May 19, 2013

Running: Hopkins, Arana first finishers in new test

Jason Hopkins made history Saturday morning as champion of the first 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) race held as part of the Grizzly Trail Run at Raisin Woods Mountain Bike Park in Dalton.

While this was the fourth edition of the Grizzly Trail Run, during the previous three events only a 5K (3.1-mile) race took place.

Hopkins, a 39-year-old Dalton resident, covered the rugged course in 46 minutes and 17 seconds. He averaged 7:27 per mile while negotiating tree roots, mud, hills and other obstacles.

“I did have a few close calls as far as going to the ground,” a relieved Hopkins said. “I hit some slick spots. However, there was a good balance of hills and flat spots. I feel very good about the race. This is my first overall win around here.”

Dalton’s Hilario Mendez, 48, finished as the runner-up in 49:03. He was the champion in the men’s masters (40 and older) category.

Dalton’s Floribel Arana, 36, was the overall female winner for the 10K in 55:57.

“It was a hard race,” Arana said. “It was very slippery. I was worried about falling but didn’t.”

Dalton’s Maria Salaices, 35, was the runner-up to Arana at 56:37. Dalton’s Holly Kimsey, 48, was the female masters champion in 58:01.

As it turns out, this might have also been the first true 5K for the Grizzly Trail run as well — except it was longer than that.

“I measured the course yesterday,” race official Mitchell Hayes related. “The 10K was right at the correct distance. However, the 5K was probably more like 3.5 miles. If we had re-routed it, it would have required five more course marshals. In the past, the course was not quite a full 5K.”

Consequently, any 5K participants who were miffed about slower times should take stock that they ran almost a half-mile farther.

Two Murray County High School distance runners claimed honors in the day’s shorter race. Ivan Delgado, a junior, paced the males in 23:54, while senior Nayeli Jacobo led the females in 28:46.

“It’s the hardest course that I’ve ever run on,” Delgado said. “There were a lot of turns, and it was slick.”

Servio Martinez, 17, edged his brother, Jessie Martinez, 12, for runner-up honors, 24:07 to 24:17.

This marked the third area 5K in which Jacobo has taken female honors this spring. She earlier won the Run for John and Healthcare Classic events.

“I got stuck behind some slower people at the start but managed to pick it up,” Jacobo said. “I’m happy to get another win.”

Dalton’s Sarah Burnette, 8, was a close second in 28:54.

For the 5K, masters champions were Dalton’s Pedro Rodriguez, 42 — he won the men’s title in 26:05 — and Ringgold’s Ashley Remko, 43, who finished in 41:53 to take the women’s honor.

There were 125 finishers in the two races — 100 in the 5K and 25 in the 10K — which was down from 152 in 2012.

“It was a good turnout,” race director Jami Hall said. “The number probably was down a little because of the threatening weather. Fortunately, the rain held off for the races.”

Veteran runner Terry Strawser was among those elated with the course.

“You’ve got to focus the whole time,” the 60-year-old Eton resident said. “It’s a true cross country course. I had to really focus to keep from falling down.”

Dalton’s Frank Patterson, a 66-year-old dentist who competes in most area races, was asked the same question throughout the morning: “What happened to you?”

Patterson’s right arm was in a sling following rotator cuff surgery in his right shoulder, which figures to keep him sidelined for a month.

“I will not be doing my normal duties at the office,” a smiling Patterson said with a shrug. “I will be able to see only the hygiene patients.”

Proceeds from the event aided Cross Plains Community Partner, a nonprofit agency that provides day support to adults with developmental disabilities in North Georgia. Complete results of both races are posted at

Text Only
  • Eder Mora.jpg Dalton's Eder Mora will not play football

    Dalton High School football coach Matt Land confirmed Friday morning that star linebacker Eder Mora will not play football this fall.
    “Eder, obviously, is not here,” Land said after the opening of the first day of conditioning for area high school teams. “He has an opportunity to do something really special in soccer.”

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7on7 day 1 '14 23 mlh.jpg Conditioning for success

    Local high school football teams have had voluntary workouts, seven-on-seven drills and other practices and camps throughout the summer.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Summer of Satterfield: Rising star goes low for latest victory

    Chatsworth’s Savannah Satterfield is proving her mettle on the golf course this summer, and her latest tournament outing resulted in another title and a record round.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roadrunners’ Mitchell receives high academic honor

    Chatsworth’s Tyler Mitchell hopes to make his living playing professional golf. But if his dreams of courtesy cars and big checks on the PGA Tour don’t come through, he knows he can rely upon his education.

    July 25, 2014

  • Larry Case: Camping a sure cure for the big city blues

    In case you haven’t noticed, we are looking right down the gun barrel at winding down on another summer.

    July 25, 2014

  • Chris Whitfield's Fairways & Greens: Nob North prepares for 'big date'

    Like anyone getting ready for a big date, golf courses get dressed up when it is time for a major event. But while a woman may put on a little makeup and a man may add a spray of cologne, Nob North Golf Course in Varnell is getting something more akin to Botox.

    July 24, 2014

  • DSCgolf-col.jpg Dalton State notebook: Women's golf looking forward to tee time

    After a “redshirt” year for the entire program in 2013-14, Dalton State College’s women’s golf team is looking forward to its inaugural campaign.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd roasted 1 mlh.jpg One last 'Goodbye' for coach Todd

    Charles Todd talks to parents and coaches before his going-away party Tuesday in the Dalton High School commons area.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fishing Lures3cw.jpg Turner lured into love of learning fishing business

    Fishing and tall tales go hand in hand, and after nearly three decades in a business supplying local anglers, Phil Turner has heard just about all of them.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • U.S. Amateur dreams over for local golfers

    Dalton golfers Chase Miller and Will Morrow traveled to Cincinnati on Tuesday in an attempt to earn a spot in the U.S. Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, but neither earned one of the three qualifying spots at the 6,588-yard, par-70 course at Camargo Club.

    July 23, 2014