Rimrock’s JP Sebastian and the Unsanctioned, Underground 340 Mile Desert Relay

February 22, 2023
Just for Fun
4 min read

The only rule is there are no rules!

Our Rimrock Corporation team is made up of many talented, hardworking individuals — but in addition to their day jobs, our employees have a wide range of hobbies, talents, and interests that make them truly unique. JP Sebastian, our Account Manager, is about to participate in an unsanctioned, challenging relay race that most people have never even heard of. It’s called The Speed Project.

The Speed Project is a secret foot race starting at the Santa Monica Pier and ending in Las Vegas. It’s a race without sponsors, without rules, without even a website. Where no spectators are allowed and there’s no prize at the end. Yet they have to turn people away, and getting in is a mystery as there are no online registrations. You have to know somebody to enter in the race and even that doesn’t guarantee you a spot.

The Speed Project started in 2013 as a challenge among friends to see if they were crazy enough to run from LA to Vegas.  It’s now an annual event that brings together runners from around the world from Olympians to elite athletes and weekend warriors to everyday runners. They must tackle 340 miles (547 km) from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with no set route, no specific rules, and only one goal – to get to Sin City first.

Teams are generally formed in groups of six: While one person runs, the other five rest, changing in and out intermittently over the 340-mile course.

This year, FIELDBOSS’s very own JP Sebastian was invited to participate.

JP, how did you end up getting invited to participate in this race?

My running Coach asked me to join his team this year. He’s been putting a team together every year since the mid 2010’s. It’s an invite only event so you can’t just sign up. You have to know someone, but even that doesn’t guarantee your entry. This year I believe they turned down around 100 teams.  

How do you prepare for a race like this?

Training for an ultra-relay means lots of running. You have to get used to running on tired legs and when you do not want to run at all.  I am running more miles in this training cycle than any of my previous marathon cycles. It’s not about how far, but the volume.  At least 2 times a week I run twice a day, before and after work.  Since it’s winter, there is a lot of running in the dark and the cold.  It can be tough to talk yourself up into getting up and out the door when its dark and -10 to run for 45 mins, but that’s the thing you’re trying to work through because almost every single time you will be running during this event, you will be tired and there is a very good chance you will not want to be out running!

This will be my second ultra-relay.  Last fall, I completed an ultra-relay with a team of 12, running almost 650kms from Toronto to Montreal.  This time, it’s a team of 7, and a 561km race from LA to Vegas.  A lot of the challenges we had in the Toronto to Montreal relay will be similar.  Little sleep, little food, lots of running. This time, throw in heat and the dangers of the desert (snakes, scorpions, wild dogs).

I’m not sure you can really be prepared for an event like this.  You can run all the miles, train smart, eat right, study all the maps and routes but when you are out on the road, you need to be flexible and live in the uncomfortable.  

Wow, that sounds cool and scary and incredibly tough. Why do you want to put yourself through that?

In endurance sports, a lot of people like to say that to find success, you must “remember your why”.   My why is to feed my curiosity to see how far I can push myself and what I can learn and take away from these types of experiences. You may never know what you’re truly capable of until you give yourself the chance to endure something new, seemingly impossible, and make it special for your own personal best.

Good luck JP. We know you’re going to do great, and we can’t wait to hear all about it!