2019 Chiquibul Challenge Marathon
For the third consecutive year, the Chiquibul Challenge Marathon has successfully been held in the Chiquibul Forest. This time over 120 persons made their way to Las Cuevas Research Station on the 16th of March. The guests were welcomed by the FCD staff and the squawking scarlet macaws that made their presence known on the canopy of the thick green forest.
The crowd that gather for the occasion, and who stay overnight camping on the open field and cabanas is the largest group that the station caters annually. Excitement was felt on the air, as guests pitched their tents and underwent yoga and exercise drills in preparation for the marathon. 6:00 a.m. marked the beginning of the marathon. For full marathon runners the beginning was from Las Cuevas while for the half marathon runners, the start point was Guacamallo Bridge. The sun was blistering hot, though the forest canopy provided a relief for runners.
In the words of Dr. Isabelle Durand Pacquet from the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, who is the main person behind this event, she notes that “the Chiquibul Challenge Marathon is an event to learn about the Chiquibul, protect macaws, be healthy, and win a little prize.” Macaws were also winners since as a result of the marathon, a donation of $3,763.26 was handed over to FCD for macaw protection. Major sponsors to the event were BECOL, Kaana, Ministry of Health and Calico Jack.