CARRABASSETT VALLEY — Colby College’s 21-year-old Paco Defrancis took finished first in the annual Sugarloaf Uphill Climb on Sunday, completing the grueling course in a time of 28 minutes and 50 seconds.
Defrancis beat a field of nearly 200 runners in a race that takes runners up more than 2,500 vertical feet over a 3-mile course that leads to Sugarloaf’s 4,237-foot summit.
Racers battled brisk temperatures and strong winds as they raced up Maine’s second highest peak.
Tim Whiton, 21, finished just under a minute behind Defrancis, with a time of 29:48, and 21-year-old Jeff Tucker finished in third with a time of 30:05.
Tina-Marie Poulin, 41, was the top finisher on the women’s side, with a blistering time of 34:35, followed by 21-year-old Emma Wood, of Colby, who finished in 35:08.
This year’s field of competitors was the largest in the event’s history, with a total of 215 registered runners.
The Uphill Climb is an annual tradition during Sugarloaf’s Homecoming Weekend. Other events include a Kid’s Climb, the Upcountry Artists Arts & Crafts Show, and the annual Carrabassett Valley Academy Used Ski and Sports Equipment Sale, ranked one of the top ski swap in the east by Skiing Magazine.