Dalton Half Marathon

July 14, 2010

Doug Hawley: Age is no deterrent

As runners prepare for the Dalton Half Marathon, slated Oct. 16, they can take stock in the adage, “Age is a state of mind.”

Some well-meaning friends might even suggest to them, “Aren’t you a little old for such an undertaking?” After all, a 13.1-mile race should not be taken lightly.

In Major League Baseball, a 38-year-old player is considered old — consider Atlanta Braves’ third baseman Chipper Jones, a sure-fire Hall of Famer —and the same basically can be theorized for the NFL and NBA.

Some years ago in San Francisco, waiter Larry Lewis ran six miles to his restaurant. After work, he ran the same distance back home.

Lewis was 106 years old! That’s no misprint — a century plus six years. Some people might have wondered if he was a descendant from those written about in the book of Genesis.

Runner’s World magazine reports in its July edition that 87-year-old Harriette Thompson, grandmother of 10, has run 11 consecutive San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons. Her personal record is 6 hours, 7 minutes.

Thompson is a professional concert pianist. In her spare time, she takes yoga, water aerobics and art classes.

“It gets harder to run 26.2 miles at my age,” she said, “but I’m inspired by the memory of friends I’ve lost.”

It was not until 1984 that Olympics officials in track and field allowed the alleged “weaker sex” to run farther than a 1,500-meter run, which is slightly under a mile. Joan Benoit showed her positive state of mind by winning a marathon in those Los Angeles games in 2:24.52. As the last American to win Olympic gold in the 26.2-mile event, she averaged a robust 5:31 per mile.

Northwest High graduate Dee Goodwin and Murray County High product Belinda Young, both in their 40s, continue to finish ahead of most males in area foot races.

Yes, females have come a long way since half-court basketball.

It came as a surprise recently to learn that 2009 U.S. half marathons attracted more females than males: 57 percent to 43 percent.

On behalf of the males, I am not complaining.

As runners continue preparations, may they use the aforementioned for a “positive state of mind.”

In advance of the first national Dalton Half Marathon on Oct. 16, this is the third in a 16-part series of instructional columns for those running their first 13.1-mile event. Doug Hawley, a competitive distance runner for more than 50 years, was a top 10 percent finisher in each of five Boston Marathons from 1976 to 1981. You can write to him at dhawley@optinlink.us.

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Dalton Half Marathon
  • Time to roll out the red carpet

    Organizers are expecting nine states to be represented Saturday at the fourth annual Dalton Red Carpet races, where the action — which starts and finishes downtown — will include a half marathon, 5K and 2K.
    “I feel sure that it’s the most states that we’ve had represented for this event,” said co-race director Rick Little. “It’s become so well-known. People outside our area know that it’s a quality event.”

    October 25, 2013

  • Run back for concert downtown

    Get ready to rock with the Austin, Texas-based band Fastball at the Saturday night concert following the Dalton Red Carpet Half Marathon/ 5K/2K races and the Liberty Tree Festival in downtown Dalton.

    October 25, 2013

  • Half marathon male winner.jpg Red Carpet Half Marathon: Phillips outkicks the field

    Isaac Pacheco stuck with Geno Phillips for around half the race.
    Then the Chattanooga resident “broke” the North Murray High senior.
    Phillips was the first person to cross the Dalton Red Carpet Half Marathon finish line in downtown Dalton on Saturday morning, running the 13.1-mile race in one hour, 12 minutes, 1 second.

    October 7, 2012 1 Photo

  • Chris Stephens: Ready for a good run

    The best part about running your first half marathon? Finish the race and you automatically set a personal record.

    October 3, 2012

  • s-MartinezFamily1-3x-col.jpg Racing runs in this family

    If officials for Saturday’s Dalton Red Carpet races are looking to award a family for having the most participants, a local contingent rates as quite a favorite.

    October 11, 2011 1 Photo

  • Runners can try out half marathon course

    Area runners are invited to help test the reconfigured course for the second Dalton Red Carpet Half Marathon, 5K and 2K event, which is scheduled for a downtown start and finish on Oct. 15.

    June 7, 2011

  • 5k 3 mlh.jpg Tight finish

    October 17, 2010 1 Photo

  • Doug Hawley: Firsts not only bests

    October 17, 2010

  • 5k 12 mlh.jpg Perfect day for a race

    They came mostly from the Southeast and a few from as far away as Colorado and South Dakota. Some ran Saturday’s half marathon for the first time, while one Dalton podiatrist used it as a tune-up for the real Marathon race in Greece later this month.

    October 17, 2010 1 Photo

  • Dalton Half Marathon2010.jpg Day of distance near

    Lauren Sain was already planning to run a half marathon in a city halfway across the country when she saw an advertisement for one in her own backyard.
    On Saturday morning, Sain will find out how far her training has taken her in preparation for the first Dalton Half Marathon, which will also serve as her first attempt at a distance race beyond a 5K.

    October 14, 2010 2 Photos