The best off-road triathletes in the world met in Maui today to vie for the XTERRA World Champion title and part of the $130,000 in pro prize money. As expected, Julie Dibens of the United Kingdom repeats as the XTERRA World Champion. On the men's wild card pro Ruben Ruzafa of Spain claims his first XTERRA World Championship title. Last year’s champion Conrad Stoltz finsihed the day in 12th place.
Some 600 athletes from more than 20 countries and 40 states gathered in Maui to conquer XTERRA's most grueling course which includes an arsenal of sun, sand, water, kiawe and lava. They endured a 1.5km ocean swim, a tough 30km mountain bike and an 11km off road run.
Defending champ Dibens pretty much lead the women's race from start to finish. It's seems as the battle of the day was for 2nd and 3rd place between Shonny Vanlandingham, Danelle Kabush, Christine Jeffrey and Renata Bucher. It wasn’t Melanie Mcquaid day, she was thirteen minutes behind on the bike and appears to have finished the race with a DNF.
Defending XTERRA World Champ Stoltz of South Africa was leading the initial stages of the bike leg with Franky Batelier. Somewhere around mile 15 Ruzafa passed Stoltz and Batellier and maintained the lead into T2. Stoltz possibly finished the bike portion of the race with a flat. Ruzafa, Michael Weiss, lead out of T2 closely followed by Mike Vine and Batelier. Ruzafa and Weiss battled head-to-head all the way to the finish on the tough run leg that Ruzafa somehow managed to win for the victory.
2008 XTERRA World Championship Results:
|1 - Ruben Ruzafa||2:37:36||1 - Julie Dibens||3:03:57|
|2 - Michael Weiss||2:38:10||2 - Danelle Kabush||3:04:56|
|3 - Brent Mcmahon||2:40:56||3 - Shonny Vanlandingham||3:10:49|
|4 - Mike Vine||2:41:37||4 - Renata Bucher||3:11:06|
|5 - Olivier Marceau||2:42:01||5 - Christine Jeffrey||3:11:50|
Eneko Llanos, the 2008 Ironman World Champion runner-up finished the day in 6th place.
It was a special and tough day for one off-road athlete that probably wished she was racing. Jamie Whitmore the 2004 XTERRA World Champion is battling cancer and instead provided color commentary for the live webcast on XTERRA.TV. In conjunction with Paul Mitchell there was a charity hair cut-a-thon that raised over $4,000 to help Whitmore pay for her next six months of chemotherapy. We wish her well in her continued battle.