August 29, 2010

Doug Hawley: Stylish is fine, but stay safe training

Something can be said for stylish running shirts, but looking good should not surpass safety as you prepare for the first national Dalton Half Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 16. Many area runners appear in the darkness of almost any early morning wearing these name-brand shirts.

Unfortunately, they are dark, making the people wearing them difficult to see. Running into somebody on a narrow sidewalk can happen under this circumstance. However, the real danger involves vehicles.

Even such darkly-clad runners going just a few yards across an intersection can be in peril.

Motorists turning might not even see them.

Logic says to wear a white or light top. These shirts also can be stylish. If you simply abhor wearing the lighter color, do yourself a favor. Purchase an inexpensive orange-yellow reflective vest, similar to what people doing construction work wear.

It is better to be safe than sorry. Along similar lines of safety, runners logically are better off without wearing earphones. It creates some unneeded distraction.

Usually the runner with the earpieces is by himself or herself. There seems the need to be entertained or overcome boredom.

If wearing earphones while running with a group, that does not say much for the associates who normally talk. You not only are less aware of vehicles, but the creepy characters who reside in our society. They stand ready to pounce upon some inattentive runners.

Earphone wearers also rarely will earn The Friendly Awards from approaching runners who provide good morning cheer and hear nothing in return because they do not even hear them.

n TRAINING REGIMEN?: Dalton High's original proposal giving students three minutes to change classes — even from one end of the building to the other — sounded like a speed workout to me. Do it enough times during the day, and you could call it interval training.

Granted, we older runners would have problems without bathroom breaks.

This is the 10th in a 16-part series of instructional columns in advance of 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

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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