BANGOR — One of the enduring signs of the changing season in Eastern Maine is on tap for Monday morning with the 49th annual running of the Bangor Labor Day 5 Mile Road Race.
Race-day registration is from 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. at the Bangor Parks and Recreation Center at 647 Main St., with the race to begin from that location at 9 a.m.
Among early registrants for this year’s race, according to race organizer Ryan King of the Sub5 Track Club, are defending women’s champion Kristine Guaraldo of South Portland and Eric Mauricette of Owls Head, who is coming off a victory last weekend at the Blueberry Cove Half Marathon in Tenants Harbor.
Also expected to compete in the Bangor race are the inaugural winners of the event, Dave Farley and Robin Emery.
Farley won the first Labor Day 5-miler in 1963 with a winning time of 26 minutes, 55 seconds, then went on to successfully defend that championship the following year.
Since then, 25 other men have won the race’s overall title, a contingent led by Bob Hillgrove, who won seven times, including five in a row from 1965 through 1969.
Fourteen different men have won the race more than once, but the last five years have produced five different winners, including defending champion Jeff Jones of Farmington, who bested a field of 110 finishers last September with a time of 27 minutes, 14 seconds.
Other recent winners are Erik McCarthy (2009), Judson Cake (2008), Evan Graves (2007) and Adam Goode (2006).
Cake of Bar Harbor, a three-time race champion, set the current men’s course record of 25:29 in 2005.
That came one year after the current women’s course record was established by Cassie Hintz of Old Town, who capped off a run of four victories in six years with her time of 29:23 in 2004.
Women’s division champions have been crowned at the Labor Day 5-miler since 1972, when Emery was timed in 33:21. That was the first of her 15 titles, the most recent in 1998.
Other multiple women’s champions are five-time winner Sheila Hodges, Hintz and two-time winners Lara Rand, Paula Emery and Guaraldo, a Brewer native who won in 2007 and then last year in a time of 30:15.
For the second straight year, the top masters’ finishers in the Labor Day 5-miler also will be recognized. Austin Townsend Jr. of Perry is the defending men’s masters’ champion, and he could be challenged this year by Bangor’s Peter Lodge.
The reigning women’s masters’ champion is Julie Brown of Millinocket. She had not registered for this year’s race as of Friday morning, King said, and other contenders for that title could include Margaret Jones of Bucksport and Bernie Stockley of Chester.