Thomas, Raitter win XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 21K
Henderson, Nevada - Former XTERRA triathlon pro Justin Thomas and the reigning 35-39 XTERRA Trail Run National Champ Sarah Raitter, both from Reno, Nevada, won the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas half-marathon on a beautiful morning in the desert of Henderson, Nevada today.
Thomas, 37, was always known for his speedy run splits in the decade he raced as an elite in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series, and he needed every bit of that speed, and endurance, to hold off PowerBar elite runner Brandon Mader of Hunstville, Alabama.
While Thomas put a gap on Mader and Fernando Ramirez from Kamas, Utah in the middle stretch of the grueling desert scramble that included more than 2,000-feet of climbing, Mader worked his way back to within 15 yards by the last big climb at mile 11.
“When I saw Brandon behind me I started running scared,” said Thomas.
For Mader, who is nursing a stress fracture in his tibia that kept him out of speed work for the last two weeks, fell victim to leg cramps at the exact moment he wanted to strike.
“I had him, and was feeling good and then I just cramped up and all I could do was watch him run away,” said Mader.
Thomas, with wife, baby, and toddler in tow crossed the finish line in 1:24:21, nearly two minutes ahead of Mader. “I had to come support XTERRA in my home state,” said Thomas.
Also of note XTERRA triathlon pro Brad Zoller, who returned to a full-time pilot position and moved to Chicago, Illinois from Avon, Colorado, used his flying benefits to come hang with the XTERRA crowd and turned in the sixth-best half-marathon finish while he was at it.
“That’s a tough run, really tough,” said Zoller. “What a magnificent day though, clean and crisp and clear.”
In the women’s race Raitter led seemingly from start-to-finish and crossed the line in 1:42:43, more than six-minutes ahead of runner-up Stephanie Weigel from Las Vegas.
Age group champions in every division in the 21K race were awarded free entry into the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship to be held December 2, 2012 at Kualoa Ranch on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
Here's a look at all the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 21K Champions // Photo Gallery
Division Name Hometown Time
In the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 10K race hometown boy Colin Corrigan from Henderson and Marina Reynolds from Vancouver, Canada took top honors in 39:35 and 54:30, respectively.
Jared Sweet from Las Vegas (23:16) and Michelle Chow from Calgary, Canada (27:25) took home the 5K crowns.
Find complete results from the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 5K and 10K races at www.jtltiming.com/running.htm
More than 425 runners from 20+ states and Canada took part in today’s races, and the Paul Mitchell Cut-a-thon was packed all day and raised more than 1,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
The 2012 XTERRA West Championship is presented by Paul Mitchell and AVIA. Sponsors include the Utah Sports Commission, PowerBar, Gatorade, Zorrel, Breakthrough Nutrition, Rudy Project, Aston MonteLago Village Resort, Hawaiian Airlines, www.XTERRAShop.com, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, and XTERRA Footwear.
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