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Wardian followed more than four minutes back in 2:23:46, with Patrick Fernandez of Alexandria another three minutes behind in 2:26:37.

As Ware was crashing the finish tape, Dengersa was firmly in the lead for the women. She dispensed Shiferaw after 23 miles, when Shiferaw was hampered by her sciatic nerve problems on her right leg.

Dengersa ran only 2:45, but she has had a busy month. After winning the Army Ten-Miler, she then recorded a personal-best 2:37 at the Baltimore Marathon two weeks ago. And she said she is not done with marathons this season.

“Maybe I run in Richmond in two weeks or Philly in three weeks,” said Dengersa, who was born in Ethiopia but is a Turkish citizen who trains in Washington.

Emily Shertzer of Jonestown, Pa., caught Shiferaw in the closing miles and made a run at Dengersa, coming up 27 seconds short in 2:45:55. Shiferaw was third in 2:47:30 as the top 10 women all run faster than 2:57.

Nearly 22,000 started the 26.2-mile race, including Drew Carey, the comedian and host of “The Price is Right.”

In a word, Carey called his first marathon a “nightmare.” Hoping to run sub-four hours, Carey cramped up miserably and struggled to a 4:37:10. But he was good-hearted about his morning at the finish as the Marines played “The “Price is Right” jingle.

“I’m happy I finished, I didn’t quit,” said Carey, a former Marine who has lost a sizeable amount of weight through running. “Sure, I’m disappointed with my time. I was ahead of the four-hour pace guy but at 15 miles, my quads seized up. I had to stop three to four times.”

Nonetheless, Carey said he would give the marathon another chance, no kidding