The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship courses reward runners and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world with a quintessential Maine experience filled with roots and rocks, big climbs, vibrant colors, hero dirt, and views for miles around every switchback.
Located in Carrabassett Valley, Sugarloaf is one of the largest ski areas in the East during the snowy winters, but in the Fall, the bright white gives way to a cornucopia of colors connecting softwoods and hardwoods with mountain streams and natural bridges.
The topography at Sugarloaf Resort boasts more than 60 miles of twisting tree-lined trails from its base elevation at 1,417 feet to its mountain peak at 4,237 feet.
Marathoners can expect a tough 40-kilometer course featuring more than 1,000 meters of climbing, and half that for the 21K runners. Exact course routing has yet to be determined and with so many spectacular options it’s certain the course designing gurus from XTERRA and the Sugarloaf Mtn Ops team will take as much time as they can to create their masterpiece in the mountains.
Things that are certain for both races include starts and finishes at the base of Sugarloaf Resort, a steep, rocky, and slow climb up to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, and some flat-smooth-and-fast sections through the valley that will feel like running on air. There are miles of trails undulating by idyllic mountain rivers and rails-to-trails sections made up of crushed packed stones that are “smooth and easy” for any age.
Over the years, the team at Sugarloaf in conjunction with the Carrabassett Region Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (CRNEMBA) and the town of Carrabassett Valley have developed a truly world-class network that is maintained and improved year-round and has lured big events like the mountain biking Enduro World Series.