Dellinger Park will be packed with activity this weekend, thanks to the Greater Atlanta Dog and Disc Club's United States Disc Dog Nationals World Finals and Wire2Wire Running's Cartersville 10K.The …
Dellinger Park will be packed with activity this weekend, thanks to the Greater Atlanta Dog and Disc Club's United States Disc Dog Nationals World Finals and Wire2Wire Running's Cartersville 10K.
The race will kick off the activities Saturday at 8 a.m., with the disc dog competition following at 10 a.m.
"When we schedule our event, we plan around other international dog events so our international teams can make the most of their travel,” said Troy McConaughey, president of the GADDC. “This year, the calendar put us on the same date as the Wire2Wire Running Cartersville 10K.
"Rather than work around each other, we decided it would be great to combine the two events. The road race will take place before our competition begins and finish when we’re starting. The goal of using Dellinger Park for our World Finals has always been to grow our event and make it a family-friendly day for those coming to watch. Last year, we added a dog dock diving event. This year, a road race."
Calling the event a "classic" road race, Matt Terry — co-owner of Wire2Wire Running — is thrilled to bring back the Cartersville 10K.
"Established in 1977 by local Cartersville resident and original Race Director Scott Parmenter, the Cartersville 10K quickly became one of the Atlanta Track Club’s staple races each year, attracting runners from all over the state," Terry said. "Originally called the Etowah Indian Mounds Road Race, the name was later shortened by the ATC to the Cartersville Road Race and then eventually to the Cartersville 10K.
"The race continued to thrive with over 200 runners per year on average until it stopped in 2014, when the Atlanta Track Club changed their strategy related to the presence in Cartersville by launching the Wingfoot Classic cross-country meet now held each September at Sam Smith Park. Because of the strong history associated [with] the race, as well as the fact that there simply are not many 10Ks run anymore locally — given that the Atlanta Track Club now accepts 5K times as Peachtree qualifiers — my business partner, David Matherne, and I decided to bring it back, but with a charitable twist."
Starting and ending at Dellinger Park at 100 Pine Grove Road, the Cartersville 10K's route will pass in front of Etowah Indian Mounds on Indian Mounds Road. On Saturday, registration will open at 7 a.m. The entry cost will be $40 per runner.
"From the very start, we began putting 5 percent of the profits generated from producing any event — road race, cross-country race, summer camp, etc. — into a charitable fund that we have termed Shoes for Kids," Terry said about Wire2Wire Running, which was founded in January 2017. "The mission of Shoes for Kids is to be able to provide running shoes for middle school and high school cross-country and track runners within the Bartow County, Cartersville or Rome City School [systems] that, for whatever reason, are unable to afford quality running shoes.
"We have an application process whereby coaches at each of these schools nominate respective student athletes who are then selected to receive their new shoes. We’ve partnered with Landy Shropshire at the Athlete's Locker as the location for those athletes to obtain the shoes so that they are fitted properly and suitable for the long run. We felt like this was a small way that David and I both could give back to the community and the sport that has given us both so much."
For more information about the Cartersville 10K, visit www.wire2wirerunning.com.
United States Disc Dog Nationals World Finals
Featuring top competitors from across the globe, the United States Disc Dog Nationals World Finals will mark its 11th year in Cartersville. Starting Saturday, the two-day event will award world championship titles to qualified teams — consisting of a dog and its handler — in the Freestyle and Toss & Fetch divisions.
"These are the best competitors from around the world who’ve earned their way to Cartersville to compete," McConaughey said. "During the year, we hold regional qualifiers around the world, awarding the Top 3 at each qualifier an invitation to the World Finals."
Sponsored by Seresto and presented by the Greater Atlanta Dog and Disc Club, the World Finals will take place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to spectators.
"Everyone who comes to watch our event will be impressed," McConaughey said. "After 15 years being active in the sport, I still get impressed watching the World Finals. While you’ll mostly see herding breeds competing, spectators will see dogs that look just like their own dogs doing amazing things.
"As competitors, we are also ambassadors for our dogs. Competitors like to talk to people about dogs. Health, diet, training, etc. You don’t get to be a world champion without being a great dog trainer. The public is welcome to meet the dogs and trainers. We just ask that you get permission from the trainer before approaching the dogs."
This will be the third United States Disc Dog Nationals World Finals since the 2016 passing of Rydal resident Melissa Heeter, who was the president of the event’s previous organizer, WOOF! Sports USA, and the first female to win a world disc dog championship. A nonsmoker, Heeter battled bronchoalveolar carcinoma lung cancer for five years.
"Melissa’s legacy lives on, and it’s most visible in the USDDN World Finals," McConaughey said. "This was an organization she created, and it has continued to grow in her memory.
"This year, we have teams from all over the U.S. and the world competing. Our international teams make up 20 percent of the Freestyle competition. Our sport is taking off internationally. And credit goes to Melissa for making it all happen."
Further details about the United States Disc Dog Nationals World Finals can be obtained online at www.atlantadiscdogs.com.