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#555028 01/15/22 06:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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The long awaited La Ruta Maya is back! The green light has been given for the canoe race to take place this March 19 so get your paddles out and start train and let's make this a fun filled experience. There will be strict protocols in place to follow so be prepared and remember it's a team work so follow the MOH guidelines and keep safe and COVID FREE!!!

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La Ruta Maya
The history of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge with historian Don Hector Silva and organizer Roberto Harrison.

Marty #555638 02/16/22 06:11 AM
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There's still time to register for the 25th La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge.

The Belikin La Ruta Maya is Back !
For Registration info contact Julia Carrillo at 621-1955
The Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
March 4 to March 7 - Its More Than Just a Race !

Paddlers if you haven't registered your team as yet you still have time to do so. If you don't have the full registration fee you are being afforded the opportunity to deposit $100 toward the registration fee to secure your spot. Balance MUST be paid in full BEFORE race day.




Marty #555786 02/24/22 05:58 AM
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The Return Of The La Ruta Maya River Challenge

The last La Ruta Maya River Challenge was back in 2020 but with last year's hiatus due to COVID 19, a more than two decade old tradition was broken. But after all the lockdowns, curfews, and social distancing, this one-of-a-kind river race is back. This year's challenge is less than two weeks away and it will center around four days of intense paddling, starting at the Macal River in San Ignacio. The town's council as well as this year's participants are gearing up for perhaps the most anticipated La Ruta Maya Challenge ever. Courtney Menzies spoke with them and has this story.

This is what the Macal River looks like now, with tree limbs littering the water and sand mounds that need clearing. But by this time next week, the council for the Twin Towns would have already started making a clear path for the La Ruta Maya canoers.

Earl Trapp, Mayor of San Ignacio/Santa Elena
"As per normal, every year, we do the basic cleaning up of the river, lately, you are right, we have not been doing as much but we are ready and prepared to being taking out the limbs, the branches, that basically came down with the rains and the storm and we have some mounds just ahead of us and we intend to work on these next week. As well, we are prepared to work on the riverbank where we will be white lining the base and the stem of all the trees that brings out the green and the white which is very beautiful and people look forward to those."

It's been two years since the last La Ruta Maya River Challenge, a March tradition that was started 25 years ago. The pandemic had put a pause on it, but this year, it's back. And even though there will be COVID restrictions in place, there is a buzz of excitement among the Cayo residents.

Earl Trapp, Mayor of San Ignacio/Santa Elena
"As I have been moving around, driving around, I've been hearing the people and their excitement about the La Ruta Maya race and even so you have vividly seen the canoers with the canoe on the back of the pickup trucks driving towards the river and I've seen some canoes paddling and preparing for the race so the excitement is on and I can tell you that globally, people are tired of being locked up, you know even though we have to bear into consideration that the pandemic has not gone away, it's here to stay, so we just have to find ways to adapt."

And the participating teams are even more amped up. They've been practicing over the past month, preparing for the grueling weekend ahead of them. The Westrac Team have been paddling to Banana Bank almost every day - trying to jam in as much training as possible in a shorter amount of time.

Julissa Rodriguez, Marketing, Westrac Team
"It's a good feeling, we have been trusting this team for quite some years and they've always been doing their best so practice has been really good, this last Sunday they have been out there again and they have our support as always and we're just working as a team to make sure everything goes well and we're super excited really."

Courtney Menzies:
"Are you a bit nervous considering you don't have that mount of time to practice like you usually have?"

Julissa Rodriguez, Marketing, Westrac Team
"Nervous, maybe a little bit, but I think mostly it's excitement that we know we can do it, we trust the team, and the team knows they can do it so we already know what they bring to the table so that's the exciting part to see how far they will go and what prizes they will win this time."

"One of the main aspects that the company focuses on is doing charity work, looking out for Belizeans. A lot of people probably don't know this but a lot of times, one of the main things the directors focus on is how they can give back to the community and so being able to sponsor a team along with Lucas Oil, that is something that brings joy to the directors because they feel like it's a way of giving back."

And the Searle Family is also taking a chance on the river. --- year old Thomas Searle, his dad, Mike and his uncle, John, have been training a couple times a week to get ready for the challenge. The race is family tradition and young Thomas wanted to be a part of that.

Courtney Menzies:
"What made you want to join the La Ruta Maya Race?"

Thomas Searle, Paddler
"Cause it's been in my family for like 20 years."

