Guatemala, El Reto Quetzal

Video above of race = awesome. This was a mountain bike race called El Reto Del Quetzal offered by Netzer Quan = thank you Netzer that traveled through the hinter lands of Guatemala. It was a point to Point from hotel to hotel staying in some of the best hotels below

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Hotel Soleil Antigua below was smoking !!
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Hotel Soleil Antigua, Hotel Porta Del Lago, Hotel Pension Bonifaz and Hotel Domingo De Marzo. (please see section under country for more detail)

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We started traveling through the some incredible historic UNESCO Towns like Antigua (above), Atilan, Quetzaltenango and Irtra. We arrived early in Antigua and participated in some other functions like:

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functions like visiting the many cultural sites and hiking and horseback riding volcanoes, zip lining and seeing the many historic religious sites. (please section under country for more detail).

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Ok on to the race which was a point to point race (no packing of bikes or waiting for bus at the end). There were three functions one could participate in: A trail run (wow , a short version and a long version mountain bike race. Trail Run below = 6 miles, 25 miles, 18 miles and concluded with a 20 mile serious run back to back days

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The trail run (above) and short version started in the half way point of the long version. I choose to do the long version for all four stages. The logistics and preparation for the race were incredibly well managed.  The rides basically took place between 5,200 feet approaching about 10,000 at the highest and ended at about 1000 above sea level.  We probably did close to  20,000 feet of climbing

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Above the start of the night ride and below a shot on way to top

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The first stage was a night ride and staggered. We started in the town to the start of the race about 2 miles away and then we again started in small groups that was about 6 miles long with about 3,000 feet of climbing and one reach an elevation of 6,800 feet

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The second stage for the long course 54 miles long with about 10,200 feet of climbing reaching an elevation of 8,200 feet .  Here well all started together above and shots below

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Arriving at the finish at Lake Atilan below

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I arrived at Lake Atilan above wow what an incredible view above and below

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Coming in to the town we went down like a million steps = bad ass for certain below

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at the finish above for 3rd stage

The third stage (I took the day off) was 36 miles long with about 6,500 feet of climbing reaching an elevation of 10,000 feet. Some photos below

 

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Racers boarding the boat to go to start of race above and start below

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The fourth and final stage was 40 miles with about 2,600 feet of climbing reaching an elevation of 8,500 feet.  It was incredible below

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at the finish of the race above and other photos below

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The photos of starts , the ride and ending are above