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Wardian Trying Out for the Olympics

by ARLnow.com January 13, 2012 at 11:35 am 3,879 11 Comments

Prolific marathoner, international shipbroker and Arlington resident Michael Wardian is trying out for the 2012 London Olympics.

Wardian, who ran in 26 races of 26.2 miles or longer in 2011, will compete in the Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston on Saturday. The 37-year-old told The Daily that starting marathon running in his 20s, rather than earlier in life, is helping his endurance now.

“I’m not burned out,” Wardian told the tablet publication. “Many top guys start running when they’re 8 or 9 and have been competing at a high level for a long time. A lot of people in their late 30s think they’re done with sports. I’m still setting (personal records).”

  • DarkHeart

    Really good guy. Best of luck MW.

  • Michael H.

    Go get ’em! Make Arlington proud!

  • CrystalMikey

    Alright Mike, hopefully we’ll see you in London!!!

  • Mayday Malone

    This article is really lacking details on what a big deal this is. To be invited to qualify, male runners must have posted a qualifying time of 2hrs 19 minutes or better in a marathon (or 1hr 5 minutes in a half marathon). Only 158 American men met these qualifications and a smaller number than that will actually be toeing the line in Houston. And the fastest three runners tomorrow will comprise the US Olympic team. Best of luck to Michael – this is a great accomplishment.

  • Daniel

    Good Luck Wardian!

  • DarkHeart

    The official website shows 6 men qualified “A” over the 2:19 mark. Also it appears there is even a 10K mark that will get you into the field. I defer to actual runners for clarification.

  • Michael H.

    Wardian ran a qualifying time for the Olympic marathon trials at Grandma’s Marathon (the real name of the race in Duluth, MN). Then just a month later, he finished third at the Badwater Ultramarathon, perhaps the toughest running race in the U.S. and one of the toughest in the world. Badwater is a 135-mile race that starts in Death Valley (at 282 ft. below sea level) and finishes at Whitney Portal (elevation of 8,360 feet above sea level).

    In October, he won the USA 50-Mile Championships, setting a course record. So not only does he run long races frequently, he does very well at them. Not all of these ultrarunners run so often and so well, and not all of them can do well at both ultramarathons and standard marathons. Those are almost like two different sports, with competitive marathoners running at a faster pace than ultrarunners do in their events. Wardian does both.

    Wardian’s qualifying time at Grandma’s was 2:17:49. Even with that kind of speed, it might be difficult to make the Olympic team. The top U.S. marathoners might run sub-2:10:00. But Wardian is still one of the best “megamarathoners” out there. Megamarathoners run marathons/ultras frequently. Most elite marathoners carefully limit the number of races they do each year, some only running a couple each year. They train for and peak for each race.

    Wardian doesn’t peak for any of his races from what I can tell. There just wouldn’t be enough time in his racing schedule. In one interview, he said that his friends often tell him to peak for some races, to see if he could be even faster at the marathon distance. But he doesn’t want to. He wants to take advantage of the opportunity to race frequently, in case any particular race doesn’t go well.

    Wardian is already well-recognized in the ultrarunning world. He was named the USA Track & Field Ultrarunner of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2010.


    In the running and ultrarunning world, Michael Wardian is “kind of a big deal.”

  • Michael H.

    For updates at each mile, check out the official site:


    At the Mile 3 mark, Michael Wardian is in 43rd place, not too bad considering that he’s going up against the very best marathoners in the U.S. Can he move into the top 30 or higher?

    There is no live broadcast. NBC will broadcast coverage from 3-5 pm this afternoon (assuming the hockey broadcast doesn’t run long).

  • Kony Thornheiser

    The server for the race results is overloaded right now. Anyone know how MW finished?

  • Kony Thornheiser

    Strange. Only splits through Mile 8 are posted at this time.

  • Michael H.

    2:21:50, for 62nd place out of 85 finishers (112 started).

    He said he pushed it early in the race but felt it in the last 5-6 miles.

    In true Michael Wardian fashion, he is running the Houston Marathon tomorrow, the day after running the U.S. Olympic marathon trials. Most people would avoid running another marathon for several weeks or even months.


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