15th Annual La Ruta Maya Race
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Wednesday May 9, 2012

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15th Annual La Ruta Maya Race

And taking a break now from all that bad news, the 15th Annual La Ruta Maya Race culminated in Belize City on Monday.

After three days on the Belize river, the final leg started out with only one and a half minutes separating the first place team, Belize Bank Bulldogs and second place, the Oceana Wave Makers.

That meant a furious rush to the finish at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City - where an especially fast final leg led to a new record time - and a photo finish between Belize Bank and Team Ziprider and an epic, finish-line spill:...

Jerry Martinez, Manager Belize Bank Overall
"At the end Ziprider beat us at the end of the race, we have no complains about that. When Ziprider flipped, they flipped after they past the finish line; we have no objections to the finish."

Erwin Cruz, Belize Bank First Overall
"It feels good, it's my third year paddling professional it feels really good. The most challenge was the first day of the race, it was hard."

Jerry Martinez, Manager Belize Bank Overall
"This is the fifth time we are winning. The previous four years we won, I expected to win because of the paddlers we had. Since Erwin joined our team three ago, he was developing because we use to paddle in the pleasure division before and he came up, we brought him up to the professional division and this is the third year he is paddling with us but, last year we lost by a second, one second, and the amount of training we put in this year, I knew that we were going to win."

Jerry Rhaburn, Ziprider 1st Place (Sunday's Stage) 3rd Overall
"The race came down to training and strategy, we had some American teams they are fast, they are good; but we also have our Belizean boys. I support my guys, I support my brothers and I support my team, so when you paddle under the influence that we paddle it is not difficult or challenging, you just got to withstand the obstacles out there in the river. Last year race was tough this year race was tougher, as you guys can hear they broke the record from last year that we put there, so that just says we've got to come back next year and beat this speed that they set this year. So next year is going to be faster."

Chris Guydis, Team Oceana 2nd Place, La Ruta Maya 2012
"It's the first time we've raced together."

Mike Vincent, Team Oceana 2nd Place, La Ruta Maya 2012
"This is the first time we are in the race together, but I am paddling for thirteen years."

Chris Guydis, Team Oceana 2nd Place, La Ruta Maya 2012
"The most challenging part of the race was when some boats were crashing into us and it wasn't very fair or nice. The most physically difficult part of the race for us was paddling through the canal at the end; the water was very heavy and hard to paddle."

Mike Vincent, Team Oceana 2nd Place, La Ruta Maya 2012
"First of all I wanted to say thanks to the two guys, to leave all the way from Michigan and Canada to come here and paddle with me, thanks to them."

Chris Guydis, Team Oceana 2nd Place, La Ruta Maya 2012
"This is a very hard race for us, it's the middle of winter back home where we come from and so we ski a lot and run a lot and try and paddle when we can find some open water, we get on paddle machines a little bit too."

The new record time for the Belize Bank bulldogs is 16:36:03. Now a little bit of history: Defending Ruta Maya champions Jerry Rhaburn, Efrain and Felix Crux of the Ziprider team were first across the finish line on Monday but they came in sixth overall.

The Belize Bank Bulldogs: Ervin, Amado and Daniel Cruz claimed a $2,000 grand prize and the Kinich Ahau jade head trophy for the fifth time.

Story from Channel 5

Other stories and links:

VIDEO: gettin plowed



VIDEO: Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge ends in photo finish

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