Monday, April 21, 2008
24th Annual Challenge Cup/Baker to Vegas Relay Race April 19-20, 2008Twenty-four years ago, 19 running teams composed of law enforcement officers gathered at the entrance of Death Valley just north of Baker, California for the first annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay. The LAPD’s Central Division won the race and received their recognition at an awards ceremony held on the roadside outside of Las Vegas in an impromptu, informal ceremony.
The Challenge Cup Relay/Baker to Vegas is a grueling 120-mile footrace through the harsh climate and rough terrain of the Mojave Desert and has been held for the past 23 years. It is the largest law enforcement athletic event of its kind worldwide with over 8,000 runners, support personnel, Chiefs of Police, various outside agency department heads, and family and friends in attendance. The race is a
non-stop event culminating with an awards ceremony at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.
Over 240 teams from around the nation and the world participate in this event. Our special entry for this year is the officers representing the South Wales Police Service United Kingdom.
On April 19, 2008, over 244 teams will line up and await the starter’s pistol for the start of what promises to be the most competitive run in the race’s history. Over 4,000 runners and almost the same number of support personnel will descend upon the desert communities of Baker and Shoshone, California and Pahrump, Nevada, awaiting the baton hand-off from their teammate. The starting point is on Hwy 127, approximately 19 miles north of Baker High School (the assembly point for runners and support personnel). The runners race over Ibex Pass through Shoshone, then along Hwy 178 into Nevada. Highway 178 becomes Hwy 372, which takes the runners into the mountains, finally leading them into Pahrump, Nevada. The runners turn onto Hwy 160 up the grueling Mountain Springs Summit and then straight down to the Las Vegas Strip. Once on the strip, the runners sprint to the finish line located at the
Las Vegas Hilton Hotel Convention Center.
The race conditions change from year to year. Runners may experience extreme heat in the desert and frigid, blizzard-like conditions in the early morning hours while in the mountains. Runners never know what to expect during the 20-leg relay race. While some of the legs are flat, others are steep and others nearly a sheer drop down the mountains. However, no matter what the conditions one thing remains constant: a fierce competitive spirit!
The Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club (LAPRAAC) host the Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay. LAPRAAC also provides a special reception Sunday, April 20, 2008, for all attending Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police and other agency heads attending the race.
For additional information, contact LAPRAAC at 323-221-1056 or 323-221-5222, extensions
218-221, or visit www.bakervegas.com.