Tomorrow marks the start of the Baker 2 Vegas Relay event in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is 120 mile race for law enforcement officers, that Belize is taking part in. Renee Trujillo is accompanying the 25 member delegation. Here’s her report.
Rene Trujillo: “The Belizean contingent taking part in the Baker to Vegas Relay Competition 2019 arrived in Las Vegas on Thursday night. While the race was still some hours away the team has been busy training. The committee has been in and out of meetings and gathering supplies for what will be an estimated thirteen hours in the desert as the team’s make their way from California to Las Vegas. The support from not only the Belizean Diaspora but U.S. Nationals have been overwhelming as many are rooting for the Belizean Law Enforcement men who placed second last year and are anticipating to take the lead this year. Cito Welch resides in California and has been coming to Vegas at this event for the last four years lending support to his fellow Belizeans.
Cito Welch: “I have been driving here ever since it has started and we have been progressing and progressing. First we came in sixth, then third and last year we came in second and we are anticipating first this year. It is a contingent of about five drivers that support the guns that run and it has been a blessing for us. We have been diligent in what we are doing and we are committed because we love our country and we support our runners.”
Rene Trujillo: “The 25 men ages 18 to 35 who are competing are being strategically lined up to complete the twenty legs of the event in the open male category. While there is much to do in Las Vegas these men are not distracted and are ready to take the cup home on Tuesday when they return.”
Participant 1: “We went about six o’clock this morning to do a little jog around the hotel and it was very cold so we will just need some warm gears and stuff to help us with that problem.”
Rene Trujillo: “But you are all set for tomorrow?”
Participant 1: “Yes all set for tomorrow so Belize if you are not in tuned, keep up with us because we will bring back this first place.”
Participant 2: “I feel motivated especially when we went out this morning to do our jog. The team spirit is very lively and right now we are focused because we came here for one goal and that is to take back that trophy cup. We are here to take first place, last year was second and this year is definitely first.”
Rene Trujillo: “Now since you were here form the inception talk to me about what that first year was like?”
Participant 3: “That first year was very very very challenging for us. It is like what you said we came here with no knowledge of what we were going to meet or what we were putting ourselves into. When we came here we went to Bakers and we started the race and from there we adjusted to the weather and everything. We are Belizean, we can make it anywhere we go because we grow up hard, you know how that go.
Rene Trujillo: “This year’s competition is seeing seven new entries from Belize considering the terrain, the climate and temperatures so we asked one of the senior runners if he thinks the new members could successfully adapt.”
Senior Participant Runner: “It was shifting in our favor because the guys were keeping up with us and some of them ran past us even during our workout so I believe they are a perfect fit for the team because where so ever we were slacking or lacking last year we could actually have that confidence in them knowing that they are able to do an even better time than what we were doing last year in their specific leg and a lot of these guys even though they are new there is a lot of fire in their eyes because they see what is at stake and they know the high level of competition that we are in.”
Rene Trujillo: “Colin Turton is another Belizean who resides in the United States and had represented Belize two times in the Olympics back in 1968 and 1976 in the discipline of track and field. This year marks the third year that he has been coming out to Vegas to assist the team along the route with supplies and encouragement. Turton says he recognizes the talents and abilities in young Belizeans and the urgent need for them to be given international opportunities.”
Colin Turton: “We were never short of talent in Belize, it has always been there. It is just the harnessing of the talent that we need with good coaches to bring out the talent. Without a good coach the talent will just rot.
Rene Trujillo: “Belize is going up against over three dozens teams from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada and will begin on Saturday evening concluding at the Watergate Hotel in Las Vegas. Love News will be updating our facebook pages as the race progessess.”
Team: “Belize Protectors together we make a difference.”
Reporting for Love News from Las Vegas along with Brian Castillo I am Rene Trujillo.