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Mar 8, 2022

Team PACT Snags 2022 La Ruta Maya Race

Day four of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge was almost a snapshot of day one, with Team PACT dominating the event. The race started last Friday at the foot of the Hawkesworth Bridge in Santa Elena, Cayo, and travelled one hundred and seventy-five miles to the Belcan Bridge in Belize City on Monday. News Five’s Marion Ali has a recap of the race in the following report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The final sprint to the finish line at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City on Monday was a repeat of how the first leg of the race ended in Banana Bank on Friday. On both days, the three-man team for the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) possessed just enough muscle to out-paddle their closest rivals, Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb and the Belize Coast Guard, in that order. Jerry Cante who was lead paddler, told News Five after the race that they had to dig deep to come up with victory.


Jerry Cante

Jerry Cante, Team PACT

“It’s very hard, you know, because we didn’t have enough training. So this was a very tough one. We usually have six months of training, this year we had like five days training together as a team.”


But while Team PACT enjoys the prizes they’ve earned this year, they will have to train hard and keep a close eye on second place finishers, Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb, who placed second overall and also made the finish on days one and four an entertaining sprint.


Javier Guardado

Javier Guardado, Slim and Trim and Guava Limb Team

“We feel very proud for completing in second place and next year, hopefully, we will try to complete in first place.”


Duane Moody

“I know that your dad is also competing, right? (You) going up head to head against him? Did he give you any tips?”


Daniel Cruz

Daniel Cruz, Slim and Trim Like Guava Limb Team

“Yeah, when we train, yes sir. When we train.”


The Belize Coast Guard team, which also showed remarkable stamina and determination, also found the race a struggle this year.


Kenrick Daniels

Kenrick Daniels, Coast Guard Team

“This year the race was really tough for us. We did our best out there and I’m happy with our results.”


Daniel Gregorio

Daniel Gregorio, Team Coast Guard

“ What gave us a little problem was that we were building our own canoe so that kinda held us back but we just tried to make sure that we did all the training we could.”


Vice Chair of the event, Roberto Harrison told News Five at the start of the race that the organizers also had a challenge in putting the race together in such short notice when the all-clear was given that COVID would not stall the race this year.


Roberto Harrison

Roberto Harrison, Vice Chair, Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge

“We had registered this morning, forty six teams, which was quite a feat for us because we were looking at fifty but we got forty six – challenging because we started out late in terms of planning.”


Marion Ali

“How hard was it to find prizes?”


Roberto Harrison

“Well again challenging because the late start and the business community not having enough resources to donate but I think we captured quite a bit. We hope that next year – well we know now that the pandemic is coming to its end so it allows us to have a longer planning time for next year.”


The full chart with the names and times of the teams in the eight categories can be viewed on the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Facebook page. Marion Ali for News 5.

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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