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Metro team members run for fallen comrades

For some people, it takes a lot of motivation to get them running anything more than a mile.

Last Saturday thousands of motivated runners from law enforcement agencies from all over the country did that and more.

They came through Pahrump on Saturday evening in the 31st annual Baker to Vegas run, or otherwise known as the Challenge Cup Relay.

This year the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department fielded two teams, who dedicated the race to two of their fallen heroes.

One team was composed of law enforcement officers only, the commissioned team and the other was composed of civilian support staff and officers, the mixed team.

One of the team captains of the mixed team, Lisa Zelazny, told the PVT the team members ran in honor of fallen comrades Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck.

The officers were brutally murdered while on duty. They were gunned down while eating at CiCi’s Pizza on Nellis Boulevard on June 8, 2014.

The teams paid their respects to the fallen officers by wearing custom shirts that had the two officer’s names on the shirts.

In addition, Zelazny said their wives were invited to participate and one of them, the wife of Alyn Beck, Nicole, was able to make it.

“She was able to run with our last officer as he ran across the finish line,” she said. “We got special permission for her to finish the race with our team.”

Zelazny said there were also numerous officers who knew Beck and Soldo that ran with the teams and after the race the officers were honored at the awards ceremony.

This year the run featured 261 relay teams who braved the 120-mile course, which started in the town of Baker, California. From Baker the race made its way down Highway 127 towards Shoshone, California. From Shoshone the runners run to Pahrump on Highway 372 and then take Highway 160 to Las Vegas.

The grueling course has some serious challenges in addition to being 120 miles long with 20 stages. The grade past Shoshone going into Pahrump over the years has taken out a lot of runners because of heat exhaustion. People recall the race was once held in April, but due to the amount of problems that area caused, the race was moved into March to avoid the heat.

The shortest distance of the race is 4 miles and the longest distance is 10.7 miles. Two of the stages, 11 and 12 were in Pahrump. Stage 11 was on Blagg and Highway 372 and Stage 12 was on Dandelion and Highway 160.

This was the second year in a row that the Nye County Sheriff’s Office was absent from the contest. The race requires a 20-man team and the department has had trouble coming up with the 20 officers required to run.

Both Las Vegas Metro teams completed the race without serious injury. The commissioned team crossed the finish line with a time of 17 hours, 18 minutes and 10 seconds and were 23rd in their division.

The second mixed Metro team finished 50th in their division (22:03:23). The team to beat this year was the LAPD Department team as they won their second race in a row (12:53:17).

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