One thing that many of BelizeÂs residents revel in is the countyÂs huge biodiversity, both terrestrial and marine. Â As a way to raise awareness about the importance of keeping this diversity intact, American Adventure Sports has organized the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge (MMAC) to draw participants from around the world and showcase BelizeÂs stunning scenery while offering a rigorous race to take part in.
On February 13th, 50 participants from around the world gathered in Belize to start the extraordinary challenge. Â During the MMAC, 16 groups of people will be taken across 200 miles of terrain, including regions of Chiquibul National Park and the Maya Mountains. Â The challenge not only includes cycling, but canoeing, trekking and rappelling at some point, with entrants encouraged to use their orienteering skills to ensure they stay on the right track.
Julia Pollock, MMACÂs Challenge Director, said: ÂThis particular race is three days and is just under 200 miles. Â It is non-stop and completely non-supportive. Â The race just keeps going through the night and day until they cross the finish line. Â They will face a lot of challenges along their way. Â It does not only test them on the course but also the elements, eat and sleep deprivation. Â It is a difficult challenge but very rewarding in the end.Â
Ms. Pollock revealed that it has taken two years to develop the challenge and ensure that MMAC was prepared to host the race. Â She added that she had fallen in love with the diversity of Belize and was determined to find a way in which she could showcase it. Â By developing the challenge, enthusiasts around the world would be able to journey through the nationÂs extraordinary landscape whilst participating in something they would remember for the rest of their lives.
The organization, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), has helped bring the challenge to fruition, and Rafael Martinez explained that is was a race to save BelizeÂs rainforest and biodiversity.
For those living in Belize, the new challenge is a great way to bring yet more tourism to the country. Â Not only that, it is hoped that many of those visiting the country to participate will discover a new found love for the nationÂs biodiversity and help protect it in the years to come, both by monetary donations and by encouraging further tourism.