Forrest Gump was one my favorite movies of all time. Now a real Forrest Gump like man is the king of long distance running. His name is Mike Wardian from Arlington, Virginia and he even has the Gump look. With little or no news coverage, Mr. Wardian ran and won seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. When I heard about this, I had no idea that would be even possible when you think of seven days and seven continents. Did he have a Lear jet? How did he sleep? And how does a guy stay in a plane for hours and get off and run a marathon, crazy stuff. His wins came in Antarctica, Chile, Miami, Madrid, Dubai, Sydney and Marrakech. During that worldwide race, he averaged a 2:45:56 time for the seven races beating a field of twenty three men and women. On day eight he ran another 16.6 to get to 200 miles.
Wardian is no youngster, but at 42 years old he is the most diverse long distance runner in the world. That is amazing in itself when you think of all the thousands of runners he competes against. He ran over 4500 miles in 2016 which is enormous but Wardain plans on running more this year. In addition, he is looking to run the Panama Canal and Pilgrim’s Trail in England in the future. He is always looking to find unique races like the Marathon Des Sables where he carried all of his food and gear on his back across the Sahara Desert and a race across the North Pole.
Wardian is one of those guys that keeps pushing the envelope in his sport. In fact he held the records for running a marathon while pushing a baby stroller and on a treadmill for years. He has won so many races, indoor and outdoor that he constantly gets asked to run less and work to bring his times down. He could be one of those guys who can run a marathon in 2:14 but that would not be like Mike. He feels if he only ran two races a year he could get hurt then not be able to run at all. Those guys who run those unbelievable times are the gazelles and Wadain is the camel that can run forever.
Wardian has set the new standard for endurance excellence and it is a testament to recovery. He is quick healer and maintains a vegan lifestyle and more of foam roller guy to work out his tightness than stretching. He is drug free and won’t take any pain medicine because he won’t risk testing. Mike Wardain is will be doing this type of stuff for the rest of life, kind of like the Jack LaLanne of running. A workhorse of an athlete that inspires others. Run Mike Run!
Image – www.runnersworld.com