BANGOR, Maine — One of the iconic events on the Maine road racing calendar enters its second half-century Monday morning with the running of the 51st annual Bangor Labor Day 5-Mile Road Race.
The race is set to begin at 9 a.m., with race-day registration from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. at the Bangor Parks and Recreation Center at 647 Main St.
The race course has experienced several changes over the years and Monday’s route will feature a new starting location.
Rather than its previous start under the Interstate 395 overpass on Main Street, runners will depart from nearby Dutton Street between Hollywood Casino and Geaghan’s Restaurant and Pub.
From there the course will follow the Bangor Waterfront trail system parallel to Main Street before resuming its traditional path, which 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 in front of the Parks and Recreation Department.
The new start is a concession to the growth and increased traffic on that part of Main Street via such newer landmarks as the casino and the Cross Insurance Center.
At total of 156 runners completed last year’s 50th anniversary race. That field was led by Ellsworth’s Louie Luchini, who set a course record with his winning time of 25 minutes, 2 seconds.
The former 11-time All-American at Stanford University, now a state representative serving House District 38 (Ellsworth, Otis and Trenton) and an assistant cross country coach at Ellsworth High School, broke the previous mark of 25:29 set by Judson Cake of Bar Harbor in 2005.
Rosalea Kimball of Readfield won the women’s division, passing two-time defending champion Kristine Guaraldo of Brewer as the two entered the final stretch along Main Street to finish in 31:37. Guaraldo, a three-time race champion, placed second in 31:54.
Lamoine’s Robin Emery holds the race record for most women’s championships, winning 15 times between 1972 and 1998. Bob Hillgrove holds the men’s mark with seven victories between 1965 and 1977, while Cake is a four-time race winner.
Cassie Hintz of Old Town set the women’s course record of 29:23 in 2004.
Another major running event on the eastern Maine fall sports scene is the Mount Desert Island Marathon, slated for Oct. 20.
But the marathon is just half of the story concerning this year’s event, as a half-marathon has been added to the day’s schedule.
A total of 1,261 registrants had signed up for one of the races as of late Friday morning, with room still remaining in both the marathon and half-marathon fields.
The marathon is scheduled for an 8 a.m. start, followed at 8:30 by the half-marathon start.
Luchini is the defending MDI Marathon champion, setting a course record of 2:30:41 last October to snap his previous mark of 2:31:54 set in 2010.
Heather Carlson, a first-time marathoner from Brighton, Mass., won the 2012 women’s division in 3:08:29.
To register or for information about this year’s races, go to www.mdimarathon.org.