Belizean law enforcement today returned home victorious from the 35th Baker to Vegas Run. It's a law enforcement event, a 120 mile race from Baker, California to Las Vegas Nevada, running through 1200 miles, most of it in the desert, night and day. The 20 stage race features law enforcement units from all over the US, Canada and Belize. And, four years after it first started competing, Belize won. We were at the airport when the team of Police, BDf and Coast Guard came home with the trophy:..
Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers, Captain, Team Belize
"It was very exciting to be in west gate convention center Sunday morning around 4:30 when Belize team - all of what you are seeing here 20 runners with Mr. Villafranco crossing the line 12 hours 49 minutes 44 seconds. That is the best we have done in 4 years of going through the law enforcement challenge. That is a margin of 51 seconds ahead of LAPD. LAPD is a part of the organization that started the race 35 years ago and they've been winning this race since` 2012. When we started 2016 I said to them we are going to take number 1. This young man here kiss the trophy some years ago and he is the person who puts us across the line 7 seconds before LAPD runner on Sunday morning. A gruesome amount of training go into this. There is some trade secrets to it, but it has to do with the men on the ground running across. You know we don't have a desert in Belize and we don't have the kind of temperature that we have in Vegas around mid-Saturday night, Sunday morning. We want to ensure that this is not only a onetime event. We want to compete again. It helps the morale of the officers so in the next couple of months we will have to defend that trophy. That's what you see is the real deal. That is what we went to Vegas for 4 years ago and then we are going to make sure that we defend that."
L. Cpl. Ernesto Villafranco, BDF - Ran Anchor Leg
"It was hard because I had to play catch up because had a minute and a half lead on us and the guys have work hard. So it was like a burden on my shoulder, so I said the same way the guys work hard, I'm going to work hard and try catch the person and bring it in. On the last mile I catch the first place and I keep within my limit because I was tired and it was on the tape on the last finishing when I saw my coach cheering for me, that gave me strength to spring across the line and defeat them. Last year when we came in second I went and I touch the trophy and I gave it a kiss and the other guys watch me, because it wasn't our trophy as yet, but I told them with no disrespect this trophy is ours next year and it so happens that I was switch from leg 1 to the last leg, because for 3 years I started and this year it so happens that I ended up bringing it across the line. I just want to big up my mom Lorene Castillo."
ACP Alden Dawson, ED Commander
"It's a major milestone in our little country, where sporting is concern. It shows that a little country could go and do wonders if we remain united. We have gone out there and have defeated big state like the United States and here we are victorious today."
Gen. David Jones (Ret.d), coach
"This is proud moment for Belize and for the members of the national security team. What these guys did was a herculean effort. I am proud to have been a member of this team. During the day its extremely hot, 100 degrees or hotter and then in the night its extremely cold. So from one extreme to the other these guys have to take part in this relay race that they are used to in regards to the climate. Some of them when they reach at the end they collapse because they give everything and left it on the road. This team is an example for the rest of the country that if you work hard you work together as a team you could achieve great things, because the resources we had = we were outmanoeuvred with resources on the course. Those guys had several vehicles, extra radios that they could communicate. They monitor our runners how far they are in front of theirs. They have vehicles going back and forth clocking our time for each runner to see how far they are, how far behind they are and that message is being relayed through the entire 120 miles of the race. The most difficult task would be to defend the title, but we could do it, because what we had over those guys - raw talent."