General Running

July 14, 2010

Go for it

Parson's perception of running changes

Chatsworth resident Daniel Parson disdained running when he was in school, but has shown quite a reversal as an adult.

“I wrestled in middle school and as a freshman in high school,” said Parson, a 2001 Northwest Whitfield High School graduate. “I was not a fan of running. That was a punishment for wrestling.”

That philosophy remained through high school when he stayed away from sports after his freshman year, instead lining up jobs at various places, including Dalton Golf and Country Club and Domino’s Pizza.

Parson attended Kennesaw State University and graduated from Dalton State with a degree in management.

“As soon as I graduated from college, I suddenly picked up running as a hobby,” Parson said. “I began running with Adam Dodson, who had been a runner at Northwest, but was just getting back into it.”

A Dalton race cemented his interest.

“The Healthcare Classic was my first race three years ago,” Parson said of the 5-kilometer event. “I enjoyed it. I’ve continued to race ever since.”

From those earlier days of “punishment running,” his reversal now is seemingly complete because he’s served as president of the Carpet Capital Running Club since January.

“I first was talked into being a board member,” Parson said. “Then vice president.

“They didn’t tell me that office would automatically make me president.”

At 27, he is CCRC’s youngest president.

“For several years, our general management has been aging,” former president David Leatherman said. “It’s good to get somebody of his youth and enthusiasm. It’s great to get the younger folks involved.”

Parson has found no barriers to his age.

“Everybody in the club has been great to work with,” he said. “Proceeds for every race go to a charity.

“Our membership has improved to about 200, but we want to get the community more involved.”

At 6-foot-1-inch and 200 pounds, Parson might look more like a prep football lineman. However, do not be fooled.

Last year in his first marathon, Parson broke the 4-hour barrier with a 3-hour, 58-minute clocking in Tallahassee, Fla. He also has competed in several half marathons.

Parson said that he prefers the shorter 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer races, where his best times have been solid at 20:12 and 47:00, respectively. He clocked 48:00 for the recent Peachtree 10K in Atlanta.

Competition also has come in several Tennessee triathlons via the Clydesdale Division (200 pounds or more) in Chattanooga and Tullahoma. Those events encompass running, biking and swimming at various distances.

“I run at least 20 to 30 miles a week,” Parson said. “I try to get 50 miles a week on the bike. I do two miles a week swimming in the summer.”

Parson, who is single, has worked in the sales department at Beaulieu Group for the past seven years.

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