One Hundred and twenty miles of pavement, 20 stages, over 8,000 runners, hot days, cold nights, pride and honour…..that’s what the world’s most prestigious and unique law enforcement foot race held annually on the 19th – 20th March is all about.
This unique law enforcement foot race held in the United States starting in Baker, California and ending in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a gruelling but rewarding and challenging event for enforcement officers from around the globe as they battle it out every spring for the chance of winning the coveted cup trophy.
The Annual Challenge Cup/Baker to Vegas Relay course takes place through extreme temperatures as it is held across the desert, it begins 25 miles north of Baker on Highway 127 to Shoshone, California; then northeast on Highway 178, across the state line into Nevada on Highway 372 to Pahrump, Nevada; it proceeds then southeast on Highway 160 to the finish inside the Hilton Hotel Convention Room in Las Vegas. All participating teams were scheduled to run in eleven flights, depending upon their ability, with flights starting hourly from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
This year 25 law enforcement officers from our jewel formed of Coast Guards, Police and BDF participated for the first time in this event under the name Belize Protectors. Although the event proved to be quite a challenge, in the end our Protectors made Belize proud as they ranked 1st in their category where both male and female officers participated, says Superintendent of Police and Commander of Precinct 4 Belize City, Linden Flowers.
“Belize Protectors with a team of law enforcement personnel from Belize who took part in the Vega to Vega relay, it was a distance of about 120 miles in the dessert of California to Las Vegas and it was broken down into 20 stages in this relay, it had 25 participants as a requirement male and females we entered in the mixed category runners which we use to place 5 females to run in that 20 legs, the race started back in 1985 in the United States all their enforcement teams took part in that and Belize was invited in 2016 and the outcome is that we won first in our category with a time of 14 hours 23 minutes and 8 seconds the best run we ran amongst 261 teams and we came in sixth overall it is a time drip it is a time race.”
The Protectors started their relay at 1:00p.m on the 19th and 14 hours 23 minutes and 8 seconds later the last team member made it to the finishing line inside the Hilton Hotel Convention Centre ranking them 6th place overall. And despite their challenges, the team set a record as best in 14 years for the mixed relay category.
“We started our relay at 1pm on Saturday and the last person of that 20 legs ran into the convention Centre at 03 23 hours and so we won and our time overall is #6 and we have the best in fourteen years and the persons who have won has broken records over the years we are at the fourteen record.”
On Sunday, eight hours after the last team finished the race, an award ceremony was held in the Hilton Hotel where more than 6,000 runners and support personnel gathered to be officially recognized.
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