April 26, 2014

Run for God: Pacheco in first for his coach

A pair of Dalton State College runners repeated as overall champions on a beautiful Saturday morning in the seventh-annual Run for John 5K race at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dalton.

Rafael Pacheco claimed his third straight crown by covering the hilly 3.1-mile distance on Haig Mill Road in 17 minutes, 41 seconds. Nayeli Jacobo got her second title in a row with a 21:35 clocking.

“I worked really hard this week in my workouts this week and really paid for it,” Pacheco said. “I was really tired at the turn-around (about 1.5 miles). This is such a hilly course.”

Coming up the hill on the final stretch, Pacheco had to fend off Dalton State teammate Parker Cook (17:42).

“I want to thank coach Margie Bruner (Dalton State cross country co-coach with Andy Meyer) and all of the others who support this event,” Pacheco said. “Without them, I couldn’t have attended college without the scholarship.”

Ten scholarships for this event were worth $10,500.

“This is one of my favorite races,” Jacobo said. “It’s a really tough course.”

Jacobo proudly pointed to an improvement in time from last year, when she clocked 22:09. Ana Karen Padilla, a 16-year-old Dalton resident, claimed the female runner-up spot in 22:57.5.

Perhaps it was only fitting that Margie Bruner should win the female masters’ crown with a time of 24:57. This race occurs in memory of her son, John, who died while running in a Chattanooga race.

As is their tradition, she and husband Greg ran the race and finished together.

“I understand that is the second biggest crowd that we’ve ever had,” Margie said of the 217 finishers. “Only the first year did we have more.”

Said Greg Bruner, “This has been beyond my expectations. This whole morning has been awesome. There is such a feeling off compassion.”

After the 217 finishers in the 5K run, another 110 participated in the preliminary 1-mile race.

“In the 5K, that’s the most we’ve had for the last several years,” race director Joe Gleaton said. “Every year it seems to get better.”   

Victor Soria (6:22) won the boys’ run, while Gislee Dominguez (6:59) led the girls.

Full results will be available on the Carpet Capital Running Club’s website (

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