Michael Wardian: SF Marathon and World Marathon Challenge Winner

Michael Wardian – Running Tirelessly

The San Francisco Marathon is one of those bucket list races for most road runners. Running across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is such a unique and wonderful experience. Circumnavigating the beautiful City by the Bay with Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, cable cars, and surrounded by ocean is truly magical.

San Francisco Marathon 2019 Double Marathon Winner

For some folks, including Michael Wardian, 26.2 miles is just a warm-up. In July 2019 Michael won the San Francisco Double Marathon – 2 X on the course for a total of 52.4 miles! And this was after several other races in 2019 including the World Marathon Challenge – 7 marathons in 7 days, on 7 continents! Michael won all of them! And even that wasn’t enough, as you’ll hear about what he did immediately afterwards.

7 Marathons, 7 Days, 7 Continents Winner

Michael’s running career includes some crazy, funny records, and much, much more.  He is certainly unique in his goals and the running path he follows. We may not all have the same goals and push that Michael does, but in this episode he gives great information and inspiration that even we ‘mere mortal’ runners can use to improve our performance and goals. 

Questions Michael is asked:

2:45 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite workout? 

3:41 How did you transition from lacrosse to running?

7:39 Was the relatively low cost of running a factor in starting to run?

8:36 When was your first Boston Marathon?

9:01 What are some of the highpoints of the last 20 years of your running?

11:16 Can you give us a detailed recap of the San Francisco Double Marathon you ran in July 2019?

16:01 What was your combined time for the two marathons?

17:34 What about this year’s World Marathon Challenge?

21:15 Was that a record timewise?

21:51 Do they change the courses?

22:17 What can you tell us about your minimal sleeping?

23:48 Have you heard anything about the long-term implications of limited sleep?

25:06 How did simultaneously suffering from multiple stress fractures and multiple hernias after having been relatively injury-free affect you?

30:51 How do you include your family with a sport that takes you all over the world?

33:53 Is it expensive to travel with the whole family?

35:11 Will your kids remember these adventures at their age?

36:14 How do you manage fatigue and pain as an ultrarunner?

38:18 Do you back off your training if you have pain? And how do you differentiate between racing with pain and training with pain?

40:44 What tips do you have for runners who are having a bad run or race to just stick with it?

42:54 What’s the benefit of writing your goals down?

43:24 How do you combine and balance your day job with all of this?

47:04 What is next for you and what’s on your Bucket List?

45:59 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite book(s), video or resource? 
  3. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?


“I love running because it’s very visceral and it’s very real. There’s no subjectivity to it; your time is your time. People can make it super-complicated, but at the end of the day it’s pretty simple.”

“In 2012 I had five stress fractures of my pelvis and five hernias simultaneously and I was in pain for most of 2012 actaully and running through it, still running over 100 miles a week and competing all around the world and working full time.”

“The greatest part about running is that you don’t have to go at a certain time or with anyone; you can just go when it works for you and when it’s convenient. It’s really cost effective, because (with) an hour run, you can get a good workout whereas if your cycling or something else, it just takes longer.”

“Already in 2019 I race over 1,300 miles and 38 different events, so if there was a time that a little break was needed, that was probably it.” 

“There are different types of pain. Anyone that’s run knows that there’s good pain and bad pain. It’s one of the things as an athlete you have to decipher: Is this helpful? Is this just fatigue, am I just tired? Or is this something serious? That’s a skill of being in tune with your body and really knowing what it means.”

“In racing, there’s always going to be pain and discomfort; that’s just part of what it means to put yourself out there and compete. I look forward to that. That’s why I like to race as much as I do. I embrace that challenge, like, ‘How long can I last?’, ‘How long can you hold your hand to the fire.’”


Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast: 

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page


World Marathon Challenge

San Francisco Double Marathon

Mike Wardian Interview with Mario Fraioli

The Potomac Heritage Trail

The Arlington Loop

Book: Daniels’ Running Formula by Jack Tupper Daniels

Book: The Lore of Running by Dr Timothy Noakes

Arthur Lydiard’s Amazon Author Page


Follow Michael on:

Michael’s Website





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