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David Riddle, 25, of Huntsville won the 26th running of the Jesse Owens Memorial 10-kilometer race in Moulton on Saturday.
Daily photo by John Godbey
David Riddle, 25, of Huntsville won the 26th running of the Jesse Owens Memorial 10-kilometer race in Moulton on Saturday.

At 31:54, Riddle rules Owens run

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

MOULTON — Cool temperatures Saturday morning brought smiles to the runners in the 26th annual Jesse Owens Memorial Run.

When 25-year-old David Riddle of Huntsville broke the finish line tape after 31 minutes and 54 seconds on the 10-kilometer course, he had shaved more than two minutes off last year’s winning time.

Barbara Holcomb, 44, of Cullman won the women’s event with a time of 41:06.

Finishing second in the women’s division was Lawrence County High sophomore Ari Stephenson at 43:24.

Nancy E. Glasscock, 26, of Hartselle was third at 44:53.

“The temperature was nice today. I don’t think it could have got much better than this,” Riddle said. “The wind was a little factor at first, but overall it was a nice day.”

The Auburn graduate said even though this was his first time back at the run since 1997, he felt confident coming into the race.

“I came into the race hoping that I could compete to win,” Riddle said. “I felt like I had a good shot at winning it.”

Not only was Riddle participating individually, but as a team as well.

Riddle was one of five members competing on the Redstone Rockets — a team made up of runners from Redstone Arsenal.

Nathan Graham of Moulton is a member of the team.

“It’s always fun to run as a team,” Riddle said. “Now that I’m out of college and don’t have a team any more, it gets kind of lonely running by yourself.

“I feel like the faster I run, it helps both me and the team. I kind of get the best of both worlds.”

Finishing second overall was Tyrone E. Harris, 27 of Athens with a time of 33:52.

Three-time defending race champion Heath White, 24, of Moulton took third at 34:53. Last year, he won at 33:57.

Dennis Eaton, 26, of Danville was fourth at 35:33. Madison’s Donald E. Bowman, 39, was fifth at 35:41. Derick K. Hallmark, 18, of Mount Hope rounded out the top six with a time of 35:53. Hallmark was the top finisher in the 15-19 age group.

The course record of 30:00 set by Martin Petayo in 1988.

Race director Dewayne Key called race conditions “near perfect.”

“It is seldom in the third week of May that we have low humidity and cool temperatures in the morning like we had today,” Key said.

“This year’s field was loaded with championship class runners. and they took advantage of the conditions.”

Aside from his director duties, Key, 58, managed to run a top 30 time of 41:33.

Since graduating from Auburn in December, Riddle said, it has been tough to keep in shape.

“Now that I’m working 40 hours a week, it’s been tough to keep running. I use to run twice a day in high school and college, but now I just get a chance to run once and it’s usually when I get home from work every evening.”

No matter what the conditions are, you can usually find him running.

“I run every day, rain or shine,” Riddle said. “About the only time I don’t run is when it’s lightning.”

Riddle and a number of area locals say they will be participating in the Cotton Row Run next week in Huntsville.

“I’m getting to where I’m being able to run more races around the area as well as the state,” Riddle said.

When asked if he would be back for next year’s race, Riddle’s response was “Well, it’s a good chance.”

Nathan Lewis, 16, of Cold Springs won the Jesse Owens two-mile run
at 10 minutes and 49 seconds
Saturday.

Nick Lewis, 16, of Cold Springs was second, three seconds behind.

The two-mile event attracted 207 runners.

Results of the one-mile run were unavailable Saturday evening.

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