Oakley's Julie Dibens Claims the World Title in Clearwater
Oakley’s Julie Dibens breaks four hours to claim the world title in Clearwater. Oakley’s Magali Tisseyre takes third.
Oakley’s Julie Dibens has dreamed about this win for years. “It’s the race that gets me out of bed in the morning,” she said, and today her 3:59:33 win made all those early mornings and hard training days completely worthwhile.
“Those kind of thoughts went through my mind,” she said after the race. “I trained for this all year – I can even go back and say that I’ve trained for this for a few years.”
Dibens was part of a lead group of women out of the swim, but quickly hammered away from the rest of the women starting on the bike.
“The first 25 or 35 miles I was out by myself riding hard,” she said after the race. “Then the guys came by and it was really hard so I had to slow down. I got a little bit frustrated, but I think for the most part it was a pretty fair race and I hope the other girls think the same way.”
Dibens has had a frustrating journey to her title here in Clearwater. Two years ago she couldn’t hold the four-minute lead she enjoyed off the bike. Last year she couldn’t break away from the lead group of women on the bike and was left to finish fourth behind some speed-demon runners.
This year she again enjoyed a four-minute lead off the bike, but this time around there was no catching the British three-time XTERRA world champion as she ran her way to a sub-four hour performance.
“The run felt pretty good,” she said. “I always have a pretty good feel coming off the bike how it’s going to go, and it felt pretty good until about nine miles. It was only over the last few miles that I struggled.”
Any thoughts that she might falter through the closing miles of the run disappeared as Dibens actually out-ran the second place finisher, Mary Beth Ellis, who also finished as the runner-up a year ago here in Clearwater.
“I know a lot of people will be surprised by that, but I know that I can run,” said Dibens. “I’ve had a lot of injuries over the years and I don’t get to run as much as the other girls – I think I’ve had six surgeries in six years. I have had to deal with that and manage that. I’ve had a great 12 months with relatively few hiccups, so I think that made a big difference.”
Unlike the men’s race, which saw the first 10 start the run within 23 seconds of each other, the women’s race was completely spread out: