Mike Wardian is quite simply one of the world’s best ultra runners. Name an event and the chances are Mike’s done it. He’s competed all over the globe, raced at the US Olympic Trials, and holds numerous world records.
Mike grew up in Virginia, graduating from Oakton High School, where he took part in and won his first ever race – a Turkey Trot with a free school lunch up for grabs. However, Mike’s running story isn’t one of love at first sight. He played lacrosse as a kid and only started running (“to keep fit”) in his junior year at Michigan State University, and didn’t run competitively until after college.
It all began in 1996, when Mike heard that his friend’s Mum was running the Boston Marathon. He thought it sounded like fun, so trained for the Marine Corps Marathon and qualified for Boston by running a 3:06. He competed in his first Boston Marathon a year later in 1997 (he’s since ran it 19 more times!) and was completely hooked from that moment onwards.
Since then, Mike has competed in nearly 300 marathons and over 100 ultramarathons all over the world. Indeed, racing as much as humanly possible has become somewhat of a trademark for Mike. In 2019 alone, he ran 20 marathons, including setting a world record for running 10 marathons in 10 days on seven continents, and running across the entire country of Israel in 10 days, setting a new FKT for the Israel National Trail.
Mike has competed in the US Olympic Trials three times (2004, 2008, and 2012), has won the 50k and 100k US National Championships, and is a four-time USA Track & Field Ultra Runner of the Year.
Perhaps most unbelievably, Mike manages to do all of this whilst holding down a full-time job as an international ship broker (rumour has it he hasn’t slept since 1996). He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two teenage boys, who often travel with him on his wild adventures
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