Mike Wardian of Arlington, Virginia and Susannah Gill of Great Britain have won the World Marathon Challenge, which took place on seven continents over the last seven days. Wardian finished the final marathon, in Miami, last night in 2:53:03. Gill finished in 3:26:34, winning all but the first of the seven marathons (she was second in Antarctica on January 31), setting a new world record in the process, with an average finishing time of 3:28. (The previous women’s record of 3:55 was held by Becca Pizzi of Belmont, Mass.) Wardian holds the world record for men, of 2:45, from 2017.
I did it!!!! 🏃♀️💪
Miami marathon done @WorldMarathon77!!
Finished 777 with a 3:26:24 marathon along South Beach and set a new World Record in the process!!
— Susannah Gill (@TheIronLadyRuns) February 7, 2019
The World Marathon Challenge started on January 31 with the first marathon in Novo, Antarctica, which Wardian won in 3:16:43. The 40-participant group moved on by chartered plane to run marathons in Cape Town, Perth, Dubai, Madrid, Santiago and Miami over the next six days. All 40 participants finished the daily marathons within the allotted time of seven days.
This is what happens when I have to do a 150m sprint finish at the end of a marathon…..🤢
Luckily @MikeAntoniades and the @RunningSchool team have had me doing sprint intervals for months so the engine was there when I needed it!! #amazingcoaching #onwards #marathon777 🏃♀️ pic.twitter.com/mvTAHr5ef5
— Susannah Gill (@TheIronLadyRuns) February 5, 2019
Gill, 34, has been running for 10 years, and has many marathons and ultramarathons under her belt, including the London Marathon 10 times, with a personal best of 2:58. She is fundraising for SportsAid, a charity that supports young British athletes.
Wardian is a rare example of an ultrarunner who excels at (and seems to enjoy equally) trail and road running. He ran at least 50 races in 2017, including 17 marathons, an attempt at the Barkley Marathons, the Pikes Peak Marathon, the Leadville 100, the Fenway Park Marathon in Boston, and the 400K Gobi Ultra, to list only a few. His marathon PB is 2:17:49.
After six marathons, Peter Vabrousek of the Czech Republic was in second position in the men’s results, and David Field of Australia was third.
In the women’s results, Kristina Madsen of Denmark was second, and Stephanie Gicquel of France was third. It should be noted that though final results were not available, as of marathon number six out of seven, Gill and Madsen were in third and fourth place overall.
More information can be found on the World Marathon Challenge Facebook page, here.