Michael Wardian

THE MAGIC OF THE NIGHT - fast like a superhero

Photo: Mark Dadswell/Wings for Life World Run

Michael Wardian is one of the world’s best marathon runners. But it’s only after night falls that he feels like a superhero on a secret mission. How does he do it?

The American won his first Wings for Life World Run in 2014 in Florida in blazing sunshine. He won his second in Melbourne in the depths of night, running almost 13km more in the process.


He’ll go far: Michael Wardian winning by night in Melbourne

© Robert Snow/Wings for Life World Run

At the beginning, he was scared of going for night-time training runs. “Would I find my way? Would I be able to see enough? Would I be visible enough? Who would help me if something happened? Animals are often more daring at night than they ought to be.”

But his concerns soon dissipated. Preparation and the right equipment, he learned, are half the battle. Then the advantages of running at night are huge.

“All your senses are really sharp. Your activity level is through the roof. If I’m out running at night, I feel like a superhero with magic powers. Then you get that tingling sensation you get from doing something exciting, almost like you got when you were a kid. Everyone thinks you’re in bed, but you’re outside running about. That gives those training runs a little extra kick.” 

Wardian’s nocturnal sorties are extensive. “Sometimes I’ll be out for five or six hours. The city feels different at night.”


“If I’m out running at night, I feel like a superhero with magic powers”
Michael Wardian, 41, Night Rider

He has one vital tip for anyone who wants to venture out of their daylight comfort zone. “If you’re planning to do long night-time runs,” he says, “learn to eat at all times of day and night.”

Michael Wardian will compete at the 2016 Wings for Life World Run in Japan, which, conveniently, starts at 8pm.

Bright Stuff: Handy items for a run in the dark

Wings for Life World Run 2016

Can’t make it to any of the 34 cities where the Wings for Life World Run will be held on May 8, 2016? Be part of this global event with a Wings for Life World Run Selfie Run! Just download the app for iOS or Android and the virtual Catcher Car will set off behind you.


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03 2016 The Red Bulletin

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