The La Ruta Maya River Challenge kicked off earlier tonight in Cayo. The annual event first began in 1998 and has blossomed into one of the biggest annual sporting events in the country. It brings together hundreds of Belizeans to take part in and witness four days of endurance of the elements on the River. The event also promotes environmental awareness. We spoke with one of the organizers and some paddlers who have been in the race for years.
DJ Special: This race is going to be a very competitive one unlike any other because some of the older people who used to be paddling are back in the race again so it is going to be a great race this year as well.”
Dalila Ical: “The event kicked off at 6 PM today with a lineup of local musicians and even fireworks. The San Ignacio, Santa Elena Town Council is collaborating with the organization of the event this year. On day one the race takes off at the Hawks-worth Bridge in San Ignacio to Banana Bank.
DJ Special: “Into Banana Bank that is one of the most quiet stops and right after that we pick up steam at Banana Bank and go into Double Head Cabbage and Double Head Cabbage will be buzzing. On the third day which will be on Sunday we paddled into Burrell Boom where there is $3000 sitting on the line courtesy of Beeline Internet and we must thank Mr. Glen Godfrey for that as well and Beeline Services for the accommodations of their lot that we are using along the river. This is our third year using that location and everyone is happy and excited. We have sold a lot of booths for that area so it is going to be super busy and lots of booths have been sold out for that area as well. There is so much going on there from bounce house for the kids, to food, exotic food, game meat, good music and we have of course the Sweet Pain Band that is going to be there along with Seawalls the Paranda Prince and of course the man who brought all the great “bruk down” to the River Valley all the time Harrison Daggy King is going to the be there and the New Sensation Band so we have a combination of great cultural music, activities and great food at the fair. Don’t forget that $3000 is on the line at Burrell Boom to one single winner but you have got to finish the race.”
Dalila Ical: “Many of the teams and individual participants have been in the race for many years. Tyrique Thompson a paddler on the ICJ Referendum team has been part of the race since 2013.”
Tyrique Thompson: “It is competitive, the depth of the water is really low right now so basically it would be more intense and along with teams that are really fast in the category at this point.”
Dalila Ical: “Chris Guydes of the Vicent Guydes Canoe team has been in the race pretty much since it has started and has his eye on some of the strongest contenders this year.”
Chris Guydes: “NICH will be a fast team in crunch time and the other that another that will be fast is the ICJ Team, they are pretty fast too so there are in the top three fastest teams and then you have the Coast Guard, they are also fast so it will be really interesting.
Dalila Ical: “The last leg of the race is going to be in Burrell Boom to Belize City where our grand celebration is going to take place at the Civic Center. It is a family event that starts at 3 o’clock in the afternoon featuring live music and various presenters. Dalila Ical Love News.”
Entrance fees at Burrell Boom and the Civic Center are ten dollars for adults and five for children.