BANGOR – While crowds gathered in preparation for Bangor’s 4th of July parade, they were treated to another annual tradition – the Walter Hunt Memorial 3K race.
“People who live away come back to run the race as a family,” said Glendon Rand who helped run the event. “That’s one attraction. The other attraction is that it’s downhill, so it’s really fast and everyone posts a personal best time.”
Hundreds of participants raced along the route from Wilson Street in Brewer into downtown Bangor, and a thrilling finish awaited the runners for the final leg.
“Once you turned right into downtown Bangor, then the crowd just lifted you and picked you up so it was a great finish,” said Tracy Guerrette, a former UMaine women’s hoops star who was the fastest female on the day.
19-year-old Adam Schwendt finished first overall with a time of nine minutes and 29 seconds.
Now a marathon runner, Guerrette said the race was the perfect balance of opportunity for competitive runners as well as family fun.
“It’s a great race to try to get faster as you build towards a fall marathon,” she said. “I think it’s a lot of fun and it’s a short enough race for kids to come and families so it’s a great event for the 4th of July.”
“That’s part of our mission – to promote running in this part of the state, both at the youth level and adults,” said Rand. “Seeing all of those people cheering for you really helps you run faster. It’s a good motivator for the runners.”
In addition to the race, Sub 5 Running Club, which organized the race, also handed out scholarships for two recently-graduated student athletes. Hampden Academy’s Paul Casavant and Orono’s Hannah Steelman both received $1500 towards their coming Division-I careers. Casavant will attend Cornell while Steelman heads to South Carolina to attend Wofford.