Marathon notebook: Man sets world record on treadmill
Less than six months ago, world-class distance runner Michael Wardian was dealing with acute pain in his pelvis and legs.
Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh, he set a world record.
Wardian completed the equivalent of a half-marathon on a treadmill in one hour, 8 minutes, 50.47 seconds in front of a crowd that grew to approximately 200 at the Pittsburgh Marathon Expo at David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
“All through 2012 I had this weird feeling like my stomach was falling out,” Wardian, 38, said. “And then this weird pain in my legs. ... I ended up with five stress fractures in my pelvis and five hernias.”
The resulting rest cut into the training for the Arlington, Va., native, who is a three-time U.S. 50K Champion and won the U.S. 100K Championship in 2009.
Wardian broke his own record of 1:10:42, which he set last year at the Boston Marathon Expo. To do it, he kept a pace of 5:15 miles through most of his session, cranking it up to better than 12 mph as his “race” wound down.
“I was able to do some damage on the record,” said Wardian, who used a treadmill that could go up to 16 mph. “It felt really good to run fast.”
Larissa Park had set course records for 5Ks before. But never in her native hometown.
“To have it here is really important to me,” said Park, who is from Mt. Lebanon but has been living outside of Boston.
Park completed Saturday morning's race in 17:18, beating women's runner-up Mary Dell of Boiling Springs by 11 seconds.
The men's winner was Zach Miller of Brookhaven, who ran a 15:53. William “Woody” Snoberger of Ridgeley, W.Va., placed second at 16:11.
“The first mile is kind of when I looked around to see who's there,” Miller said. “It was just Woody. He hung in there. ...You just try to hold on, push yourself.”
Some 31 hours into his 50-plus-hour commitment to exercising, Wayne Kurtz was feeling it.
“My feet are a mess, everything's a mess,” Kurtz said. “But that's OK.”
Kurtz was running for charity. The 45-year-old McCandless man was accepting donations in exchange for covering 150 miles over a 48-hour span on a treadmill in the convention center followed by running the marathon Sunday morning.
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.