Local deputies run from Baker to Vegas in law enforcement relay

Staff Report

The Baker to Vegas Relay for law enforcement officers to test their physical abilities has been around for 20 years, but the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department participated this year for the first time.

“I am proud of the dedicated, all-volunteer SBSO team that worked hard to raise funds, organize travel and logistics, enter and complete this challenging competition. They represented our agency exceedingly well,” Sheriff Bill Brown said.

The Challenge Cup/Baker to Vegas Relay was the vision of Los Angeles Police Officers Chuck Foote and Larry Moore. It follows the format laid out by the LAPD Metro Division´s “Death Valley Relay,” which came to an abrupt end in 1985 after a seven-year stint.

The original ideals of the race continue: teamwork, camaraderie, physical fitness and competition. The event has expanded in many ways, most notably in the number of entries and categories. The first race in 1985 had 19 teams; now the event is limited to 270. Categories have grown to include probation officers, district attorneys, U.S. attorneys, and full-time civilian police personnel.

Today it is the largest law enforcement event of its kind in the world, with men’s and women’s teams participating from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Calgary; teams from Berlin and Hamburg, Germany, and throughout the United States.

The Annual Challenge Cup/Baker to Vegas Relay took place over the weekend of March 25 – 26. The course began 25 miles north of Baker on Highway and finished inside the Hilton Hotel Convention Room in Las Vegas. Teams were scheduled to run in eleven flights, depending upon their ability, with flights starting hourly from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Sunday, eight hours after the last team finished, an awards ceremony was held in the Hilton Hotel Convention room for more than 6,000 runners and support personnel, several thousand family members and friends, and almost 1,000 race volunteers.

For more information on the event, log onto www.bakervegas.net.