La Paz Ruta to feature Triathlon world champion

Written by Tamarindo News

By Tamarindo News Staff Photos by Genna Marie Davis/Tamarindo Family Photos and courtesy Rom Akerson

This year, the Ruta la Paz race has a special participant and figurehead, one that the event’s organizers hope will add cache to the annual fundraiser. When the runners leave the starting gate on June 29, kids and adults will be joined by Costa Rican Rom Akerson, who won the XTERRA world title in the triathlon last year in Maui, Hawaii.

“We met Rom at the Las Catalinas Triathlon after he won the race,” recalled Abel P. McClennen, school director and co-founder of La Paz. “He was extremely approachable and more than willing to participate. He will be joining us on June 28 to meet the children and talk about his journey to be the best XTERRA athlete in the world. He will then race the 10k the next day to raise awareness for the event and scholarship program.”

As to Akerson, his new title as Triathlon world champion was 20 years in the making of the global racing, biking and swimming competitive challenge. He plans to take that same drive to Ruta La Paz.

“Being the XTERRA 2018 champion has been a dream come true,” he said. “At Ruta La Paz, I’m going to do my best with a smile.”

The meeting point for the Ruta La Paz will be at 4 p.m. at the Costa Rica Sailing Center in Potrero. Race distances will be 5k and 10k, and a Kids Race.  The Kids Race will kick off at 4 p.m. and the other two races will follow at 4:30 p.m. The route heads south towards Esteros Azules restaurant, then returns towards Las Brisas. The 5k ends at the Sailing Center and the 10k racers will continue for another loop.

The event is promoted by Cronometra Evolution Marketing CR and sponsored by Sharkys, Pur International and Cooper & Stone.

All proceeds from the race will go towards the La Paz Scholarship Program, a donor-funded initiative aimed at identifying underprivileged children in the community and offering them “world-class” education.  The aim is to create future leaders who will have the capacity and skills to serve their communities, as well as the nation and the world. The program matches donors directly to individual students who come from lower income families with an annual income is often less than $7,000, and are then  empowered to attend a college or university.

There are 42 existing scholarship students and 10 scholarship graduates, many of whom are the first in their family to ever receive a secondary education.  La Paz has an annual goal of raising $350,000 per year to support the sustainable operation of the program. 

McClennen citedYaritza Villegas from La Paz class of 2016 , as an example of the program. She graduated this May from Marymount Manhattan College in New York with a double major in economics and marketing with a minor in business management. “She is a great example of what our scholarship students are achieving after their graduation from La Paz.”

“The goal of Ruta La paz is to bring awareness to this life-changing program through a series of health and exercise-related activities that be enjoyed by the entire company,” he said. “We have a goal of raising $50k for the scholarship program, which will support five children for the next school year. Athletes will receive medals, top finisher prizes, live music, great food and stiff competition on the sands of Playa Potrero.”

Approximately 400 competitors are expected to run this year. There will also be a pre-race pasta dinner, two-day sponsor expo, post-race massages, and more.

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Schedule of Events:

Friday, June 28, 2019

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Expo & Registration Opens

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM- Pre-race Pasta Dinner

Saturday, June 29, 2019

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM- Check-In

10:00 AM- Event Expo featuring Vendors and Sponsors

4:00 PM – 4:30 PM- Kids Race Starts

4:30 PM – 5K & 10K Begins

5:30 PM- Award Ceremony Begins

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