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At the Races

Sugarloaf Mountain Marathon recap–May 17, 2015, by Adam Perry

Sugarloaf Marathon Recap

“Come to Maine,” they said. “We’re running the Sugarloaf Marathon, you should come too,” they said. Well it didn’t take much for Pia and Ryen to slowly gather a group of 14 other crazy runners spanning 2 NJ running clubs and 2 states. And off to beautiful Carrabassett Valley, Maine we went!

We knew the Sugarloaf Marathon was going to be one of (if not, the) smallest marathon that most of us had ever run. Instead of a “marathon expo” there was simply “bib pickup.” There was a very nice pasta dinner the night before the race including speaker Gary Allen ( who, among his many other accomplishments, has run Sugarloaf over 30 times. In addition to regaling us with a story of how he created a bionic hamstring for himself using only duct tape and bungee cords during his run from Maine to Washington DC, he also gave those in attendance a great mile-by-mile preview of the race course with advice on how we could tackle each segment on our way to a PR or a BQ. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the Sugarloaf Marathon is supposed to be one of the top 25 fastest marathons in the country featuring a 16-mile downhill stretch to end the race (…).

Fast forward to Sunday morning and all that talk of PRs and BQs would be thrown out the window. Despite erratic weather forecasts for the week or so leading up to the race, we woke up on Sunday morning to temps in the 50s that would continue to climb throughout the race, peaking in the high 70s/low 80s with full (but beautiful) sunshine right in our faces for about 3/4 of this straight, point-to-point race.

Despite the crazy temps, dehydration, cramping and crushed hopes of PRs and BQs, I can confidently say everyone had an AWESOME time at this marathon! Even though it was such a small field (fewer than 1,000) at no point did any of us feel alone on the course. All of the volunteers and fellow marathoners were incredibly friendly and it was a true feeling of “misery loves company” out on that course. Everyone was in pain and we all knew it and pushed each other (whether friend or stranger) to the finish.

I’m sure everyone who was there can give you his/her own recap of the race indicating precisely where the wheels began to came off (for me it was about mile 17), so I’ll leave that up to them the next ERC meeting or social gathering.

This trip was a true testament to ERC being NJ’s “friendliest running club.” In addition to many ERC members, we also had a few familiar “friends of ERC,” a member of Garden State Track Club and a new friend from Missouri that none of us had even met before. Everyone left Maine with some new friends, great memories, and another state checked off the list.

Ryen Lopresti – 3:27:06
Pia Lopresti – 3:36:05
Jon Alaya – 3:36:13
Adam Perry – 3:47:40
MaryRose DiBiano – 4:10:16 (The sole PR of the group!)
Amanda Ryan – 4:20:54
Roselynn Horway – 4:31:34
Samantha Spitaletta – 4:38:28
Annie Miller – 5:06:49
Timothy Panebianco – 5:06:48
Sarah Ford – 5:06:50
Brian Innis – 5:53:39

Photo Highlights

Photos on flickr

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