Into the second day of racing at the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge and French team Naturex hold a small lead over team Bones from the USA.
A run of bad luck and mistakes has seen team Powerbar Swiss Explorer retire from the race. It began with a collision between two of the team members as they left the transition into the Leg 2 mountain bike. Susan Tschappat suffered abrasions and bruising to her ribs and hip, and continued on in obvious discomfort.
Further difficulties for the Swiss occurred on the next leg 3 when they capsized their canoe in the Belize River. A capsize could be considered a normal part of adventure racing, but in this situation the canoe sunk in the moving water leaving them stranded on an island in the dark. To make matters worse the team lost two of their mountain bikes which were secured to the canoe during this leg. The Swiss spent the remainder of the night cold and wet on the island until rescue teams reached them in the morning and they retired from the race.
Leg 4 was a relatively fast mountain bike leg along gravel roads and through farmland. USA Bones arrived into the end of this leg around 2am, 15 minutes ahead of France Naturex and followed by Brazil Good’nuff DSN74. Bones and Naturex both banked a little over an hour of sleep prior to starting the much anticipated Leg 5 of the race. Good’nuff DSN74 left into Leg 5 without sleep followed by France AdeoRun in fourth place.
Leg 5 may be the most memorable leg of the race for teams in the 2018 Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge for the mind blowing terrain they traverse. After a short trek from the TA teams descend by ropes into a 120 metre deep sink hole. They then travel through an enormous cave before exciting via ladders. Next a short trek will bring teams to the Seven Mile Cave System where they will swim down a river which runs though these gigantic caverns. The cave section is expected to take teams approximately 2 hours to navigate through. They are permitted to use flotation devices in the water in this section. After exiting the cave system they still need to complete a 23km jungle trek to reach the TA at the end of this leg.
As this report was written the leaders have emerged from the cave swim and are proceeding into one of the more navigationally challenging sections of the race, the jungle trek. It appears France Naturex may have made a error and gone off the expected course. Check out the live tracking to see if they can recover before they are overtaken by USA Bones. https://yb.tl/mmac2018
Randy Ericksen is in Belize covering the race and updating the MMAC Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/MayaMountainAdventure/
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Released 27 Feb 2018 by Craig Bycroft, Adventure Racing World Series
Photo Randy Ericksen