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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Wednesday July 28th, 2010 :: 11:42 a.m. PDT


Next Stop for the Cops: Siberia

Nature of Incident: Next Stop for the Cops: Siberia

Location: Omsk, Russia (Western Siberia)


Situated about halfway between Moscow and Mongolia, Omsk is a modest city of 1.5 million people desperately in need of more vowels. The city will host the upcoming Siberian International Marathon, which will attract runners from throughout the world, including our own group of adventurers: Cops Running for Charity.

The group, led by Captain Randy Pentis, has traveled the world to participate in grueling foot races on several continents. Last year, the men ran a marathon on remote Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. Previous adventures have taken them to Tunisia, China, Iceland, Chicago and New York.

Many of their previous trips were not traditional marathons. In the Sahara Desert, the men ran over dunes and Mars-like terrain in a multi-day race. In Iceland, they completed an ultra marathon over a volcanic landscape. When they went to China, the men ran a marathon on the Great Wall.

The ambassadors of pain and suffering will once again raise money for medical charities that focus on children.

The group includes Captain Randy Pentis, Captain Tim Hagel, Captain Dave Kenney, Sergeant Frank Underlin, Sergeant Paul Higgason, Sergeant Joe Devorick, and Pentis’ brother, Chief Deputy Gary Pentis, who is the “team mom.”

The team has raised an impressive $150,000.00 for local charities. This year, the goal is to raise $40,000.00 that will go to Childrens Hospital, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), ALS-Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

The men pay their own way when they travel, so 100 percent of the money they raise goes directly to the charities.

The team lives by Winston Churchill’s words, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

“What we do is nothing compared to what children and others have to battle with medical issues,” Pentis said.

While this trip is fairly straight forward…it’s only a marathon on relatively flat city streets, the preparation revealed some interesting obstacles. Getting their visas approved for the journey was complicated by the concern of Russian officials that the group was going to Siberia as spies.

The visa application didn’t help. It included questions about experience with bombs and terrorism training. Some of the questions prompted answers other than “no,” which raised more concern.

Captain Pentis had to meet directly with Russian Embassy officials to ease their concerns about the intentions of the group of runners from Ventura County.

“If the goal of a spy is to collect blisters on his feet and be attacked by mosquitoes capable of carrying off small children, then we definitely fit the bill,” joked Pentis. “If they’re still concerned, I hope the FSB can keep up with us, because we’re going there to run.”

Anyone interested in more information about CRFC can contact Captain Randy Pentis directly at (805)947-8067.

Officer Preparing Release: Detective Eric Buschow (805)494-8226

Follow-up Contact: Captain Randy Pentis (805)947-8067

Date of Release: July 28, 2010

Approved by: Captain Randy Pentis

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93009

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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