TURNER — Setting up for Maine’s only 100-mile trail race this weekend has not been easy.

“Tire placement is the number one key,” Tom Labonte said while hauling equipment into Middle Earth Station. The station is roughly in the middle of the “Riverlands 100,” which kicks off at 6 a.m. Saturday at Androscoggin Riverlands State Park in Turner.

To get to Middle Earth, one would run, or, as Labonte did, drive a Daihatsu Hijet Climber.

Labonte used the Japanese-built mini truck to shuttle equipment to various aid stations along the course.

The course is well marked. Valerie Abradi of Lisbon made sure of it. The co-race director made 900 reflective orange flags that will catch the beams from competitor’s headlamps as they run through Saturday night.

Seventy-five solo trail runners and the first leg of 12 relay teams from Nova Scotia to Utah will toe the line Saturday morning for the start. Individuals will run four laps of 25 miles along ATV trails, sand pits and single-track bike trails. Relay teams will complete five laps of a similar 20-mile course.


The deadline to finish the race is 2 p.m. Sunday.

Labonte said this is the fourth year he has helped get the course ready.

The secretary for the Turner Timberland ATV Club got an extra hand when Mike Thorp of Turner had to pull the Hijet truck up a steep, rocky path with an ATV and tow straps.

“Sometimes getting back to the parking lot can be tricky,” Labonte said.

“Getting back. That’s the goal,” Labonte said.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.