CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — A record field has registered for the 33rd annual Sugarloaf Marathon and 15K scheduled for Sunday morning.

This year’s races have attracted 1,527 registrants, up slightly from last year’s total of 1,474 and marking the fifth record field for the two races in the last six years.

This year’s field includes registrants from 32 states and Canada for Maine’s oldest continuously run marathon, which has proven to be a popular event for runners seeking to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Despite its mountainous setting, the United States Track and Field-certified course is primarily downhill and ends with a gradual 16-mile descent. Marathon runners regularly record personal-best times at Sugarloaf.

The marathon boasts longstanding course records, with the men’s mark of 2 hours, 18 minutes, 38 seconds established by Bruce Ellis in 1986 and the women’s standard of 2:50:19 set by Yoli Casas in 1987.

Steven McCarthy of Greene won last year’s Sugarloaf Marathon in 2:47:10, while Jennifer VanDongen of Bar Harbor won the women’s overall title in 2:58:24.

Defending Sugarloaf 15K champions are Nick Wheeler of Portland (47:44) and Christine Irish of North Yarmouth (55:38).

Course record holders for the 15K are Louis Luchini (46:12.2 in 2010) and Joan Benoit Samuelson (53:09 in 1994).

The marathon starts at 7 a.m. in Eustis and follows Route 27 through Carrabassett Valley before finishing on West Kingfield Road. The 15K will start at 7:30 a.m. at Ayotte’s General Store in Carrabassett Valley and follows the final 9.3 miles of the marathon course.

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

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. An all-you-can-eat pasta dinner will be held in the King Pine Room of the Sugarloaf Base Lodge from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday before the race. Tickets for the dinner are $17 for adults or $11 for children, and they are available for pre-purchase online or at the door.

All proceeds from the marathon go to the Sugarloaf Region Charitable Trust, 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 $15,000 for the trust.

For more information on the Sugarloaf Marathon and 15K, visit

Royer, Von Puttkammer win Maine Coast Marathon

The Sugarloaf Marathon is the second 26.2-mile endurance test for runners in Maine within two weekends.

Philip Royer of Gambrills, Maryland, and Alyssa von Puttkammer of Boston, Massachusetts, were winners Sunday in the 11th Maine Coast Marathon from Kennebunk High School to the University of New England in Biddeford Pool.

Royer, 24, headed the field of 702 finishers with a time of 2:30:44. Jonathan Gault, 24, of Allston, Massachusetts, was second in 2:35:54, and Jason Bigonia, 38, of Walpole was third in 2:46:52.

Von Puttkammer, 25, was clocked in at 3:00:29 to win the women’s division and place ninth overall. Alanna Poretta, 23, of Groveland, Massachusetts, was second in the women’s division and 14th overall in 3:03:32, while Tracy Guerrette, 34, of Saint Agatha was the third-fastest woman in the field and 18th overall in 3:06:18.

Avatar photo

Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...