January 12, 2014

Doug Hawley: New year means new goals for area runners

Like many people, runners set goals for each new year. Less than two full weeks into 2014, most area runners are undefeated when it comes to road races — not unlike football players in August during preseason workouts. Until beaten, they might even feel infallible.

As goals are set, though, that adage persists, “There is a difference in optimism and realism.”

Whatever your primary goal for the year might be, please consider writing it down. Our minds so often do play tricks on us by the time 12 months elapse.

Although running can be tough, try not to consider it life or death. Plan to have fun and enjoy the moments.

Positive thoughts play a big part in a runner’s success. On the other hand, negative feelings can have you beaten before the first race.

From a realistic standpoint, know your capabilities from practice runs. Not everyone can be the overall winner, even among area competition.

If it takes you 30 minutes to complete a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) road race, do not expect to be the champion. The winner likely will run in the 16- to 17-minute range. If you are an older person, though, that 30-minute clocking might be good for first place in your age division.

It’s all relative to the situation, and one beautiful thing about competitive running is that older runners can win as much hardware as the participants so blessed by their youth. Everybody can be a winner, no matter the age, because so much of the sport is about personal achievement.

• Throughout the year, the weather does play a factor in keeping up your mileage. That was particularly true with some recent bitter cold.

My usual time to run is early morning, which proved challenging.

Nevertheless, it is easier to dress for the cold than the summer heat. You can put on extra layers for the former case, but there is a limit to what you can remove in the latter. And dressing in extra layers is important. For me, that included an extra pair of lighter long pants and heavy gloves.

A ski mask, which might appear like attire from a bank robbery, has provided observers laughs over the years. However, it helps save the day for a runner in cold weather. Also, applying cream for the face and hands before running has helped me.

On a couple of the more extreme days, I waited until mid-morning and early afternoon to run.

As an alternative for the cold, do not hesitate to use a gymnasium or athletic center. Something can be said for comfort.

• The Carpet Capital Running Club’s annual banquet will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 24 at Dalton Golf and Country Club.

For the first time, the organization’s Runner of the Year award winners will be honored from age/gender results based on world age group records. That is in contrast to the former division results.

Participants earned points through 13 races. These runs ranged from two miles to a 13.1-mile half marathon. Eleven runners, males and females, are being feted, while another five people are being honored as Volunteers of the Year.

At the same banquet, The Daily Citizen’s 2013 All-Area’s All-Area Cross Country Runners — five boys and five girls from varsity programs in Murray and Whitfield counties — will be honored.

• Identical twins Brody Cook and Parker Cook, Northwest Whitfield High School graduates who were members of the 2012 all-area lineup, displayed their academic ability this past fall as freshmen members of the Dalton State College cross country squad. Their 4.0 grade point averages led all male athletes at the school.

Dalton State’s cross country runners, who garnered a sterling 3.31 combined grade point average, finished only behind the women’s tennis squad’s tally of 3.34.

• Many area runners can take pride in Chattanooga earning a recent national running award — Outstanding Runner-Friendly Community for 2013 by the Road Runners Club of America.

The honor was keyed by Chattanooga Track Club-sponsored activity, which also benefits runners in this area. Three of the Carpet Capital Running Club’s Runner of the Year races were in Chattanooga.

Doug Hawley has been a competitive distance runner for more than 50 years. You can write to him at

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  • Doug Hawley: New year means new goals for area runners

    Like many people, runners set goals for each new year. Less than two full weeks into 2014, most area runners are undefeated when it comes to road races — not unlike football players in August during preseason workouts. Until beaten, they might even feel infallible.

    January 12, 2014

  • Doug Hawley: Security concerns not slowing down runners

    Nothing short of a hurricane could keep the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta from taking place every July 4.
    That’s a certainty when you have runners from all 50 states — plus some from other countries — making their reservations for the world’s largest 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) road race. The journey from Buckhead to Piedmont Park attracts some 60,000 participants, a number equivalent to a standing-room only crowd for a Georgia Tech home football game.

    July 7, 2013

  • CarinaNieto.jpg Doug Hawley: Summer can be used for relaxation and running

    We often hear about young athletes becoming most successful thanks to their offseason work. That certainly is true for area high school cross country runners, who have some three months before their 2013 season hits full stride in September. What they do this summer can affect their results during the fall.

    June 2, 2013 1 Photo

  • Doug Hawley: Zimmerman has major goals for running club

    Erica Zimmerman has made a strong impact in a short time with the Carpet Capital Running Club.
    In less than two years as part of the organization, Zimmerman already is its new president. She took the gavel from Jennifer Cooley during the club’s annual banquet, held recently at Dalton Golf and Country Club.

    February 3, 2013

  • 10Miler.jpg Chris Stephens: 10-Miler a special race

    It’s hard to beat crossing the finish line. No pun intended. Whatever the distance — marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, 2-mile, 1-mile, 10 feet — it doesn’t matter.

    December 6, 2012 1 Photo

  • Misty Watson: Celebrating a milestone in kilometers

    I did it!

    I have been waiting two years, two weeks and three days to write those words.

    July 23, 2012

  • Doug Hawley: New cause for old race

    The 25th annual Dalton St. Patrick’s Day Road Race — the two-mile event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on March 15 at First Presbyterian Church (510 S. Tibbs Road) — will have a special flavor.

    February 4, 2012

  • Misty Watson: Moving at my own pace

    I’ve been longing for this day for months. I wanted to feel the burn in my lungs and hear my feet as they hit rhythmically on the pavement. I wanted to push myself to go further. I wanted to feel that crazy burst of energy that only follows a good cardio workout.

    December 23, 2011

  • Doug Hawley: Crane gives full effort for half marathon

    Long distance running and football are hardly considered a logical mix in our athletic society. Most football coaches believe 50-yard sprints or gassers to be punishment for their players, who likely concur with them.

    November 6, 2011

  • A Hidden Story

    Good morning.
    See if you can guess what country I am talking about based on this lead from a recent Associated Press story.
    “Policemen turned their guns on each other, soldiers shed their uniforms rather than obey orders to fire on protesters, and three young men who tried to escape were beheaded by forces loyal to (to the) President.”

    June 12, 2011