Carson’s Raitter, Robertson strong in Vegas race |

Carson’s Raitter, Robertson strong in Vegas race

Erick Studenicka
Appeal Running Columnist

With his personal record of one hour, eight minutes, race handicappers at the Las Vegas Half Marathon on Dec. 10 figured Carson City’s Bill Raitter, 36, would be the first finisher for the Nevada National Guard’s elite running team.

But Raitter surprised even himself by becoming the first Nevada finisher in the 8,000-runner field. His time severely affected by blustery headwinds, Raitter was 11th overall in the time of 1:20:05. He was also second in his 35-39 age group.

“It was a classic Nevada race because I was tossed around like a tumbleweed,” said Raitter, who went past the 10-kilometer mark on the course in fourth place at 32:30.

“I was running 5 minute miles one minute, and then the next minute I went up to 8 minutes per mile because we turned into wind.”

Josh Spiker of Ventura, Calif., and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, was the overall winner in 1:10:08. The top woman finisher was Maria Sandoval in 1:23:17.

Longtime Carson City racer Scott Robertson, 49, also ran the half marathon. He finished fifth in his age division in 1:28:50. Howard and Morgan Blomstrom also finished the half-marathon race that ran down the strip, turned on Fremont Street and circled back to Mandalay Bay Resort.

In the marathon, Jemima Jelagat ran a gutsy race in an attempt to win the $50,000 marathon challenge prize to be the first runner across the finish line (women received a 17 minute, 52 second headstart), but with less than one mile remaining, Joseph Kahugu of Kenya caught Jelagat to claim the big pay day. Mike Cowan, 40, was Carson City’s lone finisher in the race; Cowan ran 3:53:06.


Start new year on right foot: There are several races upcoming on New Year’s that allow individuals to kick off the new year in a healthy manner and burn off some holiday calories. In Old Sacramento, the New Year’s Eve Two-Mile Run is set for 7 p.m. on Dec. 31.

This race was previously the Midnight Run. Race starts at Crocker Park; call Fleet Feet Sacramento for information, (916) 442-3338.

Auburn’s Resolution Run offers three distances to race at, including 5 and 10 kilometers and a 10 miler. The race is at 1 p.m. on Jan. 1 so participants can sleep in and be fully recovered from New Year’s partying when the gun goes off. The race begins at the Auburn Dam overlook and costs $25. Call (530) 823-2002 for information.

Athletes looking to cross train can do the Christmas Eve Classic Cross Country Ski Race Sunday at Auburn Ski Club. The race is a time trial, begins at 9:30 a.m. and participants may not skate. Juniors and seniors are free; master skiers are $10.

For information, call (530) 426-3313.


Michael Goralka of Carson City placed 47th overall in an impressive time of 2 hours, 40 minutes and 54 seconds at the 24th annual California International Marathon on Dec. 3 in Sacramento. A total of 3,789 runners finished the race on a clear day that saw temperatures in the low 30s when the gun sounded at 7 a.m.

A number of other local runners finished the race from Folsom Dam to the California State Capitol in downtown Sacramento.

Among those, John Ostean of Washoe Valley finished 115th in 2:53:43. Carson City’s Sam Chacon finished 324th in 3:08:25, Thomas Schwedhelm 476th in 3:16:35 and Curtis Johnson 512th in 3:17:26. Also: Michael Strobel of Carson City ran 3:47:57, Jacob Anderson of Carson City ran 3:48:30, Katie Robinson of Fernley ran 4:05:16, Gary Edwards of Gardnerville ran 5:46:20 and Thomas Evans of Carson City ran 6:03:54.

Also of local interest, Truckee’s Nathan Bristow finished in 2:25:42 seconds. Bristow came by the midway mark of the race in 1:12:42 and didn’t slow down noticeably the rest of the way, as he ran 1:13 over the last half. His overall pace was 5:34 per mile. His overall time is not far away from qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon – which will be held Nov. 3 in New York City – 2:20:00 is the A (or automatic) standard and 2:22:00 is the B standard.