08/03/13 — Achilles injury doesn't bother Worrell

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Achilles injury doesn't bother Worrell

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 3, 2013 11:04 PM


George Worrell wasn't taking any chances that a troublesome Achilles would rear its ugly head at an inopportune time.

The Goldsboro native pushed himself through the swim and bike portions, and earned a first-place finish in the 28th annual Goldsboro Family Y Sprint Triathlon held at Lake Wackena on Saturday morning.

More than 70 competitors participated in the triathlon which encompassed a half-mile swim, 20-mile bike ride and three-mile run. Worrell completed the triathlon, his first in two years, in 1 hour, 20 minutes and 37 seconds. Defending champion Frank Fisher of Greenville placed second in 1:26.09.

Phillip Rowan, the 2011 triathlon champ, crossed the line third in 1:27.05. Paul Kozlowski of Hubert was fourth in 1:32.19.

Worrell completed both the swim and bike portions of the triathlon faster than any other competitor with times of 11:53 and 48:34, respectively.

"The key to winning is knowing the shortcuts," Worrell joked. "I just gassed it. I wanted to get out of sight. If the guys in second and third place can't see you then they're kind of like, 'well, he's gone.'

"If they can see you a couple hundred yards up then they can say, 'there he is, let's catch him.' I buried myself on the bike."

Unsure of how the Achilles that has recently given him trouble would hold up during the run, Worrell was determined to build his lead in the first two stages. By the time he completed the bike portion of the triathlon, he had nearly a four-minute lead over Fisher.

A veteran of the event who has won just one other time, the 37-year-old Worrell finished the three-mile run two minutes ahead of Fisher.

"I had no idea what I was going to have left for the run," Worrell said. "I didn't run that fast, but I know I had a pretty good cushion coming off the bike. My Achilles held up great. I didn't feel it at all."

Jeff Dukay was the second-highest finishing Goldsboro native with a time of 1:33:20, which was good enough for sixth place.

Durham's Kari Obermeyer was the top female as she crossed the finish line in 143:09 in 17th place. Goldsboro's Katherine McDonald was 19th in 1:44:21.

The trio of Sloan-Powell-Pake claimed the team portion of the triathlon with a time of 1:35:43.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Goldsboro YMCA Scholarship Fund. Run The East provided the scoring.