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Comedian Carey’s Marine dream comes true at Historic Half

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Comedian Drew Carey wasn’t about to fail in his first attempt at the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon.

“With all these Marines around, you don’t want to embarrass yourself,” said the 52-year-old Carey, who served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 1981 to 1987. “I’m not going to quit or stop or slow down. Not in front of all these Marines, are you kidding me?”

The incentive paid off. Carey, who last year announced that he had lost 92 pounds, finished in a time of one hour, 58 minutes and 20 seconds for the 13.1-mile course on Sunday, breaking a barrier that he admitted he didn’t expect to break “in my wildest dreams. I was praying to make it under two hours ... ‘please, please, please.’ ”

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The overall winner was Wyatt Boyd of Washington, D.C., who opened up a huge lead midway through the race and coasted home in 1:13.53. The women’s winner was Lanni Marchant of Okemos, Va., 14th overall in 1:21.27. There were 5,682 finishers, and for the first time every state was represented.

But it was Carey, now the host of “The Price is Right,” who was the center of attention as he fulfilled a goal he set for himself while going through his weight-loss program exercises.

“The whole time I was doing it, I thought, ‘I’m going to run the Marine Corps Half Marathon and Marine Corps Marathon.’ I kept imagining myself back running. I got a perfect score on my physical fitness test once. And I would imagine myself running back in the Marines.

“Honestly, it was so vivid ... I could see myself in my head running, being in the Marine Corps, running my runs, running my PFTs, running in boot camp. All that stuff came back to me, as vivid as the most vivid dream you could imagine.”

“When I was in the Marine Corps Reserve,” he said, “that’s when I did all my running, in 10Ks and stuff. That’s what I went back to. When I was fat and started working out, I imagined myself skinny, in shape, fit, and running with the Marines. I did it today, and it’s like a dream come true, let me tell you.”

As for the full Marine Corps Marathon on October 30, Carey said, “by the time the marathon comes around, I’ll be at least 15 pounds lighter, and stronger and faster, so if I can do this under two (hours), I think I can do the marathon under four.”

gromelskij@stripes.osd.mil

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