Sports Columns

November 30, 2013

Doug Hawley: Ringing bells for runners

There is a uniqueness to the annual Silver Bell Sprint race which receives the focus Friday for the 11th time in downtown Dalton.

For one thing, this event always has taken place on a Friday night, helping to kick off the area Christmas season. It is a winning formula.

A record number of almost 800 participants crossed the finish line last year. The feature 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) had 632 finishers and the preliminary one-miler logged 162 for 794, officially.

Perhaps for the first time ever, the event occurred on the last Friday of November in 2012. It now goes back to the first Friday of December.

Although last year was successful, you cannot help but wonder about the conflict of “Black Friday.” Consider that some big-time shoppers might have been shopping for those big deals instead of running for honors.

With the event now not in conflict with Black Friday, another record crowd appears likely.

City Park Elementary School again provides the setting. The 5K is scheduled for 7 p.m., following the one-miler at 6.

With a Friday night road race a rarity in our area, there is no competition from other events. That hardly is true on Saturday mornings when most races take place.

Also, adults might find it more convenient to cap off their work weeks by making immediate plans for the Friday night race rather than going somewhere else the next morning. The same thing can be said for the children concluding their school weeks.

Also, many people journey on Saturday to sites other than races.

Most people for the Silver Bell Sprint will be content with their long-sleeve T-shirts and silver bells to wear on their shoes. However, there always are some elite contenders

Isaac Pacheco, a freshman runner at Dalton State College, claimed top honors the previous two years while a North Murray High student. His winning time last year was 16 minutes, 14 seconds — a 5:14 per mile average.

Julie Simmons, a 30-year-old elementary school teacher from Chattanooga, led the females in 19:30.

Others will compete for accolades in the various age divisions — both males and females.

Like so many races, proceeds will aid charity. This beneficiary is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Georgia Mountains.

The event concludes the 13-part series of the Runner of the Year (ROY) competition as coordinated by the Carpet Capital Running Club (CCRC). A different scoring is deciding the results this year.

In the past, ROY recipients were determined through age divisions. Not so this time.

On an age/gender scale that compares times to world records, there will be 10 winners. Males and females are grouped together.

Even for the older participants, the motto has been “Show up, and cross the line.” You always get points. Distances range from two miles to a 13.1 half-marathon.

Those 10 top finishers will be honored in January of 2014 at CCRC’s annual banquet.

ONE WEEK LATER: On Saturday morning, Dec. 14, an area road race is available for those runners seeking a longer distance. This comes in the form of the 26th annual Carpet Capital 10-Miler at Varnell Elementary School.

This CCRC-sponsored event serves as the Road Runners Club of America state championship race for 10 miles. It is one of the few certified 10-mile courses in Georgia with numerous state age group records having been set in the past.

A preliminary 5K run also is available in action which begins at 9 a.m.

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

1
Text Only
Sports Columns
  • Devin Golden: Area aims for multiple tennis titles in tourneys

    Afew local high school tennis teams have had successful regular seasons and they aim for bigger achievements this week in the region tournaments.
    Murray County’s girls are right there near the front of the Region 7-2A pack.

    April 13, 2014

  • Chris Whitfield: Miller finds the win he has wanted

    Former Dalton High School standout Chase Miller has had four strong years at the College of Coastal Georgia, transitioning with the school as it went from a junior college program his freshman year to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics four-year school.
    The one thing missing from his résumé? A tournament title.

    April 12, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Big Three still a big deal for fans

    AUGUSTA — Sinatra is gone, but we still have his music. The same is true with Nat King Cole and Elvis. It would be nice to hear them in concert again, however. With Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, we are not sure what it will be like when they are no longer the honorary starters at the Masters.

    April 11, 2014

  • Tom Lindley: Managing dollars at the ballpark can be an exercise in good sense

    Attending an Opening Day game at a Major League Baseball stadium is one of life’s little pleasures. Everyone should get to experience it at least once.

    April 11, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Meeting old friends under the big oak a tradition, too

    The first time I was in a train station in Great Britain and saw a sign that read, “Meeting Place,” it brought me to a pause. How simple, how functional was this sign? In small towns it is not a problem to meet someone at Sheppard’s Filling Station or at the fireplug across the street from the Baptist church, but at a busy venue — like European train stations — there is nothing more sensible than meeting at the “Meeting Place.”

    April 10, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Golden Bear is still game’s top champion

    Jack Nicklaus is entitled to play the Augusta National Golf Club as a member now, which means when he takes friends out for a round of golf, he hits from the member tees. He hits it a long way still — certainly for a guy in his mid-70s — but not like in 1965, when he drove the ball on No. 15 so far over the crest of the hill that he only needed a 7-iron for his second shot.

    April 8, 2014

  • Chris Stephens: The boys of summer ready for rec baseball

    The emotions are far-reaching and played out all over baseball diamonds each summer. Fear. Anxiety. Fear. Anticipation. Fear. Excitement.
    But honestly, I have no idea how my son feels about his first baseball season. These are my emotions.

    April 5, 2014

  • Tom Lindley: Tough calls part of the job for refs

    Florida brings Scottie Wilbeken to the Final Four with championship hopes. Kentucky has Julius Randle, Wisconsin features Frank Kaminsky and Connecticut will be a tough out as long as Shabazz Napier has the ball.

    April 4, 2014

  • Heritage at NW base#1C009FA.jpg Devin Golden: Stage now set as NW, SE aim for series win

    The team isn’t the exact same, but Northwest Whitfield’s baseball squad is mirroring itself from a season ago.

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jamie Jones: Booker T will write about time in the ring

    Here are the notes and news items from the week in pro wrestling: WWE has released the original Sin Cara (Luis Ignacio Urive Alvirde). The current Sin Cara is being portrayed by Hunico.

    March 27, 2014