Sports Monday: The Belikin Ruta Maya Challenge Winner and other sporting activities
The 15th edition of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Canoe Race gripped the nation for 4 days as it meandered down the Macal River to its amalgamation with the Mopan River which then formed the Belize or Old River that brought the 170 mile race to its natural conclusion at the Belcan Bridge here in Belize City yesterday before a huge crowd. A grand total of 63 canoes laden with 3 paddlers are in place at the starting line Friday morning for the start to this 4-stage race that would test the limits of their preparation and determination. The boats then explode with energy at the starting signal as Stage I of the race gets underway in earnest.
So we fast forward to the conclusion of Day 1 and it is Belize Bank Bulldogs with the stage win in a time of 5 hrs 16 mins 26 secs. B.T.L. Cobbs Arm took 2nd place 5 seconds later while Ziprider pulls up 3rd 8 seconds off the pace to round out the top 3. On day 2 folks, NICH was able to pick up the stage win uncontested as Belize Bank, Ziprider and Cobbs Arms all capsized giving NICH the opportunity to finish in a time of 5:45:40. Westrac also benefitted from the accident by pulling up 2nd a minutes and 32 seconds behind NICH> Belize Bank pulled up 3rd a minute and 44 seconds off the pace; Ziprider came 2 mins 18 seconds behind NICH and B.T.L. Cobbs Arms was 2 mins 57 seconds behind the leaders. However on Day 3, Belize Bank Bulldogs roared back reestablishing their dominance winning the 37 mile stage from Double Head Cabbage to Henderson Bank in Burrell Boom in 4 hrs 45 mins 4 secs. NICH who came in only 1 second behind lost ground after finishing 4 seconds off the pace and Zip rider fell further back with its time of 4 hrs 45 mins 9 seconds. Westrace held on to 4th place 3 minutes 30 seconds behind Belize Bank and Cobbs Arms found themselves 3 mins 58 seconds behind the leader.
Going into the final leg yesterday, NICH had the best chance at catching Belize Bank only 5 secs behind. However, when we checked at the Haulover Bridge, Belize Bank continued its great run with Zip rider looking to at least grab the final stage win, NICH looked to do the same thing as the 4 second lead seemed to be insurmountable now. While Westrac continued to hand on. Cobbs Arms trailed the big 4 throughout the event. So we go to money line at the Belcan Bridge here in Belize City. NICH jumps on the lead in the race to the finish line, Belize Bank tries to overtake on the outside, but it is Zip Rider on the inside that finds the momentum and with a sudden burst overtake NICH to grab the 30 mile stage win in 2 hrs 42 mins 28 secs. Belize Bank pulls up 3rd. Westrac would paddle in 4th while Cobbs Arm rounds out the top 5 in the male class. Nevertheless Belize Bank Bulldogs picks up its 9th La Ruta Maya title with a total time of 18:31:21. NICH took 2nd in 18:31:24 and Zip Rider , 3rd in 18:32:10
Meanwhile the canoe in the middle crossing the finish line before the others is natius who won the Intramural Class in a total time of 19 hrs 17mins 20 secs. They beat out Oceana Wavemakers who took the master’s class in 19:24:01. Coast Guardian prevailed in the mixed class with its total time of 19:37:35. Police Crime Fighters won the Pleasure Class in 20:20:44. To your right is Vicious Ambitious Delicios who won the female class in 21:17:51 and girls your vessel name is catcy. Meanwhile folks, we’ll have a detailed look at the 2013 La Ruta Maya in a 1 hour package tentatively to be aired on Sunday night.