Michael Wardian finished running ten marathons in ten days at a 2:55 avg pace and then Sunday ran a 17:01 5k race! Wow!
Michael Wardian is one of a kind. Most people would think that running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents would be enough.
On Saturday, Wardian set the pending world record for completing 10 marathons in 10 days, with a cumulative time of 29 hours, 12 minutes, and 46 seconds.
That is an average of 2:55:17 per marathon. And it’s more than 43 minutes faster than the previous record (29 hours, 54 minutes, and 56 seconds), set by Brit Rik Vercoe in 2013.
Before heading off to do the seven in seven in seven, he called a running friend. “I’d like to add three more. I think I can break the record,’” Michael told Farley, owner of Pacers Running stores. So Farley mapped out an eight-loop, USATF-certified marathon course around Hains Point and invited D.C.’s enthusiastic running community to watch history in the making.
Wardian crossed a makeshift finish line on Hains Point on Saturday afternoon, completing his 10th marathon in as many days, with a time of 2 hours, 44 minutes, and 33 seconds (averaging 6:16 per mile). It was his fastest race of the entire journey.
“I’ve been trying to think of how to put it in context so that people can understand how difficult this is,” said Farkey. “If you did a 30-mile week, that’s a strong week for most runners. Michael did close to that distance every day for 10 days straight. He ran more than 262 miles in the last 10 days. And he finished the last 5K of a marathon in under six-minute pace. That’s insane.”
Wardian did all of this on just 20 hours of sleep over the past 10 days. While most of that deprivation can be attributed to his rigorous travel to all seven continents, he slept in his own bed, at his home in Arlington the past three nights. Apparently, that isn’t enough to get a full night’s sleep.
“Too excited,” he explained after the race. “I’m just ready to go.”
This is perhaps what makes Wardian most impressive. He is absolutely relentless.
While elite marathoners tend to do one or two key races in a year, Wardian doesn't hit the brakes. In the distance running community, he’s well known for his punishing race schedule of ultramarathons and marathons.
To successfully tackle an odyssey like this, Wardian kept a rigorous training schedule, which included finishing the one of the most difficult 100-mile courses in the world—the HURT 100—just last month.
“The training for each event just builds on itself,” he explains. “I ran the HURT 100 back in January, which was 27 straight hours of running.”
But Wardian’s training was only part of the equation. There were plenty of other challenges he’d have to face, including hydration and nutrition, travel logistics, and weather.
“During the seven marathons in seven continents in seven days, the most challenging part was staying on top of my nutrition,” says Wardian. “You’re really at the mercy of where you are and what food is in front of you.”
“I just eat whatever my body will tolerate,” he adds, noting that he did get sick during his marathon in Santiago, Chile.
But with such a tight travel schedule, it was just a matter of pushing through the tough parts, get enough calories to fuel his next run. For a vegetarian like Wardian, this can be doubly challenging.
The weather also threw some curveballs at Wardian. “The temperature fluctuations were tough,” he says. “One day might be cold, and the next is hot. While usually your body gets the chance to acclimate to those conditions, this time it was just go-go-go.”
The very next day after finishing 10 marathons in ten days, Wardian didn't sleep in or take a day off from running. But instead, he competed in the Love The Run You're With 5K with his vizsla, Rosie, near his home.
Wardian finished ninth overall in 17:01 (a 5:28 per mile pace). The machine can'
posted Monday February 11th