Western Maine Selected as Venue for Inaugural SCI Mountain Challenge in September

~ Participants across the maritime industry expected to compete in 2 day fundraiser ~

Media Contact: Drew Morris, 207-624-9812 drew.morris@maine.gov

AUGUSTA – The mountains of Western Maine have been selected by the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) as the location for its premier SCI Mountain Challenge, a first-of-its-kind in Maine fundraiser that will ask competitors to tackle 25 miles of rugged terrain and five peaks in two days (Sept. 21-22, 2013). Maine’s varied terrain and isolated location provide the setting to test land dwellers’ endurance of the hardships mariners confront at sea.

The SCI Mountain Challenge, sponsored in part by Cargill, Inc., is expected to draw approximately 120 participants comprised mainly of business executives from both corporate and private entities who have national and global ties to the shipping industry. Funds raised by team sponsors will be used to support services provided by SCI, North America’s largest mariners’ service agency.

“SCI selected Maine as the site for this inaugural event because of its great mountains and venues, spectacular scenery, and diverse choices and course offerings,” said Jennifer Koenig, SCI’s Director of Development. “Throughout the event, SCI will be promoting the state of Maine and all that it has to offer in the way of its goods and services, scenic beauty and welcoming nature.”

Competitors will ascend more than 5,000 feet each day as they climb five iconic Maine mountains: Burnt Mountain (3,680 feet), Sugarloaf Mountain (4,250 feet), Spaulding Mountain (4,010 feet), Barker Mountain (2,594 feet) and Jordan Mountain (2,653 feet). Maine made products will be prominently featured not only during the actual race, but in competitor welcome bags, during the awards ceremony and in a Maine Made Product Showcase.

“This event is truly unique and promises to promote not only the natural, rugged beauty of our state, but also introduce the competitors to technology designed and manufactured in Maine that’s necessary for essential communication and safety during the event,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “They and their families will see Maine at its best.”

Day 1 is based on the Sugarloaf Massif, home to some of the biggest mountains in the eastern United States and some of the finest fall views one will ever see. Burnt Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain highlight Day 1, and teams with exceptional endurance and teamwork may reach a third “bonus summit” if they move quickly enough across the mountain tops.

Day 2 revolves around the range of mountains at Sunday River in far western Maine. The rich network of trails, big ascents and steep descents ensure competitors earn their celebratory party high up the mountain after crossing the finish line.

In this test of endurance, SCI awards prizes based on cumulative times and philanthropic dollars raised. Untamed Adventure Racing of Dover, N.H., is helping SCI with the logistical aspects of the event, including course selection, permitting, transportation and emergency services.

More information, registration and partnership details can be found at www.scimountainchallenge.com.