You’ve logged the miles, done your speedwork, targeted your pace, even bought a new pair of running shoes — broken in nicely over the past couple of weeks, naturally — in preparation for the big day. For area runners who plan to participate in the Dalton Half Marathon, it’s almost time to lace ’em up and go.
The Dalton Half Marathon, which is part of the United States Running Association’s half marathon series, is set for this Saturday. And after the long-distance racers take off at 8 a.m., a 5K will follow at 8:15 and a one-mile fun run at 9:45 for a morning full of activity that will be followed with an awards presentation and finish line party.
But if you’re not running and would like to be part of this week’s festivities, opportunities are available, because Debby Long, Director of Services at the Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be happy to put you to work as a volunteer.
Several opportunities to assist are available — a baggers’ party will be held on Wednesday at the Dalton Freight Depot, with volunteers loading goodie bags for each registered runner. All ages can participate and civic and corporate groups are encouraged to come together.
On Friday, the Health and Fitness Expo, runners registration and pasta party will all be held at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Volunteers are needed to assist with registration, and then will be able to enjoy the expo.
On race day, volunteers will hit the streets early to do it all — set up barricades, serve as course marshals, equip and staff aid stations, help with registration and record bib numbers of runners as they finish. Volunteers will be given a T-shirt and access to the finish line party.
For more information on volunteering, contact Long at (706) 876-1553 or dlong @visitdaltonga.com.
Here’s a look at what else is going on:
• It’s TV time for Dalton High’s football team again.
The Catamounts make an appearance as part of a Comcast High School Football Game of the Week broadcast for the fifth straight season. Coverage of this Friday’s 7:30 p.m. homecoming game against Ringgold will air regionally following the network’s “In the Huddle,” a 7 p.m. show highlighting high school football around the Southeast.
Watch from home if you must, Cats fans, but I think it’s a safe bet the team, its coaches and its booster club would be happiest for you to help pack the stands to make a good impression on viewers from outside the area.
• Northwest Whitfield is the area’s lone high school softball team to survive the gauntlet of region tournament play this year, but the Lady Bruins will have to hit the road as they take aim at the state championship that eluded them last season in a third-place finish.
Region 7’s No. 3 seed, Northwest will open a best-of-three series in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs with a doubleheader this Wednesday at South Paulding. (The third game, if necessary, is set for Thursday.) No times have been set yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do.
The winner of this series gets the winner of Region 8 champion Madison County (No. 1 in the most recent Ga.PrepCountry.com Class 4A coaches poll), and Region 6 No. 4 seed Southwest DeKalb in next week’s second round.
• Southeast Whitfield and Dalton finished third and fourth at the Area 7-3A volleyball tournament this weekend at LaFayette, meaning they’ll also travel for the first round of the Class 3A state tourney on Saturday.
Area 7 matches up with Area 4 to start, so Dalton makes a trip to the other side of Atlanta to take on Locust Grove, while Southeast takes an even longer ride to Warner Robins, where the Lady Raiders face Veterans, a first-year school. Dalton lost in the opening round last year while still competing in 4A, but Southeast advanced to the second round in 3A.
Again, no times announced yet for those matches, but you’ll know when we do.
Marty Kirkland is Sports Editor of The Daily Citizen. Got something you think he should highlight in “What’s Going On?” Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.