Little Rock Marathon
March 5, 2006
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
The reasons why we go to a new state to run a marathon are numerous, but why we chose Arkansas was unique. It was a personal invitation from Governor Mike Huckabee that brought us to the Little Rock Marathon.
He had been the guest speaker at the dinner cruise on the Potomac River last October 28th that was part of the Marine Corps Marathon weekend activities. In a humorous manner, he told the remarkable story of how he overcame health problems and lost over 100 pounds on the road to fitness and becoming a runner. The 2005 Little Rock Marathon was his first, and he ran it in a time of 4:48:32.
After his inspirational talk, we had the opportunity to meet him and his wife Janet, take some pictures, discuss his upcoming 2nd marathon (and my 369th), and receive an invitation to come to the capital city of Arkansas to run the 4th annual Little Rock Marathon on March 5, 2006.
That's why I joined about 3,000 runners at 8:00 a.m. at the starting line on Capitol Avenue for the marathon and half marathon. The temperature was 53 degrees, and there were clouds in the sky---perfect weather for racing.
The course gave us a great tour of the city and the adjacent countryside as we passed historic buildings and parks along the way. We ran by Robinson Center, site of the Expo and packet pickup, and crossed the Arkansas River for a loop in North Little Rock that took us near the Alltel Arena.
The second crossing of the river took us to the River Market District, a tourist mecca. Next came the President Clinton Center, the Governor's Mansion, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and historical housing districts.
At the halfway mark we passed the Capitol Building and then ran on a long, upward grade for several miles in the suburbs. This was followed by a steep, curved downgrade through a forest and back to the riverside plains.
The out-and-back section from Mile 18 to Mile 24 in Murray Park was the time to see fellow 50 Staters, 100 Marathon Club members and Marathon Maniacs. Then there were several small hills to conquer before we crossed the finish line in front of the State Capitol.
In the fourth running of the Little Rock Marathon the course record was broken as it had been every year since the inaugural race. It was a race of the Kenyans who took the first seven places. Climbing a long hill in the 14th mile, Charles Kamindo, 23, broke loose from the lead group and extended his lead for the rest of the race. His record breaking time was 2:19:48. He had a seven minute lead over John Ngigi, 26, who was second in 2:26:56. In third place was Abraham Kosgei, 30, with a 2:30:42
The women's winner was Claudia Camargo, 30, of Danbury, CT, who won with a time of 2:56:48. Close behind her was Barbara McManus, 38, of Oakham, MA, who took second place (2:57:04). Valerie Gortmaker, 30, of Omaha, NE, came in third with a 3:02:43.
My race went really well. I kept waiting for second half troubles, but they didn't occur. The lateral tilt that has caused poor performances and long walks to finish lines just didn't happen, and I had my best race since October 31, 2004. Lenore was a volunteer at the finish line, and we were both excited about my race as she gave me a hug and placed a finishers medal around my neck. These medals are advertised as the largest and heaviest in the U.S.----and they are!!
My chip time of 5:03:39 was good enough for first place in the 75-79M division. Davie Day, 75, of Rayville, LA, was close behind me with a time of 5:05:55.
Congratulations to Governor Mike Huckabee as he continued to impress all those who follow his quest for health and fitness by running a personal record (PR) in this year's Little Rock Marathon. His finish time of 4:26:05 shaved 11+ minutes over his previous PR of 4:37:34 at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, on October 30, 2005.
Kudos to John Bozung, 52, of Orem, UT, as he completed his goal of running 52 marathons since his 52nd birthday last March. Congratulations to Will Whiting, 21, of Little Rock for losing as much weight as Governor Huckabee and for running his first marathon in 4:57:58.
At Friday's 50 States Marathon Club first quarter reunion meeting, Don McNelly, an 85 year old runner from Rochester, NY, was honored for his career accomplishments. The Little Rock Marathon was his 693rd!!! His milestone 700th marathon will be in May of this year. The amazing fact is that he has run more than 50% of his lifetime total since the age of 70.
Awards were presented to the following 50 states finishers: Edson Sanches, 4th time finisher; Richard DeCample of Renton, WA, (not present), 3rd time finisher; Sharon Kerson, 3rd time finisher; Chuck Savage, 2nd time finisher. Some of the 1st time finishers were: John Conner, Marie Bartoletti, Cheryl Murdock, Sam McClure, Chuck Struckness, Mohammed Zaatari, Angela and Ron.
Our trip to Arkansas was also a reunion with our good friend Roger Biggs, chairman of the 100 Marathon Club United Kingdom & Ireland, and a family reunion. I had a chance to visit my cousin Betty Carmichael in Conway, someone I hadn't seen for 37 years. Another cousin, Travis Johnson, who had hosted us in Houston for my 250th marathon on January 16, 2000, drove 450 miles to join us in Little Rock for the post race dinner party.
