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Owens takes triathlon title

By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
July 27, 2003
PHILADELPHIA "Run, Forrest, Run."
Forrest Owens, 35, of Memphis, Tenn., wasn't the best swimmer, the best biker, or the best runner in the 24th-annual Heart o' Dixie Triathlon Saturday morning. He was the best triathlete, however, as his time of two hours even gave Owens the overall championship.
Owens finished 20 seconds ahead of Chuck Engle, 32, of Clinton who clocked in at 2:00:20 in the staggered start race.
Lori Goldweber, 39 of Birmingham, Ala. claimed her fourth female championship by more than eight minutes over Janie Davis, also 39 and from Birmingham.
Goldweber had a time of 2:11:47, while Davis was clocked at 2:19:55.
In winning his first Heart o' Dixie, Owens was 19th overall in the half-mile swim with a time of 12:01. His 24.6 miles per hour pace on the 27.5-mile bike segment was third overall and his 5:51 clip in the seven-mile run was second only to Engle's 5:28 pace.
Owens' time was the fifth-slowest winning time in the event's 24-year history. Three of the slower winning times came in the race's first three years when the sport was in its infancy. The fourth was John Noblin's 2:01:55 last year.
Owens placed sixth in the Sunfish Summer Triathlon at Collinsville two weeks ago.
The third male was Tom Lowery, 40, of Gainesville, Fla., at 2:01:09. Fourth place went to Tony Allen, 36, of Birmingham at 2:01:12, while fifth went to Spence Cocanour, 30, of Destin, Fla., at 2:02:39.
Goldweber has won the 35-mile venture from Louisville's Lake Tiak-O'Khata to the Neshoba County Fairgrounds four times over a span covering 18 years. She won as Lori Childress in 1985 with a time of 2:24:59, as Lori Lazzari in 1989 with a time of 2:05:43, and as Lori King in 1997 with a time of 2:10:46.
Goldweber had the 14th best time overall Saturday in the swim at 11:46. She was 21st in the bike, averaging 22.9 mph. Her average mile in the run was 6:50. Her total time of 2:11:47 was the event's 12th fastest winning time for females.
Goldweber was the third female at the Sunfish race.
Third place in the female division went to Anna Monroe, 22, of Jackson at 2:21:35. Fourth belonged to Kelly Moore, 23, of Starkville at 2:22:44. Stephanie Healey, 28, of Arlington, Tenn., was fifth with a time of 2:23:20.
Goldweber's win ended a summer of dominance by Los Locos Triathlon Club of Memphis in the top three races in the state. Donny Forsyth won the Sunfish, while Margaret Finley won both the Heatwave Classic and the Sunfish. Neither Forsyth or Finley competed in the Heart o' Dixie.
DeShon Davis, 33, of Meridian was the top area finisher. His time of 2:05:38 was good for ninth overall.
Shayne Martin, 30, of Philadelphia received the Dr. Dickie Nowell Memorial Award for being the top finisher from Neshoba County. His time of 2:09:10 was good for 12th overall and easily bested runner-up Anthony Steele's 2:20:12. Steele placed 51st overall.
Some 240 individuals completed the race. Fourteen states (Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, West Virginia, Indiana, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Utah were represented.
Other area athletes in the top 100 were Mike Thrailkill (No. 41 with a time of 2:18:03) of Decatur, Michael Weaver (No. 52, 2:20:58) from Sebastopol, Cody Reed (No. 64, 2:23:04) from Louisville, Amy Davis (No. 69, 2:23:53) from Meridian, Frannie Childs (No. 79, 2:26:29) from Meridian, Brad Gipson (No. 86, 2:26:55) from Meridian, and Emry Kennedy (No. 98, 2:28:35) from Meridian.
Three-time overall champion (1980-82) Vic Kelley, 56, of Birmingham came in 39th overall with a time of 2:17:00.
Philadelphia native Bill Greenleaf, 50, of Ridgeland crossed the finish line with a time of 2:44:54 to become the only athlete to complete all 24 Heart o' Dixie events.