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Contact(s):Liz Caldwell
501-350-4364 cell

Monday, March 6, 2006

Kenya Native is Winner of Fourth Annual Little Rock Marathon

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Charles Kamindo, a Kenya native who lives in Boulder, Colorado, won the fourth annual Little Rock Marathon held today in Little Rock, Arkansas. Kamindo, 23, posted a time of 2:19:48, beating last year’s winner by 5 minutes. This was his first time to enter the Little Rock marathon. Draped in a Kenyan flag Kamindo stated, “I’m very pleased with the race. The people out here are very nice, so I think I will come back.”

Starting the races under partly cloudy skies and a chill in the air with temperatures in the mid-40s that eventually got into the high-50s, about 5,000 participants ran either a full marathon, half marathon, four-person relay marathon or 5K. Last year, the marathon had more than 3,500 runners.

For the first time ever, the Little Rock Marathon awarded a purse worth more than $20,000 in cash and prizes to top finishers in male and female divisions of the marathon, half marathon, master’s marathon and master’s half marathon. First place in the marathon received $2,000 each, second place received $1,500 each, third place received $1,000 each, fourth place received $750 each and fifth place received $500 each.

In the half marathon, first place received $750 each, second place received $500 each and third place received $250 each. In the master’s marathon (age 40 and older), first place received $500 each, second place received $250 each and third place received $100 each. In the master’s half marathon, first places received $250 each, second place received $200 each and third place received $100 each. The Little Rock Marathon holds bragging rights for the world’s largest finisher’s medal, weighing in at one pound.

Wearing No. 2008, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, 50, running his third marathon after losing 105 pounds two years ago, crossed the finish line in 4:27:17 beating last year’s time by 11 minutes. As Huckabee crossed the finish line with arms high in the air, his wife Janet Huckabee, who walked the half marathon, hung the finisher’s medal around his neck. “I earned that son-of-a-gun,” stated Gov. Huckabee about the medal. “I was on fire today. It was a great run, and I had a great team out there cheering me on and giving me water.”

First place in the women’s marathon division was Claudia Camargo, 30 with a time of 2:56:48. Second place finishers this year were John Mgigi, 26, of Kenya, at 2:26:56, and Barbara McManus, 38, of Oakham, Massachusetts at 2:57:04. Placing third were Andrew Musuva, 36, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, at 2:23:05, and Valerie Gortmaker, 30, of Omaha, Nebraska, at 3:02:43.

The wheelchair division has just four competitors. Christopher Lamps, 37, of Little Rock won first place for the second year in a row in the wheelchair division with a time of 1:47:17, beating his time last year by 7 minutes. Dick Pace, 56, of Monette, Arkansas was second at 2:10:15. Pace has competed in 26 marathons and came in third in last year’s Little Rock Marathon. “It’s always a thrill. This is one of the best marathons in the country,” stated Pace. Marty Johnson, 49, of Maumelle, Arkansas, finished third at 2:10:35. The last wheelchair participant and only woman in the division was Holly Koester, 46, of Cleveland, Ohio finished at 3:42:49.

Winning the men's master's division was David Audet, 41, of Concord, New Hampshire, at 2:50:16, followed by Dale Heinen, 50, of Shoreview, Minnesota at 2:57:59 and Chris Crawford, 44, of Dallas, Texas at 2:59:45.

The women's master's division winner was Marla Rhoden, 50, of Topeka, Kansas, at 3:18:29, followed by Kay Evans, 44, of Chocowinity, North Carolina, at 3:23:03, and Cathie Burroughs, 46, of Kansas City, Kansas, at 3:24:43.

Vincent Ledema, 23, of Lenexa, Kansas won the men’s half marathon at 1:06:47, followed by Maciek Miereczko, 26, of Searcy, Arkansas at 1:06:56, and Moses Warweru, 27, of Billings, Montana at 1:07:33. In 2005, Miereczko won first place in the half marathon. Melissa Lehman, 23, of Niles, Michigan won the women's half marathon at 1:23:58.

The spirit of the marathon could be seen in Gordon Honda, 60, of Mabelvale, Arkansas. Honda walked in the 5K with braces on his legs and with the help of crutches. Wearing medical tags for diabetes, a pace maker, renal problems and having suffered one heart attack, Honda replied when asked why he entered the race, “I need to improve my health.”

The 4th Annual Little Rock Marathon was presented by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The race also was sponsored by Brooks Sports, Inc., Little Rock Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (LRCVB), Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics, Glazer’s Distributors of Arkansas, Arkansas Parks & Tourism, Alltel Corp., Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arvest Bank, Baptist Health, Clear Mountain Water, Diamond Bear Brewing Company, Fence World, Healthy Arkansas, Lemon Grass Design Studio, Magna 4 Printing, The Adolescent Center/Sports Medicine Plus at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, The Hatcher Agency, Twin City Bank, Crown Royal, Datamax, B98.5, Macaroni Grill, KATV Channel 7, Stephens Inc., KTHV Channel 11, QualChoice, Papa Johns Pizza, Fox 16, UPN 38, Pepsi, AT&T, Easy Runner, MEMS, Comcast, ReCenter-UAMS Institute on Aging, Gatorade, Heifer International, First Security Bank, Walker Physical Therapy, Hammer Nutrition, SYSCO Foods, Yellow Tail, CDI, Comfort Inn & Suites, Metropolitan National Bank, Janet Jones Company,, KARK Channel 4, Ben E. Keith Foods, Fiser Truck & Tractor, Little Debbie Snack Cakes/McKee Foods, L'Oreal USA.

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