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Michael Wardian - The Ultramarathon Man

  • Published: 06/21/2010

He once ran 7 marathons in 9 weeks, winning 3. He set the Guinness world record for fastest marathonwhile pushing a jogging stroller (2:42:21), with his then 10-month son. In 2007, two weeks after the U.S. Olympic Trials, he won back to back ultramarathons—including the JFK 50-Mile, America’s largest ultramarathon. Michael Wardian, ’96, has emerged as a world-class long distance runner. A resident of Arlington, VA, Wardian races while working fulltime as an international shipbroker. “My goal is the make it to the 2012 Olympics,” says Mike, who was the top U.S. finisher in the 100K World Championships in Belgium in June. A native of Oakton, VA, Mike was recruited to MSU to play lacrosse. “I loved everything about MSU, except the weather,” he says with a chuckle. “I was in James Madison College and we had great teachers and students. MSU was an incredible environment. As an athlete, I had experiences not everyone had.” In his junior year, a friend’s mother showed him a photo of the Boston Marathon. “I decided I wanted to run in the race,” he recalls. “I started practicing and I’ve been getting better and better ever since. Now I’m aiming to get the American record.” Mike is on track to reach his goals. From 2006 to 2008, he won three straight National Marathons in Washington, DC. In 2008 he won both the national 50K and 100K championships, and earlier this year he won the U.S. 50K championship in Madison, WI. In 2008 he won the prestigious White River 50-Mile Trail Championship in Crystal Mountain, WA. With Mt. Ranier in the backdrop, Mike was one minute ahead of the field when he reached Skookum flats, a 6.4-mile dirt road over which he opened up a six-minute lead. Mike then charged up the rocky trail over the final six miles to win by nearly seven minutes. His time of 6:52:50 was the third fastest in race history.

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