The 2015 Ruta Maya River Challenge has begun!
Friday, March 6th, 2015
The 18th edition of the annual Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge kicked off at 7AM on Friday March 6th from the foot of the Hawksworth Bridge on the Macal River in the twin Towns of Santa Elena/Cayo. The four-day challenge will see 57 teams of three paddlers each make their way to Belize City along the Belize River. The teams will make three stops over the next four days before making their way to the finish line on March 9th.
The challenge, which brings out thousands of Belizeans to the banks along the race path, started 18 years ago and has turned into one of the country’s largest sporting event. The 180-mile race consists of four legs. During the first leg of the challenge the participants will make a 46-mile journey to Banana Bank Lodge outside of Belmopan, where they will camp for the night. On the second day of the race, the paddlers will continue from Banana Bank Lodge to Double Head Cabbage Village on the Belize River for a total of 60 miles, passing along many scenic villages on the route.
Day three sees the contingency of over 150 paddlers make their way 36 miles along the Belize River to rest in Burrell Boom. Various food booths, drink tents and live music set the stage for village life and fun. On the final day, the paddlers will go downstream on the Belize River for 25 miles, ending in Belize City at the BelCan Bridge.
Day one of La Ruta Maya River Challenge ended shortly after midday at Banana Bank. The first team to cross the line was NICH followed split seconds behind by BTL . Team Oceana was over eight minutes behind in third place.
A Brief History of the Race (taken from the Ruta Maya website)
Conceptualized by Richard Harrison of Big-H Enterprises for the purpose of launching Vida brand purified water, La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge made its debut on March 9, 1998. It was seen as an opportunity to bring many partners with similar interests together to build an event that could allow for promotional themes of ‘natural products’ identified with sports, endurance, nutrition, and well-being. The underlying concept is one of a team of businesses and organizations interested in the environment/ecology, history/culture and the tourism potential which the Belize Old River offers as one of the great natural resources of Belize.
Top Notch Coverage: The San Pedro Sun’s Senior Reporter Jorge Aldana has teamed up with a group of dynamic journalism experts from around the region at CAN Belize Network for the full four days of coverage of the race. Join us as we provide regular updates, videos and pictures from various points along the race from start to finish.
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