If you are one of those people who complain that there never is a cop around when you need one, then have your accident this weekend between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. this Saturday. This is the estimated time when 8,000 law enforcement officers and their support crews will start pouring into town for the 30th annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay.
The relay was started by two Los Angeles police officers, Chuck Foote and Larry Moore 30 years ago. On Saturday 262 law enforcement teams will run the 120-mile course with 20 stages to Las Vegas.
The race is put on each year by the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club. The relay teams will line up just outside the town of Baker, California, which is just some 77 miles to the west of Pahrump. The teams are entirely made up of law enforcement personnel and each team consists of 20. The distance for each team member varies. Some are selected to run 3-4 mile legs while others will run 10-mile legs.
The race comes right through Pahrump via Highway 372 and then the course follows Highway 160 into Las Vegas. Of course from 5 p.m. until the early hours of dawn, one can expect the traffic to move slowly on those two highways, so plan your weekend and travel times.
The Pahrump Chamber of Commerce of course welcomes the race each year with open arms says PCC CEO Mike Dreyer.
“We will have a huge impact from this race at the casinos, the RV parks, and the hotels. There is not a hotel available when they come through. They book every room and every RV spot. They go to the restaurants, the convenience stores and the supermarkets. I know from the past from experience this is true and we support this and we will have a huge banner out there thanking them for coming through our town,” he said. “This is a win-win for everyone. This is an amazing event.”
Alice Eychaner is the event’s chairwoman for Moose Lodge #808. The Moose lodge volunteers each year to hand out cookies and drinks to the runners and support teams. Eychaner has volunteered for this event for the past 20 years.
“The Moose Lodge has been doing this for 30 years and I have been doing this for 20 years. This year we almost had a record for the amount of teams entered at 262. In front of Saddle West Hotel and Casino, we distribute 150 dozen cookies which comes to 6.4 cookies per team. We buy the cookies from Smiths. We will stay all night until the last police car goes through. We also hand out bananas, coffee and hot cocoa. We have 17 volunteers this year. I do this because people need help and it’s an unbelievable good time,” Eychaner said.
Deputy Kaycee Otteson has been racing for the past five years and helps organize the event for the Nye County Sheriff’s Department.
This would have been the 6th year running the relay for the NCSO team, but Deputy Kaycee Otteson said she was short this year by nine people.
“We don’t have a team unfortunately. We didn’t have enough runners. I couldn’t get enough people to sign up this year. It is really unfortunate because there were a few of us that were looking forward to it. We were short nine and four alternates. This is with NHP runners,” Otteson said.
Otteson said there is always next year.
“When I started recruiting runners five years ago, they had been trying for years to get a team together and no one was able to do it,” she said. “It is a hard thing to do because you have to find someone that is willing to stay in shape and wanting to come out and participate in this event every year. In the past, I was fortunate every year because there was an academy going and I would have at least five. I know we can still get a team in there next year if we can put a team together.”