Michael Wardian

Ultra Runner

Michael Wardian started running and competing in triathlons in 1996 after finishing his varsity lacrosse career at Michigan State University, where he played attack for the Division I team.

Michael’s first marathon was the 1996 Marine Corps Marathon. With a time of 3:08, Wardian qualified for the Boston Marathon and has since completed more than 150 marathons, more than 60 Ultra Marathons on three continents, and 20 triathlons, including IronMan Lake Placid.

Michael is a three-time United States Olympic Trails Qualifier ( 2004, 2008, 2012), and in 2011, set his personal best marathon time of 2:17:49 at the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota.

Across his career, Michael has won over 30 marathons, including wins at the Rock & Rock USA SunTrust National Marathon, Mercedes Marathon, Shamrock Marathon, Lower Potomac Marathon, San Francisco Marathon, Kauai Marathon, Hartford Marathon, and Delaware Marathon. Michael has also set several Guinness World Records including the record for fastest marathon with a pram (jogging stroller), fastest marathon on an indoor track, fastest marathon on a treadmill, and finally, fastest marathon dressed as a superhero.

Michael is a five-time member of Team USA for the 100K World Championships (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) specifically leading Team USA to a gold medal in 2011 and finished second overall for a silver medal.

He is a two-time member of Team USA for the 50K World Championships (2009, 2010). Both years, Michael earned the bronze medal for the United States.

Michael has also competed in some of the toughest races on the plant, including the Marathon Des Sables, finishing third overall in 2010, and the Badwater Ultra Marathon in Death Valley, also capturing a third place in 2011.

Michael was deservingly selected as the USA Track and Field “Ultra Runner of the Year” in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In addition, he was second in voting for Ultrarunning Magazine’s “Ultra Runner of the Year” in 2011. Michael was also named the International Association of Ultra Runners’ “Ultra Runner of the Year” in 2010.

Michael, his beautiful wife, Jennifer, and two young sons, Pierce & Grant, reside in Washington, D.C. – where he grew up. Beyond his successful running career, he also works full-time as an International Ship Broker for Potomac Maritime, LLC.

Hometown: Arlington, VA

Nickname: “Iron Mike”

Ambition: To never stop exploring my boundaries and pushing the limits of what I and other people think is possible.

Three TNF Products You Always Pack: The three TNF things that I always bring on a trip are my “Base Camp Duffel Bag” – it rocks and works like a charm. The second thing is my TNF “Better Than Naked Shorts” - they are the best. I love them and the way they feel. The final thing that I like to bring is the “Hydrogen Jacket” - nothing is lighter but as warm.

Favorite Snack: Fruit - Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Grapes, Watermelon, etc..

Favorite Book: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

How I Relax: Hanging out with my family.

Personal Mantra: Stay After it.

Most Humbling Moment: Competing in the Badwater Ultra Marathon on July 12, 2011…133 miles and not knowing if I could finish. On a more general note, getting hurt and not being able to walk across my office.

Favorite Destination For Your Sport: I think my favorite destination is somewhere I haven’t run before but from the places I have the chance to visit I would say it is a tie between Kauai and the Sahara Desert in Morocco.

Favorite Movie: Lost in Translation

Favorite Magazine: Runner’s World & Running Times

Inspiration Within the Sport: Marco Olmo

Dream Vacation: Taking my family to Alps and Venice

Which Causes Are You Passionate About: I am passionate about fitness and getting kids involved in the outdoors. I work with local running clubs and running stores to promote running and a healthy lifestyle. I am also interested in getting parents outside and exercising with their children to try and show people that you can have a full-time job but still follow your dreams and achieve more than you think you can.

Proudest Moment Of Your Career: Qualifying for my first Olympic Trials in 2004 and finishing the Badwater Ultra Marathon.

Favorite Trail: My favorite running route is called the “Good Loop” and is my lunch run near my office, great mix of trails, road, hills and rocks.

Theme Music: I like a bunch of different music but when getting ready for a race, nothing gets me as excited as “Rage Against the Machine” and follow that with some Johnny Cash and John Denver.

Training Nutrition: Banana, Almond Butter, Honey, PowerBars

Favorite Piece of History in Your Sport: The reason that the marathon is 26.2 miles is because the Queen of England wanted to watch the finish and the race used to be 26 miles so they added the 0.2 miles so the race would finish in from of the viewing area.

Three Things People Should Know About Me: I am vegetarian. I used didn’t run growing up I played lacrosse (attackman). I like to travel.

Words to Live By: Time to Shine

  • 6 time National Marathon Champion-Washington, DC (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Bronze Medal at 2009 & 2010 50K World Championships-Gibraltar, Gibraltar
  • 2nd Place at the 2011-100K World Championships-Italy (Gold Medal-Team)
  • 3rd Place at 2010-100K World Championships-Gibraltar, Gibraltar (Silver Medal-Team)
  • 6th Place at 2009-100K World Championships-Torhout, Belgium
  • USATF National Champion: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 USATF 50K National Championships
  • USATF National Champion: 2008-USATF 50 Mile Trail Championships
  • USATF National Champion: 2008-USATF 100K
  • USATF 100K World Team Member: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • 11th place at Comrades Marathon-2011 (Wally Haywood Medal winner & 1st USA Athlete)
  • 3rd place at Marathon Des Sables-2010 (Highest finish ever by a USA male athlete)
  • 2004, 2008, 2012 Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier

Additional Accolades:

  • International Association of Ultra Runners’ Ultra Runner of the Year, 2010
  • USA Track & Field’s Ultra Runner of the Year, 2008 & 2009 & 2010
  • New York Road Runners’ Ultra Runner of the Year, 2009