Dalton Half Marathon

September 18, 2010

Doug Hawley: Rest essential for runners

Consistently good rest often is overlooked by runners who become addicted to logging many miles. Some world-class runners reportedly sleep an astounding 12 hours a night.

Be mindful that running is their profession. They collect prize money from the races, as well as substantial appearance money.

Since there probably are no current Olympic candidates in our immediate area, let’s be more realistic. Those training for the first Dalton Half Marathon, which is scheduled for Oct. 16, should be OK on seven to nine hours nightly. Any more than that seemingly can leave you sluggish.

Some alleged experts harp on the theory of going to bed the same time every night and arising the identical time each morning. It is to create a comfortable, regulated body system.

This sounds fine and dandy.

Unfortunately, many of us have erratic working hours which include going to ballgames that last deep into the night. Then some of us just cannot make ourselves go to bed early.

During college years ago, my fraternity bought a jukebox that was placed in the dining hall on the bottom floor of a three-story structure.

Somebody outside the fraternity asked me, “Since you live on the first floor, how are you able to put up with the music late at night?”

“It’s not so bad,” I answered. “I’m usually the last one up listening to it.”

Some experts have told us lately not to retire for the night immediately after watching television, advising us to wait at least one hour.

Granted, watching a late-night Atlanta Braves game to its conclusion and then waiting one hour could really mess up the sleeping pattern. How about staying up even later to watching the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football?

If we can use some common sense as dedicated runners, go to bed before those endings. Find out the results the next morning.

Most experts advise us not to eat too close to bedtime. Allow at least two or three hours to avoid a heavy stomach while trying to sleep.

A daily 81-milligram aspirin is recommended by many doctors. But even mild sleeping pills should only be taken through OKs from your physician or pharmacist.

A brief nap at midday, 20 to 30 minutes long, can do wonders. If your employer catches you asleep on the job, please do not tell him or her the source.

Rest for runners is not just about sleep. Tired bodies do need breaks. After a hard run one day, do not hesitate to go easy the next day or even several days.

Yoga classes can provide needed relaxation and stretching. All runners could benefit.

• A slight revision of the Dalton Half Marathon course can be found at daltonhm.com. No, it does not include climbing Mount Sinai.

• Next Saturday, Murray County will be the scene of the seventh annual Eton Country Fair 4-mile race, which starts at the Old Wishing Well.

For the past several years, this has served as Georgia’s only certified 4-mile course.


This is the 13th in a 16-part series of instructional columns preceding the first national Dalton Half Marathon on Oct. 16. Doug Hawley, a competitive distance runner for more than 50 years, finished in the top 10 percent of five Boston Marathons between 1976 and 1981. You can write to him at dhawley@optilink.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