Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn I recommend visiting to read:%0A%0A {0} %0A%0A {1}

Cushman & Wakefield’s Jason Karbelk Helps Lead Legendary Running Team to Victory in Epic ‘The Speed Project’ Race from LA to LV

Joshua Deale • 4/15/2019
It’s called The Speed Project, and for good reason—those who dare to do it are awfully fast, some perhaps even superhuman. They are also very adept.

Speed Project LA to Vegas

The year was 1967, and Nike employee #1 Jeff Johnson had opened Blue Ribbon Sports to be able to connect with runners. Speed forward to March 29-30, 2019, and six runners from around the U.S. stepped outside the four walls of 3107 Pico at 4:00 am, well before dawn, and took on the daunting challenge of not just running but racing 300+ miles from Los Angeles’s famed Santa Monica Pier to the neon lights of Las Vegas. The competition: 41 top notch teams from around the world.

Helping represent Team Nike/Blue Ribbon Sports was Cushman & Wakefield’s Jason Karbelk  of San Francisco together with five other elite running mates hailing from different cities around the country: Sean Watson and Omar Gonzalez of Los Angeles, Tim Rossi and Becs Gentry of New York, and Carissa Galloway of Portland, OR. The team also traveled with a full support and media crew, nutrition, recovery tools, RV, 4x4, electric bikes, vans, and fast shoes!—all of which they would rely heavily on.

Disclaimer: As long as teams completed the full distance by foot (somehow, someway) there were NO RULES!—sounds like a popular scene from Grease. Not even an official route—just a suggested route of 340 miles. However, just days before the race, Team Nike did some strategic headwork to fairly and legally devise their own 300-mile map to traverse from point LA to point LV.

Using their speed and ingenuity, Team Nike’s six swooshing-runners were victorious in this epic team relay race. They completed the challenging, tiring, grueling, enduring, (insert more adjectives here), and at times painful foot battle in just a hair under 31 hours and 16 minutes. Each member testing and exerting themselves beyond their own limits, while also working hard and cohesively together to split the brutal mileage that worked out to roughly 50-60 miles each—in well under a day and a half’s time.

Karbelk, who works as a Senior Research Analyst with Cushman & Wakefield, said, “Our original strategy for the 340 mile route was changed two days before race day and opted to run a shorter 300 mile route with more than 50 miles of unknown road conditions. This new strategy was designed to win with a goal of setting a new course record by attempting to finish in under 32 hours while averaging 6:20/mi with four men and two women.”

Their strategy and ultimate teamwork paid off.

Team Nike’s winning performance marked the fastest time ever recorded for a foot run from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, as they crossed the finish line, uniformly in white tanks and Nike shorts, in a blistering official time of 31 Hours, 15 minutes, and 58 seconds. That equated to an average of just 6 minutes 14 seconds per mile. Karbelk helped lead the team by running 56 miles at an average of 5 minutes and 53 seconds per mile over 68 different handoffs. That is essentially completing a back-to-back, 2 hour and 34 minute marathon plus an extra four extra miles.

Team Nike’s legendary time also shattered the previous course record by four and a half hours.
In reflecting on the event, a now relieved Karbelk, said, “Perhaps the craziest part of our contest was at 10pm, our caravan of three sprinter vans got stuck in sand in the mountains. Fortunately, we were eventually rescued by two 4x4 cars at around 2am, which had to cram nearly all of us in. However, this also meant our three overnight runners were racing in the deep dark for seven hours only with the help of a single crew car and spotlight. One of our teammates actually lost his voice from running through the cold, moonlit wilderness alone for an hour, not knowing if we would find him.”

Asked if he’d want to compete in the run again, Karbelk expressed, “Absolutely, 100%, let’s do it. Our team and support crew was able to gain valuable experience to create a strategy and route that we expect will lower our record time even further! We didn’t set the bar, we are the bar and invite competitive teams to outsmart and race us [insert smiley face].”

Do you want to experience a taste of the race from Team Nike’s view? Here’s a brief clip of one of Jason’s up/downhill legs, along with a bit of comedic encouragement from his teammate (download time may vary due to file size).

Related Insights

Article • Office

San Francisco Q3 Five Fast Facts

Read our 5 Fast Facts to learn more about the key trends that impacted the market in the third quarter.
Robert Sammons • 12/6/2021
Child Creativity Lab
Insights • Our community

LOS ANGELES - ASPIRE Child Creativity Lab

Cushman & Wakefield’s Asians + Pacific Islanders in Real Estate (ASPIRE) employee resource group (ERG) and employees across the firm’s offices in Greater Los Angeles along with family and friends recently helped to volunteer in support of Child Creativity Lab.
Joshua Deale • 10/28/2021
Insights • Our community

SAN FRANCISCO - ASPIRE Kimochi Community

Cushman & Wakefield recently joined with Kimochi, Inc. (or Kimochi Kai), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit senior service agency based in San Francisco’s historic Japantown neighborhood, to help serve the needs of San Francisco’s elderly community.
Joshua Deale • 6/23/2021


Get in touch with one of our professionals.

Cushman & Wakefield uses cookies to analyze traffic and offer our customers the best experience on this website. Close this dialog to confirm your consent, or visit this page to learn more:
Cookie Notice

Agree and Close
These cookies ensure that our website performs as expected,for example website traffic load is balanced across our servers to prevent our website from crashing during particularly high usage.
These cookies allow our website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) and provide enhanced features. These cookies do not gather any information about you that could be used for advertising or remember where you have been on the internet.
These cookies allow us to work with our marketing partners to understand which ads or links you have clicked on before arriving on our website or to help us make our advertising more relevant to you.