Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay
The race covers 120 grueling miles, which is broken down into 20 stages through the desert and mountains between the cities of Baker, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Teams start on Saturday afternoon, run throughout the night and finish on Sunday morning. Collective team finishing times can range from 13 - 20 hours.
The race conditions are virtually unknown from one stage to another. The early runners may face temperatures reaching 120 degrees along Highway 127, while later in the evening runners may be faced with high winds, freezing temps,rain or snow. In 1987, the race had to be halted due to a blizzard that was impassable. The 20 stages, or legs of the race, vary from flat stretches in the desert heat to the infamous “billy-goat legs,” which climb in elevation to 5600 feet at the summit. The Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay is a serious test of the runner’s endurance. Each year runners often push themselves to exhaustion and the need for medical treatment. To make the event more competitive, the race is broken down into several categories based on the number of officers on the competing department. Team Black typically participates in the 800 Invitational Mixed Division.
There is much more to the race than the 20 runners however. A great deal of training, preparation and logistics goes into planning the race. There are strict rules in place to ensure the safety of each participant and every team is required to supply support personnelfor their runners. There is the need for follow and shuttle vans, race route personnel, supplies and lodging. Additionally, the team could not survive without the generous support of our department and community sponsors. These organizations, businesses and individuals donate their time, money, or efforts to ensure our success.