Franklin Countys First News

Sugarloaf Marathon & 15K turns 35 this Sunday

At the start of the Sugarloaf Marathon.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY – With competitors traveling from as far away as Guatemala, the Sugarloaf Marathon as 15K, Maine’s oldest continuously run marathon, will celebrate its 35th anniversary on Sunday, May 21.

Among this year’s 1,600 pre-registered runners is Olympic gold medalist, Joan Benoit Samuelson who will be running her first marathon in her home state. Samuelson will be competing alongside another Maine running legend, Michael Westphal of Great Cranberry Island. The two will be racing to raise money for the Michal J Fox Foundation.

The marathon will start at 7 a.m., on May 15, in Eustis, following Route 27 through Carrabassett Valley and finishing on the West Kingfield Road. The 15K will start at 7:30 a.m. at Ayottes General Store in Carrabassett Valley, also finishing on the West Kingfield Road.

Route 27 will remain open to vehicle traffic, but drivers are encouraged to avoid travel between Sugarloaf and Kingfield between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. if possible.

As an official qualifying race for the Boston Marathon, certified by the United States Track and Field Association (USATF), the Sugarloaf Marathon is popular among running enthusiasts. Despite its mountainous setting the course is primarily downhill, and ends with a gradual 16 mile descent. Marathon runners regularly record personal-best times at Sugarloaf.

Presented by Landry-French Construction Company and Darling’s, the Sugarloaf Marathon provides runners with spectacular views of surrounding mountain ranges and the Carrabassett River. Wildlife sightings are common, as runners share the roads and environment with the area’s abundant population of moose and deer.

The top three men and women in each race receive cash prizes, and all entrants receive a commemorative t-shirt, post-race breakfast, massage, and a finisher’s medal.

One hundred percent of sponsor dollars from the marathon go to the Sugarloaf Region Charitable Trust, which is a private, nonprofit trust dedicated to improving the quality of life for the communities that make up the Sugarloaf Area. Last year's event resulted in a record donation of more than $17,000 for the Trust, which was distributed to deserving organizations in the Sugarloaf area.

For more information on the Sugarloaf Marathon and 15K, please visit www.sugarloaf.com/marathon.

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