The 7th annual The North Face Endurance Challenge Championship race held in the scenic Marin Headlands is one week away. The signature GORE-TEX 50 Mile race category taking place December 7 offers up the largest prize purse in the sport with a stacked field of elite ultra runners vying for a rich $30,000 prize purse ($10k, $4k, $1k for each of the men and women’s top-3).
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, finishingthird 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’s “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, healso works full-time as an International Ship Broker for Potomac Maritime, LLC.