|CREDIT: Competitor Magazine|
Run a marathon. Win the marathon. Head immediately to the airport and fly to another state. Run another marathon and finish in the top 10. Seems like an average day for most, right? Well, this is exactly what ultrarunner and marathoner Michael Wardian did last weekend.
Beginning his day in San Antonio, Texas, Wardian won the Rock n’ Roll Marathon in 2 hours and 31 minutes and then jetted straight to Las Vegas for a “victory lap” at their Rock n’ Roll Marathon finishing in 10th place. Crazy? Maybe.
Michael is no stranger to eccentric running feats. He has held the world record for the fastest time running a marathon in a Spiderman suit, another for running the fastest marathon while pushing his son in a stroller and also the fastest marathon on a treadmill. The man is also known for participating in an insane amount of races, about 30 to 50 every year. But this year, he was coming back from injuries – five stress fractures in his pelvis and five hernias. We talked with Michael to see what prompted him to attempt two marathons in one day and how it felt.
Why did you decide to run two marathons?
I’ve set some ridiculous records, running races dressed up like Spiderman and such. I thought about running the Vegas marathon in an Elvis costume, which could have been funny. But my friend Mike at Competitor Magazine pointed out that there was a large group of people doing the half-marathon at both San Antonio and in Vegas and asked if I would consider running both. I said, “Okay, let’s try it!”
How did your attempt go?
Everyone was so excited and I had such a great time. I would love to try it again and do a bit better, though. Running in San Antonio was really hot and the humidity was at 100 percent. I burned a lot of energy there.
My legs felt amazing when I was in Vegas, but my stomach was a little off, so if I could rectify that, I would be set. I was drastically slow in the last few miles; a friend of mine even passed me in the last kilometer. But all in all, it was really fun to be part of it.
What did you do between the two races?
I did a short interview at the finish line with some local media and quickly found my brother, who was my crew. He and I hightailed it out of there. I ran back to the hotel, took a shower and tried to eat. Our friends took us the airport where we waited in the most ridiculously long security line.
The terminal didn’t have many food options, so I just drank water, but I should have forced myself to eat something. I needed the calories. And of course, I was in a middle seat. I ate a bagel, checked in and then went to the race in Vegas, which is such a unique experience. It’s pretty interesting to be able to run down the Vegas Strip with 30,000 of my closest friends.
Is this your favorite accomplishment?
I think it’s unique! I’d never done this before. I’ve obviously done the distance in one day, but this experience was really interesting and was kind of inspiring for people. Plus, it’s an accomplishment people can grasp. For me, that’s really what I’m into – trying to challenge what people think is impossible. It’s the whole “that joker can do it, maybe I can too” mentality.
Where’s your next race?
I’m headed to the JFK 50 Mile Race in Maryland. It was the first ultra I ever did, so it has a special place in my heart. I try to do it as much as I can. They actually have these really cheesy sweatshirts if you complete ten years of this race and I really want one. So far, I’ve finished six times.
What glasses do you wear when you’re running?
I like the Stunts for running! And I cycle in the Treks every day.