Dalton Half Marathon

July 14, 2010

Cornwell makes sure course 'legit'

Before moving from Dalton to Newberry. S.C more than a year ago,  Woody Cornwell might have been the most dedicated member in Carpet Capital Running Club history.

Even the distance has not changed his dedication toward CCRC and its events.

Cornwell was recently in Dalton and it wasn’t just for a leisurely, relaxing visit. Cornwell was directing the weekend official certification of the course for the Dalton Half Marathon national race scheduled Oct. 16.

“It’s about 250 to 260 miles,” Cornwell said of the car ride from his South Carolina home. “It takes about five hours. It is a long way, but it gives Elaine (wife) and me a chance get back to Northwest Georgia and see old friends.”

Local race director David Sanders, former CCRC president, knows that the organization’s two-time president still is a valuable resource.

“With his expertise as an official course certifier, we really wanted him to do it,” Sanders said. “Even with the distance, he was willing to come and help us.”

Sanders did the primary groundwork for the 13.1-mile course and occasionally has communicated on logistics with Cornwell.

 “Dalton Police Department did a fantastic job in helping us,” Cornwell said. “They had two police cars in front of Tommy Scalf and me while we were on the calibrated bikes. Another police car was behind us. We started riding the course a little after 7 (a.m.) and were through by mid-morning.”

Rick Little jotted down vital information while riding along with Cornwell. Sanders provided miscellaneous help.

 "The Jones Counter, which we use, is much more accurate than the GPS watches,” Cornwell said. “I can tell you that the runners will run a full course of 13.1 miles.”

What kind of course can runners expect?

“It’s a great course,” Cornwell said. “It’s probably as flat a course as you will find in North Georgia, but there are some rises.”

Cornwell, a State of Georgia certifier through United States of America Track and Field (USATF) since the early 1990s, estimated that he had measured about 120 courses.

“The riding on the bike is the easy part,” he said. “There is a lot of paper work. There must be a map of the course.”

Sanders said the CCRC is in a four-way partnership with Whitfield Public Schools, Dalton City Schools and Run for God in 5K training sessions that will begin the week of July 11. A 3.1-mile race will be held in conjunction with the half marathon.

The race will start and end in downtown Dalton near the courthouse. For the route and other information, go to Daltonhm.com.

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Dalton Half Marathon
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