Females Win 36th Annual UB Relathon Print E-mail
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Thursday, 03 April 2014 00:00

6 hours 29 minutes is the cumulative time that it took UB’s speedy females to reach the Engineering Department in Belize City, winning the 36th Annual UB Relathon on Sunday, March 30, 2014.  The females started in Belmopan at the Market Square, while the males began in front of the Police Station in San Ignacio but both embarked on their journey at 8:30 a.m. The females ran with a singular goal in mind: 3-peat as champions.  Their effort paid off when they crossed the finish line at 2:59 p.m. The males tried their best to win and closed the 20 mile handicap to only 3miles but fell short and finished 18 minutes later.

While it might appear to merely be a race to underscore the battle of the sexes, and the females are given a sizeable head-start to compensate for any physical differences, the premise is actually based on a mathematical principle of vectors and the average speed and time that females and males utilize to cover a mile. So let’s talk the history: The year is 1977, and Belize Technical College (BTC) student Dudley Marshall—athlete and member of the student union—is working on a novel idea to use as a fundraiser. Being an astute student, he is constantly looking for practical ways to use new educational theories and prove that education is always relevant and real-world. He spends countless hours brainstorming, eager to maximize the impact of his latest initiative while garnering support from all corners of life at BTC. After his exposure to math—calculus—in a recent class, he finally settles on a simple, practical way to utilize his mathematical skills and prove a theory through a tangible application. He designs a race between males and females to demonstrate if they are traveling at different speeds across different distances they should intersect at some point. He postulates that if the males leave from San Ignacio, Cayo and take an average of 5 to 7 minutes to run a mile while the females leave from Belmopan, Cayo and take an average of 7 to 9 minutes per mile, the boys should be able to overtake the girls at approximately mile 2 on the Western Highway (now George Price Highway). Of course the average speed—based on the strength and conditioning of the runners from both teams—is the variable that would determine the winner of the race annually.

Now fast forward to 2014, and the girls have won the last three; the overall total now stands at Males 18 and Females 16 (there were three years when the race was not held). This year, however, 48 females and 43 males participated to make it happen. The 2014 top female finishers were: Patricia Chavarria (5:43), Alberta Garcia (6:46) and Anna Soler (6:51). The best time for the boys and the new all-time record was set by George Ortega who ran a mile in a remarkable time of four (4) minutes and 45 seconds. Other males with noteworthy speeds were Melvin Perez (5:06) and Elvis Sutherland (5:10).