The San Gabriel Police Department is proud to announce that they won fourth place in their category at the annual Baker To Vegas Challenge Cup Relay Race.
The race is held each spring between the Cities of Baker California and Las Vegas Nevada, which is a distance of 120 miles. For the second consecutive year, runners from the San Gabriel Police Department teamed up with the City of Vernon Police Department for the challenging 20 leg relay race.
Each entry team is matched up with other agencies of similar size and placed in that category.
Hoping to capitalize on the success of last year's great showing, Team San Gabriel / Vernon showed its dedication and determination by training rigorously, and going on strict diets. The team competed in several smaller races throughout the area in preparation of the big race. They even competed in the annual San Gabriel Turkey Trot.
This year's race was the weekend of March 21-23. Our dedicated team of runners and volunteers arrived in Las Vegas determined to represent their respective Cities and Police Departments with pride. San Gabriel's very own Detective Joe Pelano kicked off the first leg of the grueling 120 mile desert race from the City of Baker with a very impressive showing. The competition between other departments in our category (99) was very close. The majority of the teams remained only minutes apart from each other throughout much of the race.
During the nighttime portion of the race, desert temperatures dropped into the 40's. However, this gave the strong runners of Team San Gabriel / Vernon the chance to move up from seventh place to fifth place. San Gabriel's Officer Steve Gaona took the baton for the 20th and final leg of the race. His final sprint gave Team San Gabriel / Vernon a solid forth place finish, which earned it a coveted Challenge Cup Mug. This was also the team's fastest showing with a team best of 16 hours and 53 minutes. The average pace for each runner was 8 minutes and 26 seconds. This year's finish placed the team at 107th out of 278 teams overall.
The San Gabriel PD flag flew proud and high above the follow-van giving inspiration to SGPD runners who trailed behind it. The flag reminded runners of why they sacrificed so much and trained so hard in the months preceding the race. It was a show their teamwork, camaraderie, competitiveness, physical fitness, and pride in our City and Police Department.
A special thank you to the following members of the San Gabriel Police Department.
Kevin Watson (retired)