Moreland, Cieslewicz Win Big At Las Vegas XTERRA

Rachel Cieslewicz wins the XTERRA Trail Run on Saturday.

Winners will compete in XTERRA Trail Run World Championship on December 4.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Jeffrey Moreland and Rachel Cieslewicz pulled away during the grueling climbs in the last miles of the race to win the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Half Marathon Trail Run on a crisp, clear morning in the sourthern Nevada desert today.  

With the victories, Moreland and Cieslewicz earned round-trip airfare from the west coast to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines, and both said they will use the ticket to compete at the 2011 XTERRA Trail Run World Championhip on Oahu December 4.

Moreland, a 33-year-old software developer out of Reno, Nevada, finished the 13.2-mile run in 1:23:17, more than two minutes ahead of runner-up Andy Ames from Boulder, Colorado. The race, however, was a lot closer and a lot tougher (with a total of 1,720-feet of climbing on loose “moon rocks”) than the final times would suggest.

“This race was really challenging, between the washed-out sandy sections, the big climbs, the rocky sections, and the competition itself.  I think I really benefitted from running on similar surfaces back in Reno,” said Moreland, a former cross-country standout out at New York’s Binghamton University.  “And Andy was right behind me nearly the entire race and really made me work for this win.”

“Yup, I was good for about 10 miles and then we hit the first big climb coming off the lake and he just took off,” confirmed Ames, who said he could do little but watch Moreland fade out of sight.

Cieslewicz, a 31-year-old elite runner from Park City, Utah, had a similar battle with women’s runner-up Tracy Joslin.  Cieslewicz, who also won this race last year, strategically used the last few climbs to her advantage and took the win in 1:36:19.

“Everytime I tried to pull away Joslin just kept catching me and I was really worried,” said the 2009, 30-34 division XTERRA Trail Run National Champ.  “I knew I was going to have to really push it on the climbs and suffer in order to put a gap into her, and thankfully that worked.”

Joslin, a 37-year-old from Waitsfield, VT, who is chasing her dream of qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Trials in the marathon, found herself chasing Cieslewicz to the point of exhaustion today.  Still, she finished just a little more than a minute back in 1:37:38 and placed 8th overall.

Michael Obryan from Alexandria, Virginia and Ashley Martin from Henderson, Nevada won the XTERRA 10K race in 43:47 and 50:09, respectively.  Randy Kirschbaum from Grand Junction, CO, and Jessica Levaux from Las Vegas won the XTERRA 5K race in 25:01 and 25:28, respectively.

More than 150 runners representing 17 states, Japan, Mexico, Canada, and Costa Rica took part in today’s run.

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