Our mission and history
The Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club was originally founded as a women’s running club in 1972. Charlotte Lettis, a UMass Student, attempted to run in a regional cross country race. Women weren’t allowed, and while she managed to get a race number she was physically blocked from finishing by race officials. Seeing a need, she and fellow runner Tom Derderian founded the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club. The club’s first meeting included “teenagers and grandmothers.” The club later admitted men, but it has held on to its founding principles of promoting running for all.
Today the club is made up of a diverse group of hundreds of runners of varying ages, genders, abilities, and interests. It is an inclusive club for runners of all abilities, from sprinters to ultra-runners, with highly competitive athletes and people running for health and happiness. We also welcome all ages and levels of experience, from young runners who are just learning about the joys and benefits of the sport to more seasoned runners who can tell a race story or two.
A 2019 issue of SMAC’s newsletter includes an interview with Charlotte Lettis Richardson as well as a look back at some of the club’s origins: Sugarloaf Sun 2019 Issue #2 (March/April)
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Original artwork by SMAC member JoEllen Reino. Originally published in the May/June 2021 issue of The Sugarloaf Sun.
by Laure Van den Broeck Raffensperger Last spring, the race calendar was suddenly swept clean, and now more than a year later, a full return to normal still hasn’t happened. Read more …
Original artwork by SMAC member JoEllen Reino. Originally published in the January/February 2021 issue of The Sugarloaf Sun.
Serving the needs of area runners since 1972!