U.S. ultrarunner Mike Wardian has started his 5,100 km journey across America, from west to east, along U.S. Route 50. His journey began on May 1 in San Francisco, and Wardian hopes to dip his feet in the Atlantic in two months by the fourth of July (U.S. Independence Day).
The 48-year-old from Arlington, Va., has dreamed of running across the country for most of his life. He planned to take on this challenge in 2020, but the pandemic pushed back his plans. This will be Wardian’s longest run ever, an attempt inspired by his run across Israel in 2019 and the fictional movie character Forrest Gump.
Wardian plans on running nearly 80 kilometres per day, with no rest days, to reach the salty shores of Delaware’s coast.
Wardian’s father, Richard Wardian, is supporting him on the run, trailing him in an RV the entire way, preparing meals, doing laundry and offering moral support.
Wardian is running to raise money for World Vision, an organization that, among other things, works to provide clean and safe drinking water to families across the globe. His goal is to raise $100,000 for the charity.
The ultrarunner is known for several incredible feats on foot, which include participating in the World Marathon Challenge (seven marathons across seven continents in seven days), setting the treadmill world record of 2:23:58 in 2004 (which has since been lowered to 2:17:56 by Tyler Andrews), and he is a multiple 50K and 100K U.S. ultrarunning champion.
There are several ways to check on Wardian’s progress during his two-month journey from coast to coast. He can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, plus there is also real-time tracking along with a detailed day-to-day schedule (which includes his start and endpoints).