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SCV Sheriff’s Station runners earn their ‘mugs’ at Baker to Vegas relay 

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel participated in the annual Baker to Vegas relay last month for law enforcement agencies, with the team finishing 14th in its division. Courtesy photo.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel participated in the annual Baker to Vegas relay last month for law enforcement agencies, with the team finishing 14th in its division. Courtesy photo.
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Members of the Santa Clarita Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station got “mugged” last month for their efforts in the annual Baker to Vegas relay race. 

Every member of a team that finished in the top half of its respective division in the annual Baker to Vegas relay earned a commemorative mug. Courtesy photo.
Every member of a team that finished in the top half of its respective division in the annual Baker to Vegas relay earned a commemorative mug. Courtesy photo.

That’s the term that Deputy David Swigart used in reference to the SCV Sheriff’s Station’s team finishing 14th out of 36 teams in the Invitational Mixed division. The team ran the 120-mile course stretching from Baker to Las Vegas in just under 16 hours, 49 minutes, beating out last year’s time by roughly 45 minutes. 

Swigart said every team that finishes in the top half of each division gets a commemorative mug for each runner who participated. 

“It’s a pretty awesome experience,” Swigart said in a phone interview. 

The team’s finish is the best that some of the veterans can recall, Swigart said. 

“Some of the older guys who have been doing this for a while, they said this is the fastest Santa Clarita has ever run this event,” he said. 

The event, also known as the Challenge Cup, is put on by the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club, which was founded in 1931 as the Los Angeles Police Pistol Club. The first race in 1985 featured just 19 teams but the event now has 300 teams and includes law enforcement agencies from across the country, including probation officers, district attorneys and full-time civilian personnel. 

“I think it’s still the premier law enforcement event, at least nationally in the United States, when it comes to law enforcement athletic competition,” Swigart said. 

Running in the eighth leg of the course, Swigart said the desert conditions mean the event is “not an easy run,” even with this being the third time he’s participated. 

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel participated in the annual Baker to Vegas relay last month for law enforcement agencies, with the team finishing 14th in its division. Courtesy photo.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel participated in the annual Baker to Vegas relay last month for law enforcement agencies, with the team finishing 14th in its division. Courtesy photo.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel participated in the annual Baker to Vegas relay last month for law enforcement agencies, with the team finishing 14th in its division. Courtesy photo.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel participated in the annual Baker to Vegas relay last month for law enforcement agencies, with the team finishing 14th in its division. Courtesy photo.

“It’s not just running around your local high school tracks,” Swigart said. “It’s running through a desert environment and it can be windy, it can be cold. It could be the opposite. It can be hot.” 

There were multiple ranks represented from the SCV station, including a sergeant, a lieutenant and a few detectives, along with deputies and a secretary. In total, 15 men and five women participated, with no alternates required. 

Swigart said he typically runs two to three times a week for 3 to 4 miles each run throughout the year to stay fit. As the event comes nearer, he bumps that up to 6 to 8 miles per run, the average distance for each segment of the race. 

“We’ll run before work or after work, weekends, what have you,” Swigart said. “Just staying motivated and together and running together.” 

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel participated in the annual Baker to Vegas relay last month for law enforcement agencies, with the team finishing 14th in its division. Courtesy photo.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel participated in the annual Baker to Vegas relay last month for law enforcement agencies, with the team finishing 14th in its division. Courtesy photo.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel participated in the annual Baker to Vegas relay last month for law enforcement agencies, with the team finishing 14th in its division. Courtesy photo.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel participated in the annual Baker to Vegas relay last month for law enforcement agencies, with the team finishing 14th in its division. Courtesy photo.

But they do take time off after the event to recover. 

“You gotta let your body heal,” Swigart said. “I mean, we’re not all 18- to 22-year-olds anymore in college.” 

And now that the station has found a formula that works, improving its time over the past few years, Swigart said the members are hungry to do even better. 

“We plan on building upon that and looking to the future, building upon that and being even faster next year,” Swigart said. “I think we found out a formula that kind of works and then go from there.” 

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