Noting the race holds “special meaning” to him, David Matherne is looking forward to celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Cartersville 10K Saturday. A participant in his youth, the Cartersville resident now is directing the race with his Wire2Wire Running business partner, Matt Terry.
“When I was 14, growing up in Atlanta, my parents used to take me all over the place to run road races,” Matherne said. “One Saturday in late September, we came up to Cartersville to run a new 10K they were having called the Etowah Indian Mounds Road Race, which was actually sponsored by The Daily Tribune News. The first year, 1977, there were about 270 runners. The year I ran it, there were over 700 runners.
“… That was 1978. I ran a 37:28 and won the 14 & Under age group. I still have that medal, because it was one of the first I ever won. How could I have known then, that one day I would end up living here and helping direct the race. This year becomes the 40th annual of the race, and we expect just north of a hundred runners. Passion of many runners and an inspiring, beautiful course has allowed this race to survive and thrive.”
Currently helping develop Wire2Wire Running, Matherne retired from a 33-year career in education in May. He remains Cartersville High School’s cross country head coach, a position he has held since 1989.
Describing the individuals as “two long-time running icons in this town,” Matherne shared Scott Parmenter, with the help of David Bishop, started the event in 1977.
“The race grew due to the ’70s running boom, reaching numbers over 700,” Matherne said. “Then, when ATC [Atlanta Track Club] only required a 5K time to qualify for the Peachtree Road Race, sadly, the 10Ks began their decline in popularity throughout the state. There just aren’t that many 10Ks anymore.
“My wife, Gail, and I moved here in 1989. ATC still hosted the race then, and did so until 2014 when ATC decided to focus on the Wingfoot XC Invite here in Cartersville, which has quickly become the largest XC Invite in the state. So the race lay dormant from 2015-17. That’s when my business partner, Matt Terry, and I decided in 2018 to revive this gem of a race. Wire2Wire Running, our company, now directs the race, and we couldn’t be prouder to keep this legacy going for the people of Cartersville and the entire Georgia running community.”
Beginning and ending at Dellinger Park track at 100 Pine Grove Road, Cartersville 10K's route will travel in front of Etowah Indian Mounds on Indian Mounds Road.
“The route itself is the key,” Terry said, referring to the secrets to the Cartersville 10K’s endurance. “While established races tend to bring repeat runners, this one is a bit different in that, many if not over half of the runners that participate, tend to live outside of Cartersville and Bartow County.
“Given the longevity of this event, long-time runners from across north Georgia have at least heard of the Cartersville 10K and are aware of its reputation as being a very fast and fairly flat route that has historically been one of the faster Peachtree Road Race qualifiers in the state of Georgia. You combine that with the scenery and the fact that the route is not a high-traffic area on a Saturday morning in the fall, and it just makes for an awesome run.”
On Saturday, registration will start at 6:45 a.m. and the runners will depart at 8 a.m. The entry cost will be $40 per runner. Proceeds from the Cartersville 10K will help benefit Shoes for Kids.
“When David and I launched Wire2Wire in January 2017, we knew that, in business, just like in life, it’s not what you get, but what you give,” Terry said. “Since we are in the business of ‘All Things Running,’ it only made sense to us to build out a charitable arm that aligned with that mission. Hence, we developed the concept of Shoes for Kids.
“The idea is to be able to provide a quality pair of running shoes for local middle and high school runners who might not otherwise be able to afford a good pair but have a passion for running and are also focused students in the classroom. Area coaches can nominate athletes at any time during the school year, and I’m not sure we’ve turned one down yet. We have partnered with Landy Shropshire from the Athlete’s Locker in Cartersville and more recently with Jay Stephenson with GoGo Running in Rome as we have expanded our outreach beyond Bartow County into Floyd and Gordon counties as well.”
Striving to foster students’ zest for running,” Terry shared the charity continues to be well-received.
“Each kid deserves a quality pair of shoes and that’s where Shoes for Kids can help,” he said. “The reception to the concept has started to build to the point where we’re actually looking to expand the outreach potentially into scholarships for graduating seniors as well as running camp scholarships for those still in school during the summer months. These two key areas represent our expansion plans for Shoes for Kids for 2020 and beyond.”
For more information about the Cartersville 10K, visit www.wire2wirerunning.com.