BANGOR, Maine — An early morning standoff between police and a man who fired 70 gunshots on Park Street didn’t stop more than 600 runners from participating in the 33rd annual Walter Hunt 4th of July 3K on a hot and muggy morning.
This year’s field was the largest group of runners race organizers Joe Capehart and Margaret Capehart have welcomed to this event in their three years directing the race.
“This is our third year doing it. I’m pretty sure this the biggest group we’ve ever had. I feel bad we weren’t able to do a whole one with such a big group,” Capehart said.
Due to the standoff, the course was rerouted and ended up being approximately 600 meters shorter than the scheduled route.
“Because of the shots that were fired closer to Main Street, we had to switch it. We found out at the last minute and had to change the finish line. We had a great group of volunteers that were able to switch it around,” Joe Capehart said.
Former Bangor High School, University of Maine and University of Oklahoma standout Riley Masters of Veazie, 23, took first overall with a time of of 6 minutes, 35 seconds. Masters also holds the 3K course record, finishing in 8:02 in 2011. After completing his college career at Oklahoma, Masters said this is a good chance to have some fun at home.
“I just graduated from Oklahoma and signed a professional contract with Brooks. I’ll be heading over to Europe next week but this was a good chance to come home and have some fun,” Masters said.
Masters also went out quicker than normal because it was a shortened course.
“I want to say [my first mile] was around 4:02, I wasn’t exactly sure where the mile marker was,” he said. “I heard right before [we started] the course was changed so I went out a little harder and tried to have some fun with it.”
Rounding out the top five men were 29-year-old Adam Goode of Bangor with a time of 7:01, 31-year-old Michael Bunker of Liberty (7:12), 19-year-old Matt Guiod of Lincoln (7:35), 19-year-old Alex Beals of Portland and 17-year-old Tyler White of Orono (both in 7:36).
The top female was 25-year-old Jordan Daniel, who crossed the finish line in 7:58.
Rene Collins of Brewer, 71, the winner of the female 70-and-over group, said she has fun competing in this short race. Collins finished 453rd overall with a time of 15:11.
“It’s hard in general to run in the heat, I prefer cooler weather, but it’s a short race which makes it fun. It’s great,” Collins said. “This is may be my 20th time running this.”
Collins is the only member of her family who runs this race since her sons moved to Boston, but she enjoys running since she quit smoking when she was 40.
“I had to wait until I was 40 and put my cigarette out, then I started running.”
Rounding out the top five women were 24-year-old Lindsy Argus of Hermon (8:57), 37-year-old Kristine Guaraldo of Brewer (9:00), 16-year-old Elizabeth Labun of Hampden (9:02) and 42-year-old Katherine Collins of Winterport (9:10).
Capehart, who coaches the cross country, indoor track and outdoor track teams at John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor, likes the community aspect to the race.
“This is a great race. There are a lot of kids that do this; this is a lot of people’s first race, their first experience,” he said. “This is one of the first races I can remember doing. It’s one that families can do. On the other hand you get a lot of competitive guys like Riley and other college runners who do this race, too.”