Pacing Boston With Mike Wardian

April 11, 2024

For some athletes in the running community, Patriot’s Day also signifies a very important event: the Boston Marathon. As one of the six World Marathon Majors, the Boston Marathon is not only the oldest annual marathon in the world but is also one of the most well-known races, for its challenging course, historic landmarks, and electric atmosphere. For the second consecutive year, Team Injinji Athlete and ultrarunner Mike Wardian is running the 2024 race alongside Dylan Bourne, a dedicated athlete with autism.

Team Injinji Athlete Mike WardianTeam Injinji Athlete Mike Wardian
Mike Wardian holding up his 2023 Boston Marathon completion medal.Mike Wardian holding up his 2023 Boston Marathon completion medal.

Why is the Boston Marathon so special to you?

Mike Wardian: The Boston Marathon is the race that inspired me to dream big. Boston was the race that got me into competitive running and pushed me to see what I was capable of. The Boston Marathon was the first marathon I wanted to run. I qualified to run Boston in my first marathon at the 1996 Marine Corps Marathon and then ran it in 1997. I was hooked.

Reflecting on your experiences pacing athletes in long-distance races, what aspects of it bring you the most joy?

Mike Wardian: I think pacing at any distance brings me joy, especially helping someone achieve something they are not sure is possible. Helping them battle through the challenges and reminding them that they are capable of incredible things is so cool.

Could you share the story of how you and Dylan met?

Mike Wardian: I met Dylan through the Achilles International organization. It's a charity that helps athletes with disabilities train with guides and compete in races.  

How can runners get involved with pacing athletes with disabilities?

Mike Wardian: There are so many ways for runners, triathletes, cyclists, and endurance athletes to get involved. I have worked with the following organizations, and they are all great.

Do you have a particularly memorable moment from running last year’s Boston Marathon with Dylan and the Achillies International team?

Mike Wardian: We had so many incredible moments at the 2023 Boston Marathon. Some of my favorites were listening to yodeling before the start to get psyched up, and then at 23 miles when Dylan realized he was going to break three hours and achieve his goal. That was beyond spectacular.

What life lessons have you learned through running alongside athletes like Dylan?

Mike Wardian: Everyone is going to have challenges, at some point. Having a bit of extra help can make a huge difference. We can do amazing things.

What pair of Injinji socks do you plan to wear on Marathon Monday?

Mike Wardian: My favorite marathon socks are the Ultra Run Mini-Crew and the Trail Midweight Mini-Crew.