Eco-Challengers Fight Strong Winds to Kayak Around Ambergris Caye

The 10th Annual Ambergris Caye Kayaking Challenge was a brutal one for the competitors.  40+ miles, 2 days, camping in the wilderness at the tip of the caye, it’s a huge physical and mental challenge.  And this year, the 20+ mile per hour winds and gusts that were almost constant over the two days, hitting the little boats basically sideways the whole time, made things even tougher.


Yesterday, at about 1pm, I headed to Central Park in the town center to catch the finish of the race. To see the two-somes, mostly young men but also women, head through the finish line.  It’s such a fun family afternoon in the park…a feel good sort of event for those NOT in the race.


I was there also to cheer on my team.  My buddies from the gym, Josh and Chito, who are both in insane shape and decided to kick things up a notch and enter this horrifying (to me) kayak race.

Here they are at Crossfit CFS earlier in the week.  Looking confident…

10322824_713915788649958_7956798491396536280_nI found a spot in Central Park to wait for the race.  There was a DJ (of course.  NO EVENT in Belize is complete without music), beer and this guy.  I wanted to take a picture of his coconut table, he DOVE in the photo and then asked me 5x for a $5bzd fee for taking his photo.



You can see the winds…


The water looks beautiful (especially when a cloud rolls over) but it was choppy and milky from the churned up sand.


Kids were paddling about…the fly boarder was…fly boarding and then the lead safety boats came in.


And the very first team…these guys are making this look easy for sure.


The guys sponsored by Coco Beach resort.  Woo hoo!IMG_5539Nice work gentlemen.


2nd place came in just a few minutes after.  It was harder to get this young San Pedrano out of his kayak.  LOVE to see all these young locals participating…a really amazing, constructive and inspiring event.  Though I must be getting old…usually this gives me just a flicker of excitement that I too will do this next year!  This year, it didn’t even cross my mind…


Super cute to see the kids swarming the boats.




HOLD UP!  Here come my guys.  I’d heard that there had been issues on Day One…a broken seat.  They were coming in 8th and moving like there was no problem at all.

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You guys rock.  I asked…is this race…ummm…really actually fun?


Yes, they assured me.  I don’t believe but you be the judge.

I caught up with the first place guys having a bucket of beers in their kayak.  Carib is one way to rehydrate for sure…

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A fun crowd.


And I was running late…way late.  The race had started a bit later due to the winds and I had to head north.

As I made my way up there, I saw some kayakers still fighting their way along.  Amazing perseverance.


Make sure to congratulate anyone who even started this race, much less finished it.  And stop in Hurricane’s Ceviche Bar to pat Josh on the back.

Huge thank you to the organizers, especially Elito and Rebecca of Seaduced by Belize for organizing this great event every year.

Are you inspired to start training for the 2015 11th Annual Reef-Lagoon Eco-Challenge?

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