We'll remember for a long time the friendly people in Little Rock, a great marathon and dinner at the Governor's Mansion. Thank you, Governor Huckabee, for inviting us.
Written by Bob Dolphin
PARTIAL RESULTS: LITTLE ROCK MARATHON, March 5, 2006
Note: All but three of these results are from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (3/6/06) and are recorded clock times.
2:19:48 Charles Kamindo, 23, Kenya
2:26:56 John Ngigi, 26, Kenya
2:30:42 Abraham Kosgel, 30, Albuquerque, NM/Kenya
2:56:48 Claudia Camargo, 30, Danbury, CT
2:57:04 Barbara McManus, 38, Oakham, MA
3:02:43 Valerie Gortmaker, 30, Omaha, NE
3:13:36 John Spannuth, 36, Oak Forest, IL
3:22:54 Dane Rauschenberg, 29, Arlington, VA
3:30:41 Alice Stewart, 39, Little Rock, AR
3:34:11 Roger Biggs, 57, Stevenage, UK, Marathon Maniac (MM)
3:44:55 Steven Yee, 46, Renton, WA, MM
3:57:57 Tom Detore, 58, Unadilla, NE, MM
4:00:32 Monte Fus, 41, Appleton, WI, MM
4:02:56 Edson Sanches, 56, New York, NY
4:08:36 Don Pattison, 48, Bartlett, IL, MM
4:11:13 Marv Bradley, 66, Canon City, CO
4:13:19 Gina Moore, 54, San Marcos, TX
4:15:09 Bob Lehew, 63, Tulsa, OK
4:15:48 Chuck Sattler, 50, Oshkosh, WI
4:19:01 Sam McClure, 52, Canon City, CO
4:22:32 Jim Scheer, 63, Vancouver, WA, MM
4:23:12 Claude Hicks, Jr., 46, Ft. Worth, TX
4:26:05 Gov. Mike Huckabee, 50, Little Rock, AR (net time)
4:26:32 Steve Boone, 56, Humble, TX, MM
4:34:59 Francesco Criniti, Philadelphia, PA
4:34:59 John Bozung, 52, Orem, UT
4:37:51 Phil Millard, 46, Everett, WA
4:39:49 Cliff Burgess, 67, Hewitt, TX
4:42:35 Laura Yasso, 45, Center Valley, PA
4:45:53 Sue Fauerbach, 58, Renton, WA, MM
4:46:45 Mohammed Zaatari, 39, McLean, VA
4:48:06 Drew Kudera, 46, Ridgefield, CT
4:57:58 Will Whiting, 21, Little Rock, AR
5:05:02 Jack Daly, 57, San Clemente, CA
5:05:02 Joshua Rupert, 29, Oak Harbor, WA
5:05:22 Kendall Jamison, 38, Westminster, CO
5:03:39 Bob Dolphin, 76, Renton, WA, MM (net time)
5:05:55 Davie Day, 75, Rayville, LA (net time)
5:10:30 Andrew Edwards, 34, Columbiana, AL, MM
5:10:31 Chuck Struckness, 52, Burlington, ND
5:17:32 Eugene Bruckert, 70, Arlington Heights, IL
5:19:09 Ron Bucy, 61, Bridgeport, WV, MM
5:19:41 Larry Ondrovic, 52, Woodridge, IL
5:21:22 Nancy Broadbridge, 52, Birmingham, MI
5:24:14 Tom Adair, 64, Alpharetta, GA
5:28:51 Lois Berkowitz, 57, Riverview, MI
5:31:33 Charles Sayles, 69, Glendale, CA
5:33:35 Eugene DeFronzo, 70, Cheshire, CT
5:33:43 Paula Boone, 39, Humble, TX, MM
5:33:43 Frank Bartocci, 58, Rochester, MN
5:34:40 Mike Duvall, 38, Austin, TX
5:36:51 Sidney Busch, 59, Goose Creek, SC
5:37:56 Dave Bell, 43, Highlands Ranch, CO, MM
5:38:37 Fenny Roberts, 53, Salem, OR, MM
5:41:14 Larry Macon, 61, San Antonio, TX, MM
6:01:09 Laura Garrett, 49, Copperas Cove, TX
6:01:34 Chuck Savage, 67, Ocala, FL
6:06:17 Sharon Kerson, 64, Culver City, CA
6:08:34 Marie Bartoletti, 48, Finleyville, PA, MM
6:16:19 Bob Hildebrandt, 57, Fairbanks, AK
6:49:48 Tom Knoll, 73, Honolulu, HI
7:54:50 Susan Daley, 46, Chicago, IL
8:31:48 Don McNelly, 85, Rochester, MN
8:31:48 John Connor, 50, Newport, KY