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May 10, 2002

Women ride cross country on Mother’s Day

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Their names may not yet carry the same cachet as Ernest “Jawmain” Meighan, Andrew Smiling or Quinton “The Baddest” Hamilton, but Belize’s women cyclists have just as much heart–if not quite the speed–of their better known counterparts. On the eve of their big race News 5′s Ann-Marie Williams talked strategy with some of the competitors.

Ann-Marie Williams, Reporting

The annual Mother’s Day Cross Country Cycling Classic for females rides from San Ignacio to Belize City this Sunday. According to Anamarie Bennett who placed second last year, the seventy odd mile race is shaping up to be one of heavy competition even though only four riders have registered so far.

Anamarie Bennett, Court Powerhouse

“I workout almost everyday. I do hill training. My day normally start at about 4 o’clock in the morning and I need to get to work by 8:00, so if I need to cover thirty miles, that means I need to ride hard that morning.”

One other woman who will be riding hard is Fiona Humes-Gonzalez, for Team Santino’s. Humes-Gonzalez is no new comer to the gruelling sport. She started out in 1997 and has since ridden four cross countries and place second in the May first race. She took off a year to be a mother, however, and now she’s back.

Fiona Humes-Gonzalez, Team Santino’s

“Well just coming back from having a baby I think I’m in good enough shape to place first or second.”

Allison Mendez is a young cyclist only eighteen years old. She attends A.C.C., but still finds time to train for her favourite sport.

Allison Mendez, Self-sponsored

“I’ve been training for a month and two weeks. And during that time I have been putting in so many training hills and also long distance. So I think I’m ready for it.”

Fiona Humes-Gonzalez

“I’m very proud of Allison, because I wish I had started to ride from about her age. I would have accomplished a lot. I think she’s going to accomplish a lot because she is very strong and she has this hundred and a million percent positiveness about her. She just makes you feel comfortable and kind of hate her for being so positive, but she’s cool.”

With all the hours of training, each woman insists that the work will pay off with victory.

Anamarie Bennett

“Well, yes, I would want to win this race. Last year was a surprise really for most people. They didn’t expect Marinette to win the race. And this year she is in better condition to give us good competition. If I win the race it would mean so much to me as well as winning the Dwayne Arnold trophy.”

Allison Mendez

“I think I’m strong in the hill because my trainer explained to me, and the way I do my training in the hills, it’s quite professional.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“So you have to do a lot of hard riding so that when you get in the track at least you’re ahead.”

Allison Mendez

“Yes, cause Anamarie is quite a strong female and Marinette, so I think I can hang behind and just finish the race and do my best at the track.”

Ann-Marie Williams for News 5.

The second annual Mother’s Day Cycling Classic for women starts at 9:00 a.m. in San Ignacio and ends at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex in Belize City. The defending champion is Marinette Flowers.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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