For the 11th year in a row, the Newport Beach Police Department’s Running Team placed first in their category at the Baker to Vegas 120-Mile Challenge Cup Relay. Running teams from 278 law enforcement agencies from around the world competed in the 31st annual relay, which was held March 28 and 29.
The Newport Beach team has placed first in its category 13 times in the last 15 years. This year, the team placed first in the 150 Division and 20th overall.
Twenty runners, four alternates, and a team of approximately 20 support personnel participated in the grueling race. The course included climbing over 5,000 feet in elevation, and descending through the winding back roads of the Mojave Desert.
The non-stop race began 24 miles outside the town of Baker on Saturday at 5 p.m. and ended in Las Vegas on Sunday around 8:30 a.m.
The team completed the event in an impressive 15 hours and 23 minutes.
“The heat coming off the desert roadway at the beginning of this race measured 128 degrees. Running under such grueling conditions requires not only good physical fitness, but tremendous mental toughness and discipline,” said NBPD Chief Jay Johnson. “Those attributes translate into the professional qualities that help make these men and women the fine Police Officers of whom I am so proud. A success like this is only possible through tremendous teamwork, and it takes just as many support personnel as runners to make our team successful. I cannot thank our support team enough for their selfless sacrifices in making this team effort possible.”
All participants train on their own time and pay their own way to participate in this event. Sponsors helped support the NBPD Running Team by contributing funds for the entry fee, team running shirts, support vehicles, and other miscellaneous expenditures.
Sponsors included AirEL Illuminations, Honda World Orange County, Newport Beach Land Rover, RUHM Destination Marketing, The Boutique Real Estate Group, Meridian Interiors, LLC, Drew Howitt of New Equity Products (NEP), and Newport Beach Police Association.