CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — With cool temperatures, clouds, and intermittent rain showers providing favorable conditions for runners, 37 year-old P.J. Gorneault of Caribou won the 34th annual Sugarloaf Marathon Sunday in 2 hours, 35 minutes, and 24 seconds.
Thirty-two year-old Leah Frost of Glover, Vermont, claimed the women’s title with a time of 2:51:47.
Gorneault captured the men’s title just 75 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Jonathan Baker, 36, of Cambridge Massachusetts, who finished with a time of 2:36:09. Matthew Germain, 32, of Spencer, Mass., rounded out the top three in the men’s division, crossing the finish line in 2:39:15.
Frost held a 10-minute lead over the women’s second-place finisher, Sarah Walker, 22, of Waterville, who crossed the line in a time of 3:01:47. Alina Gatowski, 26, of Brookline Mass., took third on the women’s overall podium, with a time of 3:05:23.
In the 15-kilometer race, 34 year-old Erik McCarthy of Old Town earned the fastest finish of the day with a blistering time of 48:40, while Claudia Keep, 23, of Solebury, Pennsylvania, emerged as the women’s champion in a time of 1:00:53.
Kenneth Akiha, 29, of Orono finished second in the men’s race in 49:14.5 and David Kerschner, 30, of Oakland took third in 41:09.9.
Heather Gallant, 35, of Wayne earned a second-place finish in the women’s race with a 1:1:35.3 clocking while Lindsay Roskelley, 33, of Falmouth captured third in 1:03:03.9.
This year’s field of competitors surpassed the previous record of 1,527, set in 2015, with a total of 1,600 registered runners hailing from 34 states and five countries.
Sponsored by Landry French Construction Company and Darling’s, the Sugarloaf Marathon is Maine’s oldest continuously run marathon. As an official qualifying race for the Boston Marathon certified by the United States Track and Field Association, 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.
Proceeds from the marathon benefit 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.