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Wardian Comes Up Short of World Treadmill Record

Michael Wardian, the run-crazed 34-year-old Arlington father who won the USA 50K and 100K National Championships earlier this year, couldn’t reclaim the world record he once held as the world’s fastest treadmill marathon record.

At the Fairfax Pacers Running Store on Sunday, Wardian was 90 seconds ahead of the world record pace at the 20th mile, but repeated treadmill errors led him to quit after 25.9 miles when he was short of the 2:21:40 time.

Wardian actually first set the treadmill marathon record at the Pacers Running Store in Arlington four years ago, running a 2 hours, 23 minutes marathon. Nearly two years later, on June 24, 2006, fellow American Eric Blake established a new record with a 2:21:40.

So after running approximately a dozen marathons already this year, Wardian decided on Thursday that he wanted to reclaim the record. So officials at Pacers borrowed a treadmill from a local gym, and a crowd of 15-20 people showed up.

Most treadmills restart after 60 minutes, which cost Wardian valuable time and by mile 23, it was apparent that after the former Michigan State lacrosse standout started staggering and inadvertently hit the stop button, it wasn’t going to be his day.

Wardian originally wanted to go for the 50-kilometer world record time held by Norway’s Helge Hafsas, 3:10:19, which was set on Dec. 10, 2005. But Wardian scratched the double attempt at the last minute, electing to focus on the marathon record.

Wardian has run approximately a dozen marathons this year, even running marathons on consecutive days in Washington, D.C. and Knoxville, Tenn. He won the Run for the Red Marathon on Sunday in Stroudsburg, Pa. in early May, giving him his third first-place marathon finish in 2008. He also recently won the Mad City 100K in Madison, Wis. and USA 50K championships in March.

In fact, Wardian loves running so much that he named his son Pierce Miler, and after watching a competitor in Toronto, decided to incorporate his then-10-month-old son. In May 2007, Wardian set a new Guinness world record in the Fredrick (Md.) Marathon for running while pushing a stroller, even amid a nasty headwind. On a day with 35 mile per hour gusts, he broke the previous record, set in 2004, by finishing in two hours, 42 minutes and 21 seconds.