Glendale Police Finish Second in Baker-to-Vegas Relay Race

Last weekend, the Glendale Police Department placed second in their division in the Baker to Vegas Relay Race, with a final time of 15:54:00. For the 27th year, the Glendale Police Department ran the 120-mile relay, split into 20 stages to promote healthy lifestyles in law enforcement and team camaraderie.

The Glendale Police Department began training more than six months ago both as a team and individually. Together, the team had training days every other Wednesday at the police department, with runs on Saturdays at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.

He explained that each person ran on a different type of terrain, ranging from hills to long distance, and have to train for that specific leg. He personally ran the final leg of the race, which finished at the Hilton Hotel convention center in Las Vegas, which is where all of the runners came together to celebrate their accomplishments.

“I was the police chief in the city of Glendora before this and I ran for them for many years,” Castro said. “I ran different legs of the race in my time there. The last time I ran, two years ago, which was my last year at Glendora, I ran leg 20 for them. This [was] my first time running for the Glendale team and the first time in the history of the department that the police chief has run for the team.”

The pressure was high for the entire team. They competed in one of the most competitive divisions against teams from Torrance, Fontana and Huntington Beach. Only the top three teams of each division are recognized on stage, with the top half of each division receiving a mug to commemorate the race. GPD’s goal was to finish in the top three.

Many teams run in honor or in memory of other officers. Last year, GPD ran in memory of Christopher Wilke, the son of a city employee that passed away from cancer right before the relay. His family was presented with the baton at a fundraiser this year, an honor given by the team’s captain, Tim Feeley. This year, however, the team is running simply to represent the city.

“For me, it is important because it builds camaraderie. One of the mottos I have here is ‘Having Glendale PD pride.’ It is having pride in our organization, everything that we do and the decisions we make. Is this decision a good decision and does it represent the pride that we have working for here?” said Castro.

“It is important for me that we are able to show that even though this is a demanding job, maintaining physical fitness and mental fitness helps us to deal with the stress of the job and deal with the physical demands of the job.”

He hopes that GPD running this relay will instill confidence in the community that they have a police department that is willing and capable.

The relay itself, however, is a very serious endeavor.

Castro commented that the temperature while running can range from 40 degrees to over 100 degrees. In previous years, the asphalt temperature was so hot that they had to keep running or their shoes would melt on to the asphalt. He said it is all worth it though.

“The pain is temporary, but the pride is forever,” Castro said.