Courtney Menzies:
"And does it look like fun to you?"

Thomas Searle, Paddler
"Yes."

Courtney Menzies:
"How has the practicing and training been so far?"

Thomas Searle, Paddler
"Good."

Courtney Menzies:
"Do you get tired or frustrated?"

Thomas Searle, Paddler
"No... Kinda."

Courtney Menzies:
"What's the hardest part?"

Thomas Searle, Paddler
"The hardest part? It's… just paddling!"

Courtney Menzies:
"But are you confident that you guys will do a good job when the race comes?"

Thomas Searle, Paddler
"Yes."

Courtney Menzies:
"Who's on your team?"

Thomas Searle, Paddler
"My dad Mike and my uncle Johnny."

Courtney Menzies:
"And what advice have they given you?"

Thomas Searle, Paddler
"They've given me, never quit and always have fun. Thanks to my support team that have follow me like my mom, my aunty and my grandma and my sister."

And the Belize Coast Guard will also be trading in their usual whalers for canoes. The commandant, Elton Bennett, is confident that their team will take the grand prize.

Admiral Elton Bennet, Commandant, Belize Coast Guard
"It certainly feels good to be back on the water, to have the team together, and not only the paddlers, the support mechanism. It's a big deal for us in the Belize Coast Guard, you know we have participated in every La Ruta Maya since the Coast Guard started so we do look forward to events like these where the organizations can move away from the routine of operations and do something different in a competitive environment as well."

"That's the winning team that you're looking at, these guys are certainly putting in the effort, we've invested significantly in terms of getting chemistry together, in terms of matching individual paddlers, skill, talent, and ensuring that we have the right canoe. And what we've been doing over the past couple days was to ensure we have the right fit, the right positioning, and then looking at the techniques to top off the training."

The race will start on March 4th and end on March 7th.

The race ends in Belize City on the mid-morning of March 7th.

Channel 7


Marty #555865 02/28/22 11:40 AM
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The 2022 La Ruta Maya kicks off Friday morning at 7am.

A big thank you goes out to the National Sports Council of Belize for helping us make the 2022 Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge possible.

Less than 4 days until we kick off the 2022 Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge !

REMEMBER: If you haven't registered your team as yet you still have time to do so. If you don't have the full registration fee you are being afforded the opportunity to deposit $100 toward the registration fee to secure your spot.

Balance must be paid in full before race day.

In order to participate in this year's race you must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken 24-hours before March 4.

REGISTRATION FORM: https://bit.ly/3oSSU2u
RULES: https://bit.ly/357Eh4i

Send a copy of your deposit receipt and your completed registration form via Whatsapp to 621-1955 or via email to [email protected]

https://www.facebook.com/BelizeRutaMaya

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Marty #555945 03/04/22 06:14 AM
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LIVE! 25th Belikin La Ruta May DAY 1 | March 4, 2022



Be sure to listen LIVE at https://lovefm.com/

A foggy morning here in San Ignacio and we are just minutes away from kicking off Day 1 of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge !

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[Linked Image]

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[Linked Image]
Click photos for more pictures!

The BTB got some good pictures from the La Ruta Maya start this morning. Looks like the spot after the wooden bridge was rough.

The first day of the 25th Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge kicked off at 7:00 a.m. from under the Hawkesworth Bridge in San Ignacio Town. 46 teams are making their way to Banana Bank where today's race will end. Over the next few days the teams will paddle the Belize River to Belize City where the race ends on Monday March 7th. The Belize Tourism Board is a proud sponsor of this year's race. Good luck to all teams!

Marty #555966 03/05/22 05:57 AM
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Belikin La Ruta Maya Day 1


Marty #555969 03/05/22 06:07 AM
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Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Begins; PACT Wins First Leg

After a two-year interruption caused by the COVID Pandemic, and very short notice, the Annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge is on. For the next three days, forty-six teams competing in eight different categories are paddling from Santa Elena Town, Cayo, to Belize City. Our news team of reporter, Marion Ali, and cameraman, George Tillett, were there at the start this morning.

Marion Ali, Reporting

The sounding of the horn and the sprint from the Hawkesworth to the low-lying wooden Bridge in Santa Elena Town at seven a.m., marked the resumption of what has been one of Belize’s biggest sporting traditions – the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge.�Forty-nine miles and five hours two minutes later, the team paddling for the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) zipped across the finish line in Banana Bank first, about a canoe’s length in front of Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb. Jerry Cante, a familiar face to the sport, is team leader.

