Mike freaking Wardian! The man, the myth, the runner. He’s run over 500 races, set the record for running 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents… and a whole lot more. Mike paused mid-stride to answer a few questions so give him a shout out and get to know Mike just a little bit better.
You’ve qualified for the Olympics and run in the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, set national and world records, and the list…goes…on. What’s your proudest moment?
“There are so many. I think setting the record for running 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents was really incredible and very unique and a great challenge.”
How many races have you run?
“I have run over 500 races. It has been incredible to have had the chance to compete so often and for so long. Started racing in 1995. Insane.”
How do you balance family life, a job, and running? How does your family support you in all of your efforts?
“I think balance is always a challenge but I am a huge believer in getting up early and getting after it. I am usually starting my first workout by 5:30 a.m. and then I will run before work and if possible at lunch. I also used to run commute so looking for easy productive ways to incorporate training into daily life.
My family is a huge supporter of my running and events. They are always helping to get me ready, during the events they are there crewing or even just cheering. I feel so fortunate to have them in my corner.”
What keeps you going for such long distances day in and day out?
“I am really interested in seeing what I am capable of and continuing to evolve as an athlete and person. The longer distances I think give you time and perspective to really see what you are made of and strips away all preconceived notions.”
Who do you look up to?
“I really am inspired by passionate people that are doing what they love. It could be a chess player, like Magnus Carlsen, a rockstar like Wesley Schultz-Lumineers, Jane Goodall, Katherine Switzer- the first lady to run the Boston Marathon.”
You spend so much time running, and with that comes the need for fuel and hydration. When you’re out there on your own, how do you handle hydration and keep the engine running?
“I definitely am running and workout a lot and when I am out there I am always wearing some type of Nathan hydration vest or handheld. Having easy convenient access to water, gear & snacks is crucial to allowing me to have the freedom to do what I want to do.”
We have to ask if you were to run a Ragnar race, who would you pick to be on your team?
1) Beth Harmon-Queen’s Gambit, I am super into chess so I would love to have the chance to chat with her.
2) Charles Darwin, we are going to do a family trip to the Galápagos Islands in 2022 so it would be really cool to chat with him before we go. I can only imagine everything that he could tell us.
3) Roger Federer (Tennis player) He is my wife’s favorite so it would make her day and I love his style.
4) Will Ferrell- How fun would it be to run with Frank the Tank.
What’s next for you?
“I am excited to get back to racing when possible. I have the Hardrock Hundred Mile in July, the Snowman Race in Bhutan in October and I am hoping to do a bunch of the world marathon majors in the fall like Chicago, Boston, New York, and Marine Corps to name a few.”
What’s the next big goal for Mike Wardian?
“The next huge goal is to run across the USA. I am aiming to do the transcontinental in 2022.”