Teams from nine Riverside County law enforcement agencies will dig into the desert floor Saturday and huff their way across 120 miles in a relay race that ends in Las Vegas.
The 2019 Baker-to-Vegas Challenge Cup Relay, sponsored by the Los Angeles Police Revolver & Athletic Club, is expected to draw more than 4,000 runners from public safety agencies throughout California, a few neighboring states, Canada and even Australia. A total of 294 teams have signed up.
The Corona, Hemet, Murrieta, Palm Springs and Riverside police departments have personnel who are slated to participate, along with employees from Riverside County sheriff’s divisions, the District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Probation and the California Highway Patrol’s Riverside office.
The 20-leg race begins along state Route 127, about 20 miles north of Baker, California, traverses Highway 178, into Pahrump, Nevada, and from there — straight onto the Vegas strip, ending at the Westgate Resort & Casino on Paradise Road.
Teams will head out in waves — or “flights” — with the fastest competitors leaving later in the day.
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 its run in 12 hours, 37 minutes. The last-place team, from the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, made it in 22 hours, 33 minutes.
The Riverside County team with the best time-in was comprised of sheriff’s deputies, who reached the finish line in 14 hours, 4 minutes, earning the unit a No. 5 ranking, according to results.
The team whose law enforcement personnel are traveling the farthest to participate this year is from Queensland, Australia, according to www.bakervegas.net .