BANGOR, Maine — Before Monday, Oriana Farley had never run a road race over 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).
After finding out her uncle, Dave Farley of New Hampshire, was going to return to Bangor to run the 46th annual Labor Day 5-miler, she decided to give it a whirl herself.
Boy is she glad she did, as the 23-year old former Hampden Academy running standout showed the kicking speed she possessed in her high school days in nipping Elizabeth Brunton of Birch Harbor to win the women’s division in 33 minutes, 1 second.
“I read in the paper that he was running, so I called him up and I was like, ‘are you running that race Monday,’ and he was like ‘yeah’ so I was like I guess I’ll do it,” said Farley, who is visiting friends and relatives before heading off to graduate school in Scotland next week to pursue her Masters in law.
Brunton, a former Sumner of East Sullivan runner, finished in 33:05. Jill Wheaton of Dedham was third among female runners in 34:34, 2007 champ and Brewer native Kristine Guaraldo of South Portland fourth in 34:38 and Margaret Capehart of Bangor fifth in 37:15.
Judson Cake of Bar Harbor pulled away late to win the overall title in 26:50 while Erik McCarthy of Orono took second in 27:10.
Margaret Capehart’s husband, Joe, took third in 28:09, Austin Townsend of Perry fourth in 29:55 and Travis Vicary of Old Town’s 29:57 rounded out the top five.
Farley has burst onto the local road racing scene this summer, having competed in 5K’s in Dover-Foxcroft and Winter Harbor in addition to the recent Fireman Triathlon in Kennebunk.
“Right now I’m just trying to get that competitive fire back, I got a little burnt out. I was injured a lot in college,” the Brown University graduate explained.
Farley was admittedly nervous about the tough third mile — a grueling uphill stretch up Holland Street — which got even tougher with a headwind whipping in the runners’ faces.
“That definitely put me at a deficit, I was behind Elizabeth for quite a ways,” said Farley. “It’s a smaller field so its harder to find people to tuck in behind.”
Farley gradually made up ground in the stretch portion of the race — which features some friendly downhills on West Broadway and Buck Street — before finally catching Brunton about 20 yards from the finish line.
“I didn’t get her until the cones,” Farley said. “Luckily I still had a kick.”
On the men’s side, Bar Harbor’s Cake had visions of improving his course record, but those plans vanished before the race even started.
“The wind made up my mind, instead of going for the record [I was] going to run very tactically,” said Cake.
That plan worked, although McCarthy and Capehart remained in striking distance through 2-plus miles before Cake started to pull away atop Holland Street.
“I went out easy and just kind of set in the screw as I went,” said Cake, whose last mile of 4:50 was the quickest of the five.
“It was basically under control through three miles,” he said of the pace, which was in the low 5:30-range early on.
While Cake is gearing up for the Philadelphia Marathon later this fall, he’s got some downtime planned over the next few weeks, and for good reason.
“I’m getting married in three weeks so the next few weeks will be pretty chill,” Cake said.
He added that fellow Maine runners Evan Graves and P.J. Gorneault will accompany Cake at the Philadelphia Marathon.
With his wedding on the horizon, Cake’s mileage has tapered down into the 60-65 range but he said things will pick back up into the 120-125 mean once training for Philadelphia resumes.
Cake made his first appearance here since winning back in 2005.
“I haven’t been around for a couple years, I’ve been down in North Carolina. I’ll probably do this [race] until I can’t run anymore,” he said.
134 runners finished the race.