Niles woman takes first at fourth annual Little Rock Marathon

Published 11:57 pm Thursday, March 9, 2006

By Staff
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Charles Kamindo, a Kenya native who lives in Boulder, Colorado, won the fourth annual Little Rock Marathon held recently in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Kamindo, 23, posted a time of 2:19:48, beating last year's winner by five 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.”
Niles ' Melissa Lehman, 23, won the women's half marathon at 1:23:58.
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.
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 had 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.
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.
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.”