Mike Wardian #FKTIsrael 2019 – Day Two

Mike slept like a baby last night! I have known Mike for years and we have often laughed at his typical 4-hours a night sleep… He was in his sleeping bag not long after 8pm after day-1 and then had the ‘best sleep ever!’

The first day of the #FKTIsrael had been a tough one – far tougher than Mike and the crew had anticipated. However, doing any challenge, nothing is guaranteed and to be honest, one has to expect curve balls. The secret is all about how you bounce back.

Day 2 was a planned 103 (ish) km and that was pretty daunting after a long day 1 covering just over 80km. The plus, there is always a plus! Was that the terrain today was considerably more runnable and in principal, would suit Mike.

We immediately had a curve ball to the day! The ‘INT’ route early on passes through a military base and we were told late the night before that the route would be closed between 0730-0900. Bad news for any early start to make up time. However, it did allow the whole team more sleep. A plus for all.

Mike started his day at 0720 from the place he had finished the night before. It was clear, not only had Mike recovered well, he was motivated for the day. He started setting a good pace and maintained consistency, like a finely tuned metronome.

In contrast to day 1, the first marathon was relentlessly boring and featureless, a test for the mind as much as the legs and lungs. But Mike has an ability to switch off and get the job done. Today, we really witnessed why he is such a great ultra-runner.

Mile-after-mile clicked off and at each checkpoint he relaxed for 5-10 minutes, drank coconut water, ate avocado, hard-boiled egg whites, some Pringles, a little bread, hummus, vegetables and then he would fill his bottles and go.

 At one point, he received a call from home, greeted his wife and wished his kids a ‘g’day’ before they left for school.

The highlight of the day came at Vardit and Barak Canyons. These natural wonders are truly spectacular, no, mind-blowing. Here Mike was accompanied by Uri, a good-friend of Zoli’s and an ultra-runner. The main reason being for safety as there are many water pools that require you to swim, ladders, via Ferrata and other technical terrain.

Once out of the final canyon, it was flat miles all the way to the end. But Mike at no point lost pace or commitment. He was a man on a mission, and he completed the day in darkness before 20hrs (1945 tbc)  having completed the target distance for the day. The final section under strong winds and sand storms.

Mike impressed the whole team today, not only for his powers of recovery, his skill as a runner but by his generosity for all those who helped him, all those who said hello, and anyone who showed an interest. He is a true gent!

It’s Groundhog Day now, eat, wash, prepare kit and recover. It’s all to do again tomorrow.

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You know you are an Ultra Runner when… ?

I asked the question on Facebook and I got an incredible response. In actual fact, the answers keep coming in, so, I will try to add and update on a regular basis.

But here goes… ‘You know you are an Ultra Runner when… ?’

Look at some of the names who have posted too. A few Talk Ultra interviewees crop up.


Holly Rush you consider running to your friend’s house for lunch and she lives 30 miles away…

Carl Wibberley A marathon is a training run.

Ben Wittenberg You sell your road bike to buy a Fenix gps.

Wayne Sylvester 26.2 sounds like an aid station.

George Knights you can count your toenails on one hand.

Chris Beaven You’re diagnosed with atrial fibrillation…

Ceri Careful Roberts When you’ve vomited all over yourself, then get going again.

Dave Douglas One minute you swear you’ll never do it again, the next your’e looking at a bigger challenge!

Brock Currie Instead of memorizing what street you need to turn right on, you need to remember what city the street is in.

Nick Molina half of the dishes you take out of your dishwasher are water bottles.

Todd Fultz When you substitute (in conversation) hours ran, instead of miles ran…..

Scott Harris you take the time to read all the comments nodding approvingly at each one.

Carter Swampy You have wiped with a $15 pair of socks.


Karin Walder when you Change your Garmin to a Suunto because the Garmin only lasts 8 hours.

Tony Villano When you’re reading posts from Talk Ultra.

BE Murphy The length of the Adelaide Hills just because it is beautiful…

Sam Robson How do you know you’re an ultra runner and not a trail runner though? Or a mountain runner? Or a mountain trail runner? Or a…

Scott W. Kummer When duct tape becomes an option!

Sarah Girard Am I an ultra runner when I think of running through nature for 100 km as romantic and beautiful? I have never done more than 46km though.

Иван Димитров when… you run a mountain 100k, then hop on a mountain bike and do the route a second time in hope to make it to the cut-off time…

Gary Robbins You spend three hours listening to a podcast about ultra running…entirely while running…and it wasn’t even your long run.

Catra Corbett waking up at 3am and thinking you have to get ready to run a 100 miler. Realizing you don’t have another race for 3 weeks. LOL.

Nige Webber When you injure yourself and are told not to run for 2 weeks and you interpret that as one week.

Paul PT McCleery When you have to repeat the distance of your next race to everyone !

Jeffrey Wong you take pictures of your disgusting feet and then post them on Facebook: proudly!

James Short Your long run involves a train ride to get home.

Jeremy Spainhour That moment you realize you know more about running injuries than your PT… and you stop going to him.

Tammy Clauser Wuerth When you feel like you’re like giving birth to a baby. Then you say you will never do it again …but after a short break and a little foreplay you are ready to do it all over again:-)

Adam Lloyd When you need 3 shits in one race.

Dreama Lehman when you are not even sore after putting a 90 mile week in!

Russell Thomas when you go to bed before the dog!

Todd Fultz When you find yourself after 4-5 hours running singing to the trees, & every now then you swear something’s singing back!

Helen MacDermott Peeing in a toilet seems … unnatural.

Francis Pardo 1. You are signed up for more than one ultra at any given time. 2. When you think of a race and say: that’s equal to “x” number of marathons.

Ed Kumar When a dark moment lasts 20k or more and you’re fine with it.

Majo Majo You have more shoes than your girlfriend.

Chris Bair When there is no such thing as too much.

Johannes Kind When you run the last 20K on a sprained ankle.

Steve Blythe You check Talk Ultra on FB when you’re out with your wife!

David Mould 26.2 miles is speed work.

Tim Steele Your race outlasts your Garmin and two sets of headlamp batteries.

Ben Brindley When you decide running dusk till dawn is a great idea.

Darren Hutchings People say there’s something wrong with you.

Tim Steele You have more difficulty with the taper than with the race.

Neisa Condemaita When you apply super glue to your blisters so you can keep running.

Paul Beck a 4+ hour training run is your weekly long run, followed up by 2+ hours the next day.

Matthias Kodym you peel off the skin from your heels and think about the next run.

Scott W. Kummer you utter the words “only a 50”!

Paul Wathan you pick 210km with 14,000ft of elevation gain in a race to complete as your first distance over the marathon! 

Mike Saporito 3-4 hour runs are recovery runs.

Mark Connolly You are injured.

Marissa Harris Only a 50 miler, It’s just a day race!

Steve Perkins You finish your first 50 miler then go home to sign up for a 100.

Martin Bell You just keep going!

Dat Le 50K’s become training runs for 100 milers.

Kate Driskell You enter a 50km race 3 weeks before the race, having done no specific training for anything in the last 5 months, having not run further than 9km in the last  five months, have never run a marathon by itself ever, run the race, start at the back and pass half of the field of athletes in the last 5km of the race and run at pretty much the same pace through the whole 50km. Then enter an 80km race in 6 months time to have something to do after you get all of those pesky triathlons out of the way (they’re cross-training anyway, right?).

Steel Town Runner …the Barkley Marathons doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea!