Spence, 42, of Shippensburg, Pa., who set the course record of 25 minutes, 8 seconds last year, broke the tape in 25:20. Bodnar, 33, who recently moved from Florida to Winchester, Va., was second in 25:39. Burke, 35, of Burtonsville, Md., took third in 25:51.
"I feel good about it," said Spence, the bronze medalist in the marathon at the 1991 world championships and 12th-place finisher at the '92 Olympics. "Last year was quite a bit cooler, and I only ran about 10 seconds slower today."
Spence trailed by as many as 50 yards near the halfway mark, but he never took his eyes off Bodnar.
"I think I had an advantage because this was his first time running this course, and I ran it last year and know this course doesn't run very fast," Spence said. "So what happens is you get out there and you're running a certain effort and expecting a certain split. And when it's slow, you start pushing and then you get anaerobic, and that's what I think happened to him.
"He kept pushing and then he really lost his turnover, and I started eating into his lead."
Bodnar had no response once he was caught.
"I'm younger than him," Bodnar said. "I feel like I should be able to outkick him, but ..."
But there's no shame in losing to a runner like Spence.
"Even if Steve's a little older, he's still a world championship medalist and one of the greatest American distance runners ever. He's a competitor," Bodnar said. "It's an honor for me to just line up with Steve Spence."
Last year in the women's race, training partners Susan Graham-Gray of Greencastle, Pa., and Maria Spinnler of Hagerstown crossed the finish line together, sharing first-place honors.
Laura Nelson's looming presence was the reason that didn't happen again. It was every woman for herself Saturday.
Graham-Gray, 36, won in 31:06; Spinnler, 42, was second in 31:18; and Nelson, 38, of Waynesboro, Va., took third in 31:25.
Chambersburg senior Regina Heiser (35:43) and North Hagerstown junior Hemu Arumugam (29:19) won the battles for new sneakers, awarded to the top high school girl and boy.
Overall, there were 160 finishers.