KINGFIELD — The annual Sugarloaf Marathon on May 21 is expected to bring thousands of visitors to town, selectmen learned at their meeting Monday night. 

Event organizers shared their plans to make the 35th year for the state’s oldest continuously run marathon as safe and well-organized as possible.

Proceeds from sponsorships have raised $75,000 over the past five years, and the money is used to support local schools and nonprofit organizations, according to event organizers, and this year promises to be the biggest effort yet.

Registrations had to be cut off March 3, according to Ethan Austin, Sugarloaf Resort’s marketing director.

“We sold out on March 3, and that’s the second year in a row,” he said.

The race will host runners from 37 states and provinces. Fifty spots have been reserved for Michael J. Fox Foundation participants. The 871 marathon runners and the 723 15K runners will start at Sugarloaf and run to the finish on the West Kingfield Road.

The organizing committee has been working on the best ways to keep pedestrians and traffic separated.

“We’re doing everything we can to be sure everyone is safe during the event,” Austin said.

On May 20, the day before the event, volunteer organizer Jim Boyce and other residents spend a few hours cleaning trash from the roadside, making Route 27 as tidy as possible for the thousands who come through town.

Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the snowmobile club’s sled shed at the south end of town.

“We just need a few more folks to give us a few hours,” he said. “We actually have fun, and it’s not hard work.”

Last year, he said 45 volunteers came from Carrabassett Valley to join the 10 volunteers from Kingfield. Selectmen noted the decline of volunteers willing to help with some of the traditional activities that make the town a better place to live.

Village Enhancement Committee member John Goldfrank resigned his seat on the board, citing his hope to have more free time to enjoy his retirement. He helped organize the effort to get the new “sled shed” parking lot improved and expanded for better access for runners, walkers, hikers, bikers, ATVers and snowmobilers. 

The parking lot now has lighting and is a safer and more efficient place to park, and Goldfrank expressed hope that younger members of the community could find some time to help with future community improvement projects.

The town meeting on June 3 will start with elections for municipal officials: 

• Rick Rose is challenging Selectman John Dill for a three-year term.

• No one has stepped forward to run against Browne, also an incumbent.

• School directors Johanna Prince and Julie Talmage are unchallenged for three-year terms.

• School director Peter Manning has declined to seek re-election, and no candidate has offered to fill that empty seat.

Selectman Heather Moody will finish her term at the end of May, with plans for employment in another state. Selectmen accepted her resignation “with great regret.”

Selectmen signed the school district warrant for the 2017-18 budget. The budget hearing is May 30 at Mt. Abram High School; the school budget referendum is June 13 at Webster Hall.


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