Posted by: Tori Wong | 2nd Mar, 2010

La Ruta Maya (aka 180 miles of paddling death)

So every March, Belize hosts the second longest canoe race (in the world!) in honor of Baron Bliss Day. Depending on who you ask, La Ruta Maya is anywhere between 170 and 190 miles from San Ignacio to Belize City (fyi-that is across the entire country) over 4 days; the race is by far the largest sporting event in the country and it attracts people from all over to both paddle and follow. This year, La Ruta Maya is begins at 5:30am on Friday the 5th and ends on the evening of Monday the 8th.

For some strange reason, I decided that I wanted to be part of this madness. But not only part of it (some international students joined the support crew that will take care of the injured, dehydrated, and mentally unstable paddlers), nooooo, I wanted to paddle in the race.

So, early Friday morning, I will be loading up my dry bag full of sunscreen, gatorade and powerbars and joining over 100 other canoes (ranging from incredibly competitive professional paddlers to intramural high school students to 75 year old men to peace corps volunteers) under the steel Hawksworth bridge for the mass start of what I’m anticipating will be the hardest (and most epic) undertaking of my life.

Can you tell I’m nervous? Wish me luck-I’m sure by Tuesday of next week I will have a multitude of stories to tell. Until then, here’s to rocking the boat and always saying ‘yes’ to new adventures! peace out!

one of our many 6-hour Ruta Maya practices. love it!

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