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Thomas, Raitter Win Lake Las Vegas XTERRA

Sarah Raitter

Sarah Raitter

HENDERSON. Nev. –  April 15, 2012 – Former XTERRA triathlon pro Justin Thomas and the reigning F35-39 XTERRA Trail Run National Champ Sarah Raitter, both from Reno, Nevada, won the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run half-marathon on a beautiful morning in the desert of Henderson, Nevada on Sunday.

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 hour, 24 minutes, 21 seconds, nearly two minutes ahead of Mader.

“I had to come support XTERRA in my home state,” said Thomas.

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; below are the winners.

XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 21K Champions

Division / Name / Hometown / TIME
Brandon Mader, Hunstville, AL, 1:26:04
Brett Long, Carson City, NV, 1:33:26
Justin Thomas, Reno, NV, 1:24:21
Ricardo Rodrigues, San Diego, CA, 1:33:16
Chris Mitchell, Las Vegas, NV, 1:43:31
David Pauwelyn, Las Vegas, NV, 1:49:11
Ed McDonald, Chittenango, NY, 1:52:20
Ken Howard, Phoenix, AZ, 2:43:49

Dagny Signorelli, Las Vegas, NV, 2:03:43
Nicole Mather, San Diego, CA, 1:52:12
Stephanie Weigel, Las Vegas, NV, 1:49:12
Laura Ankrum, Crivitz, WI, 1:52:11
Sarah Raitter, Reno, NV, 1:42:43
Sophia Hsu-Zic, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, 2:16:02
Amy Lange, Leucadia, CA, 2:31:39

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