Back in October of this year, Spartan brought together 24 elite athletes for a novel competition that consisted of both physical and mental obstacles. Twelve women and twelve men from all different backgrounds including obstacle course racing, CrossFit, runners, triathletes, professional football players, and ninja warriors, spent five days battling for $100,000 in prize money.
Mike Wardian, an elite ultra runner and member of Team Injinji, was one of the contenders invited to participate alongside big names such as Spartan World Champion Lindsay Webster, triathlete Faith Cooke, Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker, NFL Linebacker Curt Maggitt and CrossFit athlete Herman Demmink. With over 24 years of running and fitness experience, a 2:17:49 marathon best, multiple Guinness World Records and ultra marathon podiums, owner of 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents record averaging 2:45 per marathon, and 15 FKTs (Fastest Known Times), Wardian definitely belonged in this pack of diverse athletes.
Although Wardian was only given a short two weeks’ notice, he accepted the invitation and made the trek to Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, Vermont, where he tested his strength and endurance with long trail runs, open swims, OCR challenges, mountain biking, tug of war, wrestling, DEKA functional fitness challenges, and more.
In the past Wardian has participated in the Spartan Stadium races and the Spartan World Championship Beast in Lake Tahoe. He is also an ambassador for the Spartan Trail Series and trains in CrossFit to compliment his running program. But where did he line up in the Spartan Games? How far did he get in the 11 grueling tasks amongst his competition? On Dec. 2, Spartan Games premiered their first episode of the 4-part series on the Spartan YouTube channel with highlights showcased on the Spartan Instagram page.
So what’s next for this incredible athlete?
Wardian sees more FKTs in his future, along with the JFK 50 miler, Hardrock 100, and a run across the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, which he is aiming to run in less than 50 days total. Don’t be shy and follow Mike on Instagram @mikewardian. Drop him a comment or send him a message and he will be sure to respond back, as Mike loves inspiring the trail and ultra communities!