Michael Wardian Sets US 50k Road Championship Record

A quick shout out to fellow Arlingtonian, Michael Wardian, who set the US 50k Road Championship record this weekend at the US National 50 championships in Camusett State Park, NY. Iron Mike broke the existing 27 year old record by 49 seconds with a time of 2:55:05. In the process, Mike also broke ultra-speedster, Greg Crowther’s Camusett course record set just last year by 9 and a half minutes!?

Alex Tilson holds the official American 50k record at 2:51:48 (5:32/mile!) set in 2002. La Sportiva team member, Chuck Smead, STILL holds the unofficial (though well respected) record of 2:50:46 from way in 1976. In March 2002, just eight months before Tilson’s run, the American UltraRunning Ass’n published The Strange Story of the American 50K Road Record – a piece well worth reading.

[Final paragraph expanded for detail and clarity 3/4/08 5:45 p.m.]

There are 17 comments

  1. Lisa Smith-Batchen

    Mike ran such a great race..hope is ok with you I am going to post the same blog:) Mike is a Dreamchaser and a very good friend.Go Mike Go!!!Lisa

  2. Trail Goat

    Mike,I can hardly wait to watch W$ unfold this year.Go for it, Lisa. BTW, Tucson is great. I could hardly believe all the trail options you have down there!

  3. Trail Goat

    Anon,Thanks for the heads up re the American 50k road record. It lead to my uncovering the interesting tale of a split record. I guess the current record is like when two boxing associations crown two world champions in the same weight class. Who will step up and unify the American 50k road record? (Not it!) Wardian? Crowther? Steidl? Fraser? A pure marathoner?

  4. Trail Goat

    Oops… Steidl still German, huh? The three and a half hours of sleep on the red eye last night is starting to mess with my head.

  5. saschasdad

    Wow, very strange, indeed. I think it takes a pretty consistent sub-2:20 marathoner to go sub-3 for 50k. Wouldn't it be cool to see Paula go for it?

  6. Trail Goat

    Wow, it would be sick if Paula ran a50k hard. Honestly, I can see her running sub 2:45. Ok, since she'd probably only give it one shot – sub-2:50. I think a consistent 2:25-6 marathoner would have a pretty good shot at a sub-3:00 50k on a flat course under good conditions.My goodness, I can't imagine how much these 50k performances would hurt. A trail 50k is one thing for a wimp like me … not too painful for most of it, but a road 50k would be pretty much a road marathon except with another 5 miles of suffering! Ouch!

  7. AJW

    I was at Caumsett and Mike lapped me twice (the second time on the finish line!) and I believe he would have easily run 5 min faster if the winds were not blowing. There were sections of the course with 25mph headwinds. Interestingly, the places where you would have expected tailwinds were more sheltered and therefore the tailwind benefit was not as great. Nonethless, it will be a great run and it will be fun to see what Mike does at WS.AJW

  8. AJW

    Don't get me started! Look at the last 15 years and the odds favor the experienced guys. We'll see what unfolds but my money's still on Hal, Erik and Graham. And then, of course, there's the Masters' race….

  9. Trail Goat

    Everyone,Let's agree not to discuss how Western States will shake out for at least another 23 days. At least then it will only be 3 months until the race. That said, WS and, indeed, most 100s greatly favors experience both general and course-specific. This same issue of fast "outsiders" versus the experienced outsiders comes up every year and I, for one, enjoy watching how it unfolds each and every year! However, being risk averse, I'll always put my money (if I were to put money) on the experienced insiders.

  10. Mike Mason

    Good point, AJW. And, by the way, I never did thank you for the hash browns at Brighton last September. They did the trick (well, I think one of them did, as I had two and I think the second one came up sometime in the mid 80s)… In any case, thanks, and I hope to run into you sometime this summer.

  11. Buzz

    I'm glad someone mentioned Chuck Smead; they guy was (is) an absolute monster.He may still hold the High School Marathon record (after almost 40 years!). Along with Jay Johnson (another guy no one has ever heard of), Chuck went to Europe for the mountain running scene back when no one had any idea it existed.He's been living in Mosca, a nano-town with no gas station and the worst weather in Colorado's San Luis Valley, where he sells rare stamps for a living and sometimes trains with Laura Haefeli (3rd at the recent World Trophy Race in Switzerland).Finally, Chuck was on the 50+ Mens team at the recent X-C Nats in San Diego, where their team literally outscored the rest of the United States combined, finishing 1-2-5-6-8-11th.

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