Arlington’s resident running superhero Michael Wardian is preparing to attempt another outrageous athletic feat.
Having already run 10 marathons in 10 days, nearly qualified for the Olympics, run across Israel in a record-breaking 10 days, won a marathon while dressed like Elvis, set a world record for running back-to-back marathons on all seven continents, and set another world record for fastest indoor marathon, Wardian is planning to go full Gump and run across the continental United States this summer.
Wardian, 45, tells ARLnow he’s hoping to run the roughly 3,000 miles from coast to coast — potentially from San Francisco or Los Angeles to one of the Mid-Atlantic beaches — in 60 days.
For the record, Wardian noted, that would not be a record-setting pace. Setting the record would be difficult since, between his daily ~50 mile runs, Wardian intends to telework for his day job as an international shipbroker.
Accompanying Wardian on the journey will be a small crew, who will help document the feat and provide logistical support, and perhaps some other runners. Attempting the run, including a stretch through the desert, at the beginning of the summer “is probably going to be terrible,” he said, but he’s excited about the “big, epic” challenge.
Though the exact route is being worked out, while Wardian conducts more research and talks to other people who’ve done the coast-to-coast run, one possible path is to take the Lincoln Highway all the way across the country.
Wardian did not totally rule out turning around and running back across the U.S. after completing the first transcontinental run, like the fictional Forrest Gump, though he said “my wife would probably disown me if I did that.” Another possibility, according to Wardian, should this run go well: attempting the same kind of coast-to-coast run on all seven continents, including Antarctica.
As for how he’s managed to continue running ultra-marathon distances at a seemingly impossible pace for the past 25 years, Wardian credited clean living, a vegetarian diet, and a bit of luck.
“I’ve taken pretty good care of myself, avoiding injury,” he said. “I know when something doesn’t feel right.”
Photos courtesy Michael Wardian
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Photo for Allison Bredbenner
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Fresh off running seven marathons on all seven continents in just seven days, Arlington resident Michael Wardian isn’t slowing down.
Wardian, one of the county’s most prolific athletes, says he’s planning to run three more marathons in D.C. this week. He’s planning to finish one each day, starting tonight (Thursday) and running through Saturday.
Hope you all might be able to come out and maybe even run with me. You don’t have to run the whole way.
I am running a marathon as follows, as of now:
Tonight-February 7, 2019 @ 1900 HRS
February 8, 2019 @ 1200 HRS(Noon)
February 9, 2019 @ 1200… https://t.co/BaB2wz67Uh
— michael wardian (@mikewardian) February 7, 2019
Wardian already managed to win the men’s side of the “World Marathon Challenge,” compiling the fastest total time across marathons in Miami; Santiago, Chile; Cape Town, South Africa; Perth, Australia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Madrid, Spain; and Nova, Antarctica.
With the events this weekend, he’s trying to set a new world record for the fastest time across 10 marathons in 10 days.
He previously set a world record in the 2017 World Marathon Challenge, and has managed all manner of other impressive running feats over the years. The 44-year-old works as an international shipbroker for his day job.
Today’s marathon will start at 7 p.m., giving Wardian some much-needed time to rest, while the other two will each kick off at noon.
Anyone hoping to watch can gather at an event hosted by Pacer’s Running at the Hains Point Picnic Area in D.C.’s East Potomac Park.
Photo via Facebook
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