Jerry Cante, Team PACT

"We didn't have enough training to come out as a team, so we had to come out here and gamble it out to the finish so we used our experience on the other team and that's what helped us. We got the victory today."

Marion Ali

"What were the challenges along the forty-nine miles?"

Jerry Cante

"Well it was a very tough start for us from the beginning. We didn't come out the way we expected to come out."

Marion Ali

"You won!"

Jerry Cante

"Yes, we won but the river is pretty shallow for us. I think we are the heaviest team of all those other teams because they are lighter than us so they were making use of their weight today because today was a very shallow day, so we had to work pretty hard in those shallows."

Another veteran to canoe racing, former champion Chris Guydis, told News Five he still gets a thrill taking part. But he admitted that the COVID pandemic has likely taken away some of the steam paddlers once possessed.

Chris Guydis, Guydis Canoe Steeler Team

"Nobody in shape for this one because we get probably a month or so notice, so nobody in shape so everybody will take lick today. Yoh have a couple guys weh probably have a month training – some of the top guys them, but for me and my team, just three days training for this one."

Marion Ali

"But you have experience on your side?"

Chris Guydis

"Yeah, we have the experience but we will just take our time today and try finish."

The female team members for Koop Sheet Metal this year are confident enough to take up the paddle, despite the short training time.

Lily Cruz, Koop Sheet Metal Team

"We did the best of training we could have get."

Marion Ali

"How much did you put in?"

Lily Cruz

"Exactly a month."�

Marion Ali

"Was it as long a leg as one of these ones?"

Lily Cruz

"Yeah, we did five long legs the first day and then we did short ones."

Organizing a race of this magnitude came with its challenges this year because of the uncertainties of the pandemic. But organizer Roberto Harrison said experience took them through.

Roberto Harrison, Vice Chairman, Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge

"We started out late in terms of planning. The Ministry of Health gave us the go-ahead at least verbally the middle of January. We didn’t know until about the first week in February, so that was the amount of time we had to plan the four-day event. What we wanted to do is to have the world out there�know – the paddlers that are participating today got the word that the race was on and that we also knew there were some COVID protocols that we had to follow. Thank God some of those were relaxed."

This year, even the river posed some problems.

Roberto Harrison

"There is some difficulty between San Ignacio and Banana Bank because there are a lot of rapids and low spots along this forty-nine miles. So those would probably be the challenging spots. I also know that because of the floods of 2020 there's quite a bit of trees on the route which we have highlighted and pinpointed to the paddlers to look out for."

Harrison reminded us that the event was borne out of concerns raised in 1998 over a long Baron Bliss holiday with few activities to entertain people.

Roberto Harrison

"We were toying around the fact that it was a long weekend - the Baron Bliss day it was called then - nothing happening in San Ignacio. We thought that we wanted to do a canoe race but to commemorate or in appreciation of Baron Bliss Day. We said well, a race to where? A race down the race, yes, but to where? And we thought that a one-day race wouldn't be enough and hence the four-day (idea) came along."�

As the race has evolved and drawn international attention, many of the competitors look to the event to earn bragging rights, others find the long-distance therapeutic, but for Guydis, the race has also been an income earner.

Chris Guydis

"I went to Canada and did some studying on building wooden boat and with my idea and paddling the race, whenever I sit eena one ah deh ya I can see where I can adjust the boat soh I could get it goh faster. All of the top paddlers today are paddling one of the Guydis boats soh I grateful to all these guys who buy a boat from me. They have faith in me and that’s a big plus for me."

This year, as in the past, there will be prizes for winning teams in eight categories. The next two stops over the weekend at Double Head Cabbage, Burrell Boom and the finish in Belize City.

Channel 5


Marty #555971 03/05/22 06:16 AM
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LIVE: 25th Belikin La Ruta May DAY 2 | March 5, 2022


Marty #555980 03/06/22 05:26 AM
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Here are the official times for DAY 2 of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge.

1. Team PACT
2. Slim & Trim Like Guava Limb
3. Belize Coast Guard
4. Lucas Oil
5. Black Orchid Resort
6. Quality Poultry Products
7. Young Cutters
8. MOHD/JOB/Western Invaaydaaz
9. San Iggy
10. Westline BDF Wave Runnas"

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[Linked Image]
Photos from Day 2
Click photos for more pictures!

Marty #555986 03/06/22 08:29 AM
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Live! La Ruta Maya Day 3


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