Dalton Half Marathon

July 14, 2010

Doug Hawley: Lace 'em up and let's go running

You’ve probably heard the athletic adage, “He (or she) can do anything he (or she) wants to do.” This pertains to that natural male or female athlete. My personal feeling is the addition of two key words are necessary to the saying: “WITHIN REASON.”

Let’s say that it had been my lifelong goal to play defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons. No doubt, the Birds would be awestruck by my physique of 5 feet, 7 inches and 145 pounds.

By the time the Falcons finished laughing, you would hope nobody died from hysterics. From a positive standpoint, such reaction might give me extra motivation as a standup comic.

On the flipside, an Atlanta defensive tackle could run into a similar obstacle as a candidate for the Dalton Half Marathon. That comes with being in the 6-4 to 6-7 range and somewhere north of 300 pounds.

Not wanting to make such a hulking man mad, you do make every effort to thwart any laughter for someone hard-pressed to do 40-yard dashes even considering a 13.1-mile run.

Like football players and athletes in other sports, you as a more realistic half marathoner are urged to get a complete doctor’s physical before your basic training — much more than the old military days of a good cough getting you into the fray.

Today’s doctors seem more fitness-oriented than the previous generation. You find more of them competing in marathons and half marathons. If picking such a doctor for your physical, you might even pick up some additional training tips and not just the cholesterol and blood pressure readings.

Once cleared by the physician, make sure that you have the right footwear for training. Get a pair that provides good support. There is also the rule of thumb (no pun intended) that you allow a space the size of that digit between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

My primary choice for years has been the Pegasus, a Nike product. As a creature of habit, there has been little reason to change.

You would do well to get your shoes through a sporting goods store. There are some highly-regarded businesses in the immediate area and Chattanooga. Veteran runners who have the expertise often serve as the sales associates.

After running a few times and being satisfied with the footwear, consider getting a second pair. If it is the same brand, do not duplicate the color. An additional pair can be used to replace wet shoes — and help avoid the monotony of seeing the same shoes on a regular basis.

When getting into serious training, you might want to consider some racing flats, which will be about two ounces lighter. These can be used for races and speed workouts on the track.

No, I am not in the shoe business, though it might seem that way. Most solid shoes will run in the $75-80 range.

Some runners have learned the hard way that bargain prices are not always the answer. They pay more in medical bills due to poorer footwear. Runners can expect between 300 and 500 miles of good wear on their shoes.

According to Running USA, the half marathon is the “hottest distance” in American road racing. Over the past decade, the number of participants has increased an amazing 131 percent to more than 1.1 million people in 2009.

In four months, Dalton will be adding to that number.

This is the first in a weekly 16-part series of instructional columns leading to the first national Dalton Half Marathon on Oct. 16. It is primarily geared toward 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.

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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