|Me in white socks. Mike in greensleeves. He lapped me often.|
He has also finished the highest of any American in history in the grueling Marathon des Sables, a 250 kilometer stage race in the Sahara desert and just recently qualified for the Olympic Trials in the marathon yet again with a 2:17 at Grandma’s Marathon. He is one of a select handful of runners who are helping to bring running, and more specifically, ultrarunning, to the masses. A quick google search will show you what he has been able to achieve in just a few short years.
I had the chance to sit down with my former running club mate and ask him a few questions.
Dane: As you have undoubtedly been told to race less frequently and focus on one race to attempt to run faster, does your huge Personal Record Grandma's Marathon this past June while continuing to do things your way, vindicate your desires?
MRW: I don't feel vindicated, just happy and really excited. I feel like I am running and training the way that works for me and until I no longer get the results that I want and expect I will keep doing things as I have but to see results and tangible substantial gains is really inspiring and just pushes me to work that much harder.
Dane: How did you figure out that you were able to be such a prolific running machine?
MRW: I don't really consider myself a running machine. I just like to train, run and race. That means in order to do all the things I hope to accomplish I have to bounce back fast. I think that my desire to be out there and exploring my limits really helps me achieve the goals I set out for myself.
Dane: Your humble attitude is why so many people enjoy being around you, but whether you consider yourself a running machine or not, you are doing something, few if any could ever do. Without a doubt you are working very hard to do what you do but were there any signs of this talent (e.g., family members who are fantastic runners) prior to embarking on your own journey?
MRW: Thank you again for the kind words, I guess I should have known I had some talent as I always be one of the first guys done with our runs for lacrosse (At Michigan State) but never thought I would run a marathon or ultra marathon. Then I went to my buddy, Vince Voisin's house and his Mom, Vicki showed me some pictures of her doing the Boston Marathon. I had always been into "Wide World of Sports" and that stuff but never thought I would do those things until that day. I decided that I wanted to run the Boston Marathon and Vicki gave me a packet to set me on my way. I then trained for and ran the Marine Corps Marathon and was able to qualify in about 3:08 or so. After, qualifying I went to Boston and I was hooked and decided to see just how good I could get. I guess I am still trying to see just how fast, strong and far I can go.