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UPDATE: SCV Sheriff’s Station in Baker to Vegas race

Posted: April 9, 2013 3:15 p.m.
Updated: April 9, 2013 5:23 p.m.

Deputy G. Barlow with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station races down the road during 2012 Challenge Cup Baker to Vegas Race. The SCV Sheriff's Station will send a team this Saturday to compete again this year. Photo courtesy of SCV Sheriff's Station

Dozens of law-enforcement personnel from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station will head out this weekend to participate in a 120-mile race across the desert and state line to Las Vegas.

The Challenge Cup Relay Baker to Vegas Race starts 25 miles north of Baker, Calif., and takes runners down Highway 127 before heading northeast across the Nevada border, eventually ending in the convention room of the Hilton hotel in Las Vegas.

“You’re out there on a two-lane highway in the middle of the desert,” sheriff’s Deputy Josh Dubin said Tuesday. “It’s extremely hot and it’s physically and mentally grueling.”

Dubin said the station has fielded a team in the famed race for at least 15 years; this year’s team has 20 participants and eight alternates. Each of the racers runs a leg of the race ranging from four to more than seven miles in length.

The race has been around since 1985 and has grown in popularity — and competitiveness — since then. Some 7,000 are expected for the race this year, which runs Saturday and Sunday, said Chuck Foote, the race’s coordinator.

Besides runners, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station brings along a number of personnel to act as support staff for the racers, picking them up after their portion of the race is over, Dubin said.

Dubin said this year will be his third as a member of the station’s support staff for the relay. The race can be an arduous experience, especially when temperatures exceed triple digits, he said.

The SCV Sheriff’s Station team will start the race at noon Saturday.

The point of participating in the race is to promote physical fitness and station unity and to engage in a friendly competition with other law-enforcement agencies.

Though the competition may be friendly, runners take it seriously. Winning teams typically average less then a 7-minute-mile pace throughout the 120-mile race, according to results posted on the race’s website.

About 260 agencies are expected to take part in this year’s relay, Foote said. Teams are from Canada, Germany and Ireland, among other countries.
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