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News Release

Thursday, March 18, 1999

Media Relations

15th Annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay Race

LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
PRESS RELEASE
Thursday, March 18, 1999

The Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club is the proud sponsor of the

15th Annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay Race
April 10, 1999

Largest law enforcement athletic event in the world!



Over 8,000 runners and race personnel will descend upon the desert communities of Baker and Shoshone, California the weekend of April 10th - 11th to participate in the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay Race, the World's Largest Law Enforcement Athletic Event. Officers from departments ranging from as far away as Calgary, Canada and New York City and as close as Las Vegas' own Metro officers will participate in the 15th edition of the race. In addition, there will be four teams of all women law enforcement officers competing for first place in the women's division. The women's teams will include teams from San Diego, Long Beach, San Jose, and even the Dallas Texas Police Department.

Beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 10th, runners take off (on the hour) from the starting point on Highway 127, about 19 miles north of Baker High School (assembly point for runners and support personnel). Following the desert roadway over Ibex Pass to Shoshone, runners turn right along Highway 178 (Highway 372 in Nevada) and climb the mountains to Pahrump. Another right turn onto Highway 160 takes runners up to Mountain springs Summit (elevation 5,600 ft.), and straight down to the Las Vegas strip, where the runners will sprint to the finish line.

Thirty-one Los Angeles Police Department teams, 30 Los Angeles Sheriff's Department teams, along with 139 teams representing various federal, state and local law enforcement entities will participate in this year's race.

The Los Angeles Police Department Metro/SWAT team will be fired up to defend their first place finish of last year. The L.A. County Sheriffs, who are primary rivals of the LAPD, will be sure to give the LAPD teams a run for their money. But look out for the San Diego Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and the FBI as they may be the toughest challengers this year. These three competitive teams finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Race conditions are almost unknown until the starter's pistol goes off. Early runners may face 120 degree heat along Highway 127, while later in the evening runners may be faced with fending off winds, freezing rain, or blowing snow near Mountain Springs Summit. In fact, the 1987 race was halted halfway between Pahrump and Las Vegas due to blizzard conditions. The 20 race legs vary from flat stretches of desert to the infamous "billy-goat legs," which climb 5,600 feet in elevation to the Summit.

The Award ceremonies will be held on Sunday, April 11, 1999, at 4:00 P.M., at the RIO Hotel Convention Center. Over 10,000 are expected to attend this gala event. California Governor Gray Davis, California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, LAPD's Chief Bernard C. Parks, Nevada's Clark County Sheriff Jerry Keller and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will be in attendance.

The following area highways will be impacted on the race day:

Interstate 15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas - Normal heavy weekend traffic will be affected by an additional 2,500 -3,500 vehicles, many of them motor homes, traveling to Baker, Las Vegas, and points between for the race. Sunday afternoon and evening, April 11th, will find most of these vehicles heading back towards Los Angeles. Look for additional congestion all along Highway 15, particularly near the Barstow funnel.

Highway 127, from Interstate 15 to Shoshone - Heavy race-related vehicular traffic on Saturday, April 10th, from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the area of downtown Baker and Baker High School. The highway will remain open during the race but extreme caution is urged due to runners, slow follow-vehicles, and heavy-race related traffic between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

CA Highway 178 / Nevada Highway 372 from Shoshone to Pahrump - Race related traffic during early afternoon on Saturday, April 10th. The first runners should reach Shoshone by 5:00 p.m. Traffic around Shoshone will also be impacted by numerous support vehicles/motor homes parked near the junction of Highways 127 and 178. Runners and slow-traveling follow-vehicles will affect traffic between Saturday, April 10th and 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 11th.

Highway 160 from Pahrump to Las Vegas - Race related traffic during afternoon and evening hours on Saturday, April 10th. The first runners should reach Pahrump by 6:30 p.m. that evening. Runners and slow-traveling follow-vehicles will affect all traffic between 9:30 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on Sunday April 11th.



Dear Motorist:

The Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club, along with 8,000 participants in today's Baker to Las Vegas Challenge Cup Relay, wish to apologize for any inconvenience you will experience due to the race.

In cooperation with the California Highway Patrol, Highway 127 between Baker and Shoshone will remain open to traffic during the race. Every year (this is our 15th race) we make every effort to avoid undue traffic delays and hazards…

DUE TO THE HEAVY VOLUME OF RACE-RELATED TRAFFIC, SLOW RACE VEHICLES AND RUNNERS ALONG THE ROADWAY, WE ASK THAT YOU PLEASE EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHILE DRIVING ALONG HIGHWAY 127 TODAY.

We appreciate your assistance and cooperation in making the highway safe for everyone, and hope any inconvenience is minor.

For further information, please call Sergeant Jim Katapodis, Press Relations Officer at 213-501-2053. Fax No. 323-222-0629




For Release 3:25 pm PST
March 18, 1999