Xterra Course Preview

By Patrick Caron | August, 16, 2023

The foretelling road sign on the way to Sugarloaf Mountain reads, “Welcome to Carrabassett Valley … from here on your life will never be the same.” 

It serves as a harbinger of good news for the intrepid trail runners who will be flocking to Maine from around the world to compete at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship on October 1. 

“The first thing you’ll notice as you drive into Carrabassett Valley and up to Sugarloaf Mountain is an immediate sense of relaxation and peacefullness,” said Patrick Caron, a professional runner and member of the local organizing committee for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship. 


And the second thing you’re likely to notice is a kaleidoscope of fall colors ascending up to its majestic mountain peak at 4,237 feet, nearly 3,000 feet above its base.   

Caron, a New England area running legend and founder of Move Free, an environmentally focused outdoor apparel brand, recently went on a reconnaissance mission to test out the all-new XTERRA courses and was thoroughly impressed with what he found. 

“Right out of the gates you’ll go straight into lots and lots of climbing up the ski slopes to the summit of Sugarloaf, followed by a really fun descent down the mountain,” said Caron, noting that the topography at Sugarloaf boasts more than 60 miles of twisting tree-lined trails. 

The new route, designed to deliver a quintessential Maine experience, traverses a variety of terrain from roots and rocks to hero dirt that weaves along idyllic mountain rivers and delivers views for miles.  

“Most of the single tracks and gravel paths like the Narrow Gauge Pathway are super runnable so I think it’ll be a fast race,” said Caron. “And after a full day of exploring the course, I can tell you that the trails are absolutely incredible and it’s going to be exciting to have the Maine and global trail running communities all together here at Sugarloaf.”  


XTERRA Trail Run World Championship Page - https://www.xterraplanet.com/event/xterra-trail-run-world-championship 

Patrick Caron - www.patrickcaron.com 

Move Free - https://www.movefreedesigns.com 

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