A team from the Los Angeles Airport Police division finished in ninth place out of 50 co-ed teams in the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay last month.

The relay is a 120-mile, 20-stage foot race between Baker, Calif. and Las Vegas involving law enforcement officers from all over the world. The competition began in 1985 with 19 teams to encourage police officers to improve their physical fitness.

Airport Police entered this year’s competition in the “mixed” category with a team consisting of five women and 15 men. This was the first year Airport Police security officers participated in the relay race, Sgt. Belinda Nettles said.

The Airport Police team placed ninth in the “mixed” category with a finishing time of 17 hours, 1 minute, 57 seconds. The team improved on its finishing time from last year, incurring no penalties or injuries, while running in temperatures of over 100 degrees, Nettles said.

The team won a ceremonial relay mug, which has been a longtime goal of the dedicated Airport Police teams that participated during the past seven years, Nettles noted. Overall, this year’s Airport Police team placed 81st out of a total 270 teams in the competition.

“I am exceptionally proud of the teamwork, persistence and determination demonstrated by the members of our organization in achieving success in this race under very adverse conditions,” Airport Police Chief Michael Hyams said.

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