Belize Bank Bulldogs Repeat as Ruta Maya Champs Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 14 March 2013 00:00

The La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is a 170-mile long test of skill, strength and will power. The race has become the main attraction of the National Heroes and Benefactors Day festivities and it has attracted competitors from all over the world. There are four stages in the Challenge. It starts in San Ignacio on Friday and the first stage is completed 46 miles down the Macal River in Banana Bank Village. On Saturday, stage two is the most exhausting stretch as the race goes 60 miles from Banana Bank along the Macal River to Bermudian Landing along the Belize River. Sunday’s 36-mile challenge along the Belize River ends in Burrell Boom Village. The final day of the race is a 25-mile sprint to the finish line at the Bel-Can Bridge in Belize City.

Since the inaugural run of the race when it was introduced by Cayo Tropical Fruits Limited in 1998, there has been a steady growth in the number of participating teams, both locally and internationally. In 1998, there were only 22 competing teams; in this 2013 competition, which marks the 16th annual race, there were a total of 64 teams participating in the different categories within the competition. Those categories are Male, Female, Family Adventure, Intramural, Pleasure, Masters and Mixed. 59 teams completed the race which finished just before 11:30 a.m. Over two thousand people were at the foot of the Belcan Bridge to show their support and give their teams a boost of energy for the final sprint.

 In the final sprint to the finish line, “Zip Riders” outlasted NICH and Belize Bank to bask in the joy of the massive crowd. However, the true glory belonged to the Belize Bank “Bulldogs”, who maintained their lead on the rest of the field and finished the Challenge in a time of 18 hours, 31 minutes and 21 seconds. NICH finished second with a time of 18 hours, 31 minutes and 24 seconds. Zip Riders finished third with a time of 18 hours, 32 minutes and 10 seconds. Though they finished well off their record time from last year of 16 hours, 36 minutes and 3 seconds, the Belize Bank “Bulldogs” were extremely proud to take home to coveted Kinich Ahau Jade Head trophy once again. The win makes it two years in a row for the Bulldogs and five first place finishes since the inception of the Challenge.

In the female division, victory belonged to the team called “Vicious Ambitious Delicious” with a finishing time of 21 hours, 17 minutes and 51 seconds. “Natius” won the Intramural category, Oceana “Wavemakers” won the Masters division, “3 IN 1” won the Family Adventure Category, the “Police Crime Fighters” won the pleasure category and the “Coast Guardians” won the Mixed category.

The Guardian Newspaper would like to congratulate all who participated in the 16th Annual La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge.