March 01, 2010
Preparations are underway for the thirteenth annual La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. The race will begin on Friday in San Ignacio under the Hawksworth Bridge. Participants will row for four days down the Macal and Belize rivers before crossing the finish line on Monday under the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. Orlando Harrison is the Chairman of the Organizing Committee.
Orlando Harrison; Chairman, Organizing Committee, La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
“The race is scheduled to start seven am sharp because BATSUB will be doing refereeing and time keeping again and they are very punctual when it comes to that. The race takes off the first day from here and ends at Banana Bank as the first leg. On the second day, we take off from Banana Bank at 6:30a.m en route to Bermudan Landing. On the third day we take off at 8:00 o’clock to Burrell Boom and on the last day from Burrell Boom at 9:00a.m to Belize City.”
Harrison says that up to Friday they already had 49 teams registered.
“I am very happy to report that out of that 49 team we have had 13 foreign teams so far. We expect to have at least about 80 to 90 teams registering in this year. I am also thrilled by the fact that he amount of phone calls and queries we have been getting to show the sport is of high interest from participants and viewers alike. We encourage that and we are pleased to know that the sport is alive. We had initially placed the 26th of February for the deadline, however, because of the tremendous demand we have extended that to the pre-race meeting here which will take place on the 4th. So, teams do have yet an opportunity to get registered at the pre-race meeting in San Ignacio. However, there will be a cut off time because we don’t want the registration to get in the way of the meeting. We are asking the teams to place registrations prior to the start of that meeting.”
The prizes for this year’s competition add up to about 40 thousand dollars and according to Harrison there will be first, second and third prize winners in all seven categories of the race and from first to tenth place for those who arrive at the Belcan Bridge.
“We have a host of other station prizes along the route over the four days. So, that is a significant amount of money to talk about and that does not include the in kind prizes which we still canvassing business for. We want to encourage paddlers to participate. This is not an event only for the money. It is more than just the race. There are seven divisions teams can sign up in. you have the male division normally made up of the more competitive teams. We have the mixed division that is comprised of male and female. We have the intramurals which you must be a registered student in a learning institution. We have the masters made up of members forty years and older. We also have the pleasure craft which is where the bulk of team participates because they are made up of people who do not know to paddle and are in it for the fun and just for the adventure of having to do the race itself. I must commend all participants in fact for their bravery because this is none of the most extreme sports we know of in Belize.”
The La Ruta Maya Belize RiverRiver Challenge is a 179 miles long race that started back in 1998.
Source: Love Fm
You can also visit La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge website for more information.