Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Islander Jesus’ Levi’ Contreras wins Placencia’s End of the World half-marathon


Jesus’ Levi’ Contreras, the ‘Yellow Flash of Belize’, returned to the island on Monday, December 11th, with the top trophy after conquering the End of the World half-marathon competition in Placencia, Southern Belize. Levi Contreras took on the challenge in the Male Category, finishing on top of the half-marathon (13.1 miles) at 1:18:33.

San Pedro Town, a community of many talents, was well represented by a delegation of athletes besides Levi Contreras, including Kian Trejo, Marisa Murphy-Guerrero, and Merlin Sansores. Just like Contreras, they participated in the half-marathon. The annual race took off at 5:30AM with the full marathon (26.2 miles) and half-marathon competitions. According to reports, over 300 runners signed up.

The race started at the football field in downtown Placencia, heading north of the peninsula covering Seine Bight Village and Maya Beach and looping south of Riversdale. The half marathon run started from the full marathon turnaround (south of Riversdale) and finished at the football field in downtown Placencia. Categories saw runners competing in men and women, with the minimum age to participate being 18 to over 60 years. In the half marathon, the minimum age was 13 to over 60. The marathon’s route offered stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and hydration stations.
The San Pedro group of athletes did not disappoint, and at the end of the event, their performances saw them meriting trophies and medals. Levi Contreras shared with The Sun that he had prepared for this important sporting event for months and had taken first place overall. “I concentrated on winning this race, followed my coach’s instructions, and trained daily,” he said. “I wanted this big win, and I can say that all the sacrifice and dedication paid off,” Contreras said the End of the World half-marathon is a great platform for any runner who wants to take this to the next level. Contreras plans to continue training and represent Belize internationally. “I stopped playing other sports to focus on marathon running,” Contreras said. He noted that this was his first big win in marathons and has participated in other marathons but never netted first place. The island’s talented marathoner added the Placencia marathon was challenging and thanked everyone who supported him in this grand achievement. He recognized San Pedro’s 501 Run Club, Sunbreeze Hotel, and Placencia Dive Splash.
The other island athletes also nailed wins in the race. Kian Trejo was second in the Male Category, age group 20-29. In the female category, age group 40-49, Marisa Murphy-Guerrero came in second, with Merlin Sansores capturing third place in the same age group.
The End of the World Marathon has been a yearly initiative to raise funds to support scholarships for Belizean students. All proceeds from the event go toward funding the Placencia Rotary Club high school scholarship program. According to them, the program has been very successful. The assistance has extended beyond high school to tertiary level and vocational trade schools.
The San Pedro Sun congratulates Levi Contreras and the other San Pedro runners for their fantastic performance. We are very proud of you! Kudos to all the participants and organizers for organizing an event that brings talents from across the country and the world together.

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