"I saw the hills of Virginia and I just went for it," said Carnes, who is sponsored and trains full time. "These are the kind of hills that are steep and I'm best at."
Doug Kennedy of Haleyville, Ala., had a 100-yard advantage, but waited at the homestretch for Tony Nogueira of Marietta, Ga. With clasped hands, the pair finished together. Kennedy, clocked at 3:50:31.18, earned $2,500 and was .44 seconds ahead of Nogueira, who won $2,000.
"Kenny doesn't want to sprint with you, he wants to wear you out. And he will," said Kennedy. "Sure I'm competitive and I want to win, but anyone who hangs his head after finishing second in this race, well, I don't know. I want to race him again."
Carnes' determination was evident two years ago in the inaugural WROC when he wheeled for 10 miles on two flat tires before obtaining spares. When the others had finished, race organizers sent a van to the 40-mile mark to pick him up but he refused the ride and finished the course while everyone waited.
That firm resolve set him apart from the field on a course rated by the racers as one of the most difficult.
"I thought the two 62-mile super marathons I ran were tough, but this took the cake. And I had to do it alone," said Carnes, who
finally is getting the hang of the new chair he started using in February.
Other than finishing second in a German marathon in March, Carnes had disappointing results this year until finishing third three weeks ago in the Seattle Wheel & Heel 15K.
"It was very difficult getting [the chair] adjusted, but now it fits like a glove," said Carnes, who was chosen to race in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona with Kennedy, Nogueira and sixth-place finisher Jimmy Green.
Ken Archer of Bowie, Md., won the masters division in 3:59:29. He earned $3,500.
Candace Cable of Truckee, Calif., won the women's division and $3,500 in 4:25:40, nearly 14 minutes ahead of Rose Winand of Pittsburgh.
Bert Burns of Marietta, Ga., won the quadriplegic division in an upset. Burns clocked 4:52:56, 31 seconds ahead of John Brewer of Holiday, Utah. Brewer invented the quad technique 15 years ago.
Men's paraplegic division
1. Kenny Carnes, 35, Morningside, Md., 3:33:25, $4,000; 2. Doug Kennedy, 33, Haleyville, Ala., 3:50:31.18, $2,500; 3. Tony Nogueira, 23, Marietta, Ga., 3:50:31.62, $2,000; 4. Bill Fricke, 30, Long Beach, Calif., 3:53:03, $1,500; 5. Jan Mattern, 26, Arlington, Texas, 4:04:30, $1,000; 6. Jimmy Green, 36, Loganville, Ga., 4:13:02, $1,000.
Men's quadriplegic division
1. Bert Burns, 29, Marietta, Ga., 4:52:56, $3,500; 2. John Brewer, 41, Holiday, Utah, 4:53:27, $1,500; 3. Wiley Clark, 35,
Pascagoula, Miss., 5:05:31, $1,000.
Masters (over-40) division
1. Ken Archer, 42, Bowie, Md., 3:59:29, $3,500; 2. Joe Dowling, 52, Old Greenwich, Conn., 4:49:44, $1,500; 3. Mike Trujillo, 43, Huntington Beach, Calif., dnf, $1,000.
1. Candace Cable, 37, Truckee, Calif., 4:25:40, $3,500; 2. Rose Winand, 31, Pittsburgh, 4:39:30, $1,500; 3. Loraine Ruckman, 21, Sandy, Utah, dnf, $1,000.