FREDERICKSBURG, Va. --
Under an overcast sky, 5679 runners from all 50 states hit the pavement for the fourth annual Marine Corps Marathon Historic Half, May 15.
Among them was actor, comedian and Marine Drew Carey, who served in the Marie Corps Reserve from 1981-1987 and also acted as the race’s official starter.
At precisely 7 a.m., the sound of a replica British Enfield Civil War-era musket signaled the start and runners began their 13.1-mile trek through remarkable Virginia countryside.
“The Historic Half takes runners past historic land marks and over the footsteps of our forefathers,” said Tami Faram, Marine Corps Marathon community relations coordinator.
Along the course the half marathoners passed landmarks such as one of America’s oldest universities Mary Washington University. Other sites included the clock tower, Robert E. Lee’s stronghold during the civil war and the Kenmore plantation, which was once home to George Washington’s sister.
Local and regional entertainment performed along the course, motivating and encouraging not only the runners as they passed but the thousands of spectators who came to cheer-on the runners.
“The entertainment along the course kept your mind off the run,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Webb, a military policeman at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
Despite following a relatively new racecourse when compared to older events like the Boston Marathon, the Historic Half is already known for Hospital Hill – its own little heart breaker.
Near the 10-mile marker, Hospital Hill looms with an increase in elevation of 200 feet between mile markers 10 and 12, said Faram, and because it is at the end of the race runners struggle to the top and many are tempted to slow down or stop running.
Carey was not impervious to the challenges of the hill, but found his own way to conquer it.
“With all these Marines around, you don’t want to embarrass yourself,” said the 52-year-old Carey, who lost 92 pounds in the past year. “I’m not going to quit or stop or slow down. Not in front of all these Marines, are you kidding me?”
Carey pushed through the pain and surprised himself by finishing the race in less than two hours with a time of 1 hour, 57 minutes and 2 seconds, good enough to finish in the top 25 percent.
The first male to complete the 13.1 miles was Wyatt Boyd, a Washington native finishing with a time of 1:13:53. Todd Neville of St. Augustine, Fl., finished in second with a time of 1:17:23. Jesse Stump, a Catonsville, Md., native, came in third with a time of 1:18:11.
The top three female finishers were Lanni Marchant of Okemos Va., with a time of 1:21:27, Lori Buratto of Spokane Valley, Wa, who finished with 1:25:50 and Katie Fabish of Springfield, Va., finishing third with the time of 1:26:17.
Cary said that he could see himself working towards this year’s Marine Corps Marathon taking place Oct. 30 with a goal of finishing in less than four hours.