La Ruta Maya is an annual event that takes over the entire country’s attention for four exhilarating days. This year it falls on March 06 2020- March 09, 2020. It is a marathon canoe race that runs West to East along the Old Belize River.
Meaning “The Maya Route” in Spanish, the race follows the very same ancient trading route the Maya, and later Baymen, used to transport goods for trade. It begins at the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Igancio, and ends at the river mouth of the Belize City harbor. Conceptualized by the Harrison brothers and founded in 1998, it was originally intended to be a marketing event for the launching of their family owned purified water company.
Orlando and Richard Harrison saw the potential of promoting an endurance race showcasing the natural beauty of Belize’s River Valley and the historical significance of the route. Needless to say, the race has since evolved into a major national and tourist attraction with participants both native and international of all ages testing their resolve on the river currents.
Every “March 9th” weekend (a long weekend given in celebration of National Benefactors’ Day), scores of onlookers, including major media outlets and patrons, gather down the river bank to witness dozens of canoes dash down the river in a race to prove who is the fastest and most technically savvy with a paddle.
Comprised of four legs, the marathon begins with an approximate 50-mile stretch to Banana Bank, a 60-mile journey to Double Head Cabbage, followed by two shorter dashes to Burrell Boom and finally to the finish line at Belize City. The entire journey is some 170 plus miles of grueling physical aptitude that is a feat to admire.
Last year 61 teams competed with NICH coming in first. Who will take first place this year in the 23 annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge.
You can print out this form and register at Yoli's Pizza in San Ignacio , Love FM Studios in Belize City or via email at [email protected]