Racers Set Off on Belize Challenge
Deep Jungle Survival
by Leigh Pearce
February 13th, 2006

Belize—On Monday, extreme racers will set off on Belize Challenge - a gruelling mix of canoe race, navigation race, survival phase and marathon. Competitors have spent the past week training deep in the jungle learning all the necessary skills - from shelter building to fire starting, canoe techniqes and navigation methods. They have one day of training and briefing left before the challenge start - a 12 hour canoe over rapids and crocodile infested waters.

With only the night to dry out their kit, the next morning teams will begin the 2 day navigation phase, completing tasks at set points along the route and carrying all of their kit, camping in the jungle overnight on the way. Teams will stay in a holding area overnight, and the next morning will be placed in an area of jungle isolated from any other competitors for the survival phase. Here teams will be stripped of all their kit and will have to survive using only the jungle around them for 4 long days. They will be scored on their survival skills and the additional challenge tasks they will have to complete. After all this, on the final day of the challenge, exhausted teams will run a marathon to the finish line.

Major Phil Ashby, awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal for his daring escape from rebel captivity in the jungles of Sierra Leone in 2001, has entered team 'Swamp Rats' and is tipped to be the race favourite. Hot on their heels will be Team Xtreme —2 members came 4th and 5th in the 2005 Polar Challenge (a Race to the Magnetic North Pole), another has raced in all of the world's ultramarathons and walked to the South Pole.

The challenge will be covered in full, including news, images, team diaries and more in the daily updated 'Live Jungle Area'. To view please visit www.belize-challenge.com/latest.asp