After only two hours of racing, their goal of completing the
endurance challenge in six days and 18 hours already was in
Officers from the California Highway Patrol helped them
with their broken-down van, which caused a 2½-hour delay
for Braziel and his riding team.
Then, on Day 2, a rider fell ill – shrinking one team to three.
That rider was out of commission for two days.
On Day 3, the same rider van
overheated and broke down
Later, one team had to take a
120-mile detour when a fatal
accident shut down a road,
forcing the other team of four
to cycle 16 hours that day – six
hours more than the planned
daily amount of 10 hours per
Tears would flow when members of Team SacPD visited the
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
“It was a very moving experience,” Braziel said.
The officers then presented Craig W. Floyd, chairman and
chief executive of the National Law Enforcement Officers
Memorial Fund, with a directory containing the names of
the 19,298 officers killed in the line of duty.
We knew that all the
hard work and training
we put into this was
worthwhile when we
saw those names
But the weather was
great along the route, and
everywhere they went, Team SacPD was cheered by
enthusiastic supporters. After all, the team was somewhat
famous since word got out that all the riders were cops. A
crew filming a documentary kept close watch on Braziel and
his fellow officers.
Lack of sleep made the riders punchy, but they kept at it.
For inspiration, they sometimes would look at their
“Heroes Live Forever” bracelets and reflected on their team
motto, “In Valor there is Hope.” And when they crossed the
finish line in Annapolis, Md., on June 24, Braziel and his
teammates erupted in whoops and cheers.
Their finish time was 6 days, 6 hours and 8 minutes– a full
12 hours ahead of their goal.
And members of Team SacPD
then remembered why they
all got on their bikes in the
first place to take on such a
“We knew that all the hard
work and training we put into
this was worthwhile when we
saw those names,” said Braziel,
who has been chief of the
Sacramento PD for four years.
“It really reinforced the point
of our mission.”
The Race Across America was Team SacPD’s first major
It won’t be their last.
Braziel already is starting to line up donors for next year’s
race, including the California Police Chiefs Association,
which sponsored Team SacPD in this year’s Race Across
Each team has to raise about $50,000 to cover race entry
fees, vehicles, gas, hotels, plane tickets and other expenses.
Small change, Braziel believes, for such a huge cause. •
“We did a lot better then we thought we would. Averaging
20MPH with all the climbing was huge for us,” Braziel said.