Teams from a half-dozen Riverside County law enforcement agencies will dig into the desert floor tomorrow, huffing their way across 120 miles in a relay race that ends in Las Vegas.
The Baker-to-Vegas Challenge Cup Relay, organized by the Los Angeles Police Revolver & Athletic Club, is expected to draw roughly 6,700 runners from public safety agencies throughout California and a few neighboring states. A total of 261 teams are signed up.
The Beaumont, Corona, Murrieta and Riverside police departments have teams participating, along with Riverside County sheriff’s stations, the District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Probation.
The 19-leg race begins along state Route 127, 25 miles north of Baker, Calif., traverses Highway 178, into Pahrump, Nev., and from there, goes straight onto the Vegas strip. Teams will head out in waves — or ”flights” — with the fastest competitors leaving last at 5 p.m. Since it began in 1985, the relay has become the seminal law enforcement race of the year, according to organizers.
Last year’s first-place team from the Los Angeles Police Department completed the run in just over 13 hours. The last-place team, from the Lodi Police Department, made it in 23 hours, 16 minutes.
The Riverside County team with the best time was from the sheriff’s department, arriving 35th after completing all the legs in 15 hours, 45 minutes and 10 seconds.