Dire Tune Wins Gender Challenge In Ottawa

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jun. 1, 2011

Dire Tune breaks the tape in Ottawa. Photo:

She beat the great Deriba Merga to the finish line with a 3:55 head start.

Even though he won the men’s race, Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga was visibly upset last weekend at the Ottawa 10K. His reason was twofold: First, he had hoped to set a new course record, but had come up short by over 30 seconds. He had also lost out in the “gender challenge” to compatriot Dire Tune.

In the race, the women’s elite runners were given a 3:55 head start over the men. The first person, man or women, to cross the line was declared the winner.

Tune won by 42.5 seconds.

Besides the gender challenge, Tune had won the women’s race in 31:43.2–her second Ottawa 10K title.

She expects Merga to buy her a meal now. It is the second time she has beaten him in this event.

“I am going to keep him to his promise,” Tune said  of Merga through interpreter. “I am very happy I won because I beat the guys. I really thought that they would catch up to me,” she said. “Somehow, I beat them.”

For More: Ottawa Citizen

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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