Maine runners Gorneault and Frost earn back-to-back titles in the 35th Annual Sugarloaf Marathon
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (May 21, 2017) - With cool temperatures and clear skies providing favorable conditions for runners, 38 year-old PJ Gorneault of Caribou Maine, won his second straight title in the 35th annual Sugarloaf Marathon today in two hours, thirty two minutes, and seven seconds. Thirty three year-old Leah Frost of Portland Maine, claimed her second straight title over the women's field with a time of 2:49:54. Both runners completed the race nearly two minutes ahead of their winning times from 2016.
Maine runners swept the men's podium, as 39 year-old Judson Cake of Bar Harbor finished just over three minutes behind Gorneault, with a time of 2:35:41. Forty-eight year-old Robert Ashby of Brunswick-who won the race back in 2015-rounded out the top three in the men's division, crossing the finish line in 2:40:44.
Frost held more than a ten minute lead over the women's second place finisher, 32 year-old Jessica Van Binsbergen of Portland ME, who crossed the line in a time of 3:00:06. Rebecca Trachsel, of Winchester MA, narrowly missed second place, and took third on the women's overall podium, with a time of 3:00:16.
Olympic gold medalist, Joan Benoit Samuelson of Freeport ME finished seventh in her first marathon in her home state, with a time of 3:12:21. With 15 kilometers to go, Samuelson was joined by Maine running legend, Michael Wetphal of Great Cranberry Island, and crossed the finish line side by side. Together the two raised more than $17,000 for the Michal J. Fox Foundation.
Samuelson's twenty seven year-old son, Anders Samuelson dominated the men's field in the 15K, with a finish time of 52 minutes and 13 seconds, while 29 year-old Tamma Carelton of Berkley CA emerged as the women's champion, in a time of 55:59.
With competitors traveling from as far away as Guatemala, this year's race was comprised of 1600 registered runners hailing from 41 states and 3 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 (USATF), the Sugarloaf Marathon is wildly 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.
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 donation of more than $10,000 for the Trust, which was distributed to deserving organizations in the Sugarloaf area.
The top three men and women in each race received cash prizes, and all entrants received a t-shirt, post-race breakfast, massage, and a finisher's medal.
About Sugarloaf- Located in Carrabassett Valley, ME, Sugarloaf is largest ski area in the East, and is home to the only lift-serviced above treeline skiing and riding in the East, and the number one golf course in Maine, according to Golf Digest. Sugarloaf is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions. Follow: www.sugarloaf.com, www.facebook.com/sugarloaf, and http://twitter.com/sugarloafmaine.