Kenny Carnes, competing in his fourth marathon this month, won his fifth Marine Corps Marathon wheelchair competition yesterday in 1 hour 59 minutes 57 seconds.
"I really enjoy coming home and racing," said Carnes, 43, who grew up in Morningside but now lives in Snellville, Ga. "This was a great, fun race."
Carnes said he and a friend, David Swaim, were close together for about the first seven miles. Then Carnes overtook his buddy on a hill and led the rest of the race.
"It was a beautiful course for 18 miles. Then we hit Hains Point and the wind just hit us hard and from there, it went downhill," said Carnes. His time was about eight minutes behind his goal.
Carnes also won the wheelchair competition in 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1995. Carnes competed in three other marathons this month, in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit and Beijing. Next week, he will compete in a marathon in China.
In the female division, Holly Koester, 39, of Cleveland, won her second consecutive wheelchair title in 3:21:52.
British Win Again
Men's champion Mark Croasdale helped his British Royal Navy team capture the Challenge Cup over their American counterparts for the second consecutive year. The British lead the competition 14-8.
Croasdale's teammates, Steve Payne, 43, and Mark Goodrich, 29, ran 2:33:53 for ninth and 2:34:22 for 11th, respectively. Marine Corps Lt. David McCombs, 27, who is stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, was the first U.S. Marine and 12th overall in 2:34:58.
Twin on Course
Robert Johnson, twin brother of last year's winner, Weldon Johnson, finished seventh in 2:28:09. Clay Johnson, the twins' father, was on the course offering support, with two cousins from Omaha and an aunt and uncle from Washington. Clay Johnson, who is from Dallas, spent Saturday in Chicago with Weldon: "We're just trying to help out in any way we can." Weldon Johnson ran a personal best 2:19:52 in Chicago, which meets the "A" qualifying standard for the Olympic trials.
Mills at the Finish
Official race starter Billy Mills, a 1964 gold medalist at 10,000 meters and retired Marine officer, presented awards to the top finishers. Mills's presence and the public address call of the finish brought to mind the famous call by Dick Banks of Mills's stirring come-from-behind victory in Tokyo, which many point to as running's answer to Russ Hodges's call of Bobby Thomson's 1951 pennant-winning home run. "Lookit Mills!" Banks cried repeatedly as Mills passed four competitors in a scintillating stretch run. Finally, Banks screamed: "He wins!"
"Dick Banks, an American, was fired the next day for showing favoritism toward me," Mills said yesterday. "But they rehired him five days later when they realized he made a good call. He was just a little excited."