This past weekend, Michael Wardian completed one of the wildest doubles you will ever hear about.
He raced Colorado’s Leadville 100, one of the toughest 100-milers in the United States, and a mountain marathon on back-to-back days.
The Leadville 100, which features 4,800m of climb at altitudes, for the most part, at 3,300m, started at 4:00 a.m. on Aug. 19. The Pike Peaks Marathon then began at 7:00 a.m. on Aug. 20. With a 27-hour gap between the two, Wardian spent 20:18:57 of that time racing the Leadville 100 where he placed 10th overall after what he describes as “altitude and bathroom issues (14 times) but kept fighting and digging.”
Wardian completed the Pikes Peak Marathon in 6:02:55, with 4:16:39 of that spent on the ascent portion of the race. The driving time between Leadville and Manitou Springs, the site of the Pikes Peak Marathon, is approximately two hours. Though it’s coined as a marathon, Pikes Peak is much tougher than a flatland race as it’s held at high altitude and features an average climb of 11 per cent.
From the category of wow: Michael Wardian ran the Leadville 100 Mile yesterday AND the Pikes Peak Marathon today… with a 6.5 hour break. pic.twitter.com/NYigoq4HoR
— iRunFar (@iRunFar) August 20, 2017
The double is not that surprising given Wardian’s running resume. The 43-year-old from Arlington, Va. earlier this year averaged 2:45 for seven marathons run on seven continents in one week. His race schedule on his website, which is missing a number of races, is packed.
According to one Facebook post, Wardian is the second runner to have done the double with the first dating back to 1993.