.
Among the early entries are Judson Cake of Bar Harbor and Kristine Guaraldo of Brewer, who won last year’s men’s and women’s divisions in respective times of 25 minutes, 48 seconds and 31:29.
Cake will attempt to win the race for the fifth time, having also won in 2004, 2005 and 2008. His 2005 victory came in a course-record time of 25:29.
Only one runner has won more Bangor Labor Day 5-mile men’s titles than Cake, as Bob Hillgrove won seven times between 1965 and 1977.
Guaraldo, who topped the women’s division in 2007, 2010 and 2011, will seek to win her third straight championship and fourth overall, but she has a ways to go to catch Lamoine’s Robin Emery, a 15-time women’s champion between 1972 and 1998.
Cassie Hintz of Old Town set the women’s course record of 29:23 in 2004.
This is expected to be the final year the race will be run on its current route, as plans call for the starting line to be relocated from near the Interstate 395 overpass on Main Street to Dutton Street between Hollywood Casino and Geaghan’s Restaurant and Pub.
From there the planned course will follow the Bangor Waterfront trail system parallel to Main Street until reaching the Sea Dog Restaurant, where the route will return to the current course that continues through the downtown area, up the challenging Holland Street Hill, past author Stephen King’s West Broadway home and back to the finish line near the Parks and Recreation Department.
“We’ve been a little concerned about the increased traffic near the start,” said King. “The [Bangor YMCA] ran its race there this summer and it went great.
“It may make that part of the race a little more scenic being along the waterfront, but you’ll still get a taste of urban Bangor running along Harlow Street, and the iconic aspects of the race won’t change.”
Two fall marathons approaching
Registration has closed for the 21st annual Maine Marathon and Half Marathon, scheduled for Sept. 30 in Portland.
Race organizers reached the cap of 3,500 combined entries for the two distances on Tuesday.
The Maine Marathon features an out-and-back course that starts and finishes on Baxter Boulevard in Portland. Race time is 7:45 a.m.
Defending Maine Marathon champions are Evan Graves of Caribou (2 hours, 36 minutes, 53 seconds) and Stephanie Crawford of Dover, N.H. (3:07:06). Half-marathon winners in 2011 were Andrew Combs of New York (1:09:20) and Kristin Barry of Scarborough (1:19:27).
The Maine Marathon is the first of two fall marathons in the state. The Mount Desert Island Marathon ( www.mdimarathon.com), which already has filled its general registration cap of 1,200 runners, is scheduled for Oct. 14.
Nine hundred twenty-six runners finished last year’s MDI event, led by Michael Wardian of Arlington, Va., (2:32:26) and Leah Jabbour of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who set a women’s course record of 3:01:22.
The men’s course record is 2:31:54, set by Ellsworth’s Louie Luchini in 2010.