“We have 24 runners for 20 slots,” Feeley said. “Twenty runners, four alternates.”
He added that there are 30 members of the force that will go as support. “We have a huge support team that will help.”
A shuttle vehicle follows the runners as they make their way through the desert.
Feeley has been part of the race for 16 years and enjoys the challenge and the camaraderie among the Glendale department and the other agencies.
The team has to be ready for any type of weather, from snow to high winds to hot temperatures, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s a do or die kind of team,” Feeley said. “[The challenge] is a great way for officers to decompress.”
Everyone that participates does it on a voluntary basis and the trip is financed through donations and fund-raisers. The runners train for six months before the race and compete for a spot on the team.
“It’s great that we have been [participating] in this for so long,” Feeley said. “It is the single largest event the department competes. We have over 50 participants and their families come, too. Our little group is over 100 strong.”
“Most of our guys are physically fit,” he added
Chief Randy Adams had brought in a preventative wellness program that has helped the officers in their work and in preparing for the run.
“We don’t have too many injuries,” he said. “But we have had some in the past and that’s why we have alternates.”
Last year Glendale came in second in their division, and this year Feeley said he’s sure they will take first.
“It’s a great race,” he said.
After the race and award ceremony, the families, officers and volunteers meet up for a traditional team dinner in Las Vegas and share stories of the miles covered and the hard fought journey.