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Chiquibul Challenge Marathon starts Saturday, two other athletic events close off March

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Posted: Wednesday, March 17, 2021. 5:43 pm CST.

By Ruben Morales Iglesias: Competitive sports are at a standstill, with the exception of athletics albeit following COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

But because social distancing is difficult, races are being run virtually. Runners run wherever they are recording their distances and time on their phone apps. They then upload their statistics to the organizers’ website at the end of the race period.

The main difference with regular races is that today’s virtual races are individual time or distance trials since the athletes do not start running at the same time. They are given a time-period anywhere from a day to a month to complete their events.

Results are not readily available until all participants have uploaded their statistics.

But at least they are participating in competitive events.

The month-long Placencia Splash Running Club month-long run is ongoing. The National Heroes Virtual 10K Run was held on the March 6-8 weekend.

Three more events are scheduled for this month.

First, there’s the Chiquibul Challenge Marathon hosted by the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC) which starts on Saturday, March 20 and runs until Wednesday, March 31.

The Power Run: Celebrating Women Virtual 5K Run/Walk hosted by SHINE and Baby Earth runs from March 24 to 28.

Plus, there’s the Diabetes 5K Awareness Run Series organized by the Wellness Ambassadors for Saturday, March 27.

The Chiquibul Challenge Marathon is an annual fundraiser event supporting the wildlife and conservation work by BWRC and Friends for Conservation and Development. It’s normally held at Las Cuevas Research Station in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, but this year it has to be done virtually.

To that end the event was extended. It starts on Saturday, March 20 and ends on Wednesday, March 31. And while it’s virtual, this race might have a semblance of competition since runners in the Cayo District have been given permission to use the San Antonio road as an alternative to Las Cuevas on Sunday, March 21. Runners will compete in an open/finish format, meaning “you start when you get there.”

The start will be at Hode’s Place in San Ignacio. It will then run through Santa Elena, to Cristo Rey, past San Antonio, reaching the half-marathon finish at a point near the Chiquibul road junction. Transportation will be made available to runners doing the half marathon and who opt for the service. Those doing the entire marathon, return to Hode’s. The organizers will provide “some basic support services (3 water stations, medical doctors on the road/call and transfer services back from the halfway point.)”

Registration for this race closes on Friday, March 19. Click here to register. https://forms.gle/nokRMcK1jqCM7qEt8

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