Nowhere in the world is there such an array of eight long distance runners at one site trying to establish a global feat during the Armory’s NYC Indoor Marathon World Record Challenge Presented by New York Road Runners that takes place at noon on Saturday, March 25.
Those top elite and professional marathoners preparing for the upcoming 211-lap chase at the historic Armory include:
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- Eric Blake, who is currently the world record holder in the marathon … on a treadmill. His world record treadmill time is 2:21.40. He is a 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.
- Christopher Zablocki, who prior to competing in the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials ran 13 marathons in 13 months. Most recently this Dartmouth graduate captured the 26th Annual Carlsbad Marathon in California with a 2:20.12.
- Laura Manninen of Espoo, Finland is eying a world record opportunity despite only 10 years removed from being a “Sunday jogger:” Ever since the 43-year-old Manninen qualified for the European Championships her story is being closely followed by the Finland media.
- Kate Pallardy, who is a Central Park Track Club member and a 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier. The lone NYC representative in this race owns a personal marathon best and Olympic Trials Qualifying time of 2:40.15 which she set in the Chevron Houston Marathon in 2015. She also posted a top 10 TCS NYC Marathon finish in 2014.
- Tony Migliozzi, who is the 2016 runner-up returning for the NYC Indoor Marathon. If not for Malcolm Richards’ 2:21.55 winning time, Migliozzi’s2:24:02 during 211 laps around The Armory’s track would be the world record for the indoor marathon.
- Matt Gillette, of Orefield, Pa. who qualified for last year’s Olympic Trials with a time of 1:04.38 in the 2015 Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia and is a six-time Division II All-American in track and cross country.
- Aaron Lozier: of Albany, NY, who holds the University of Albany record in the mile with a 4:05.16 in 2009.
“With the current field intact,” Migliozzi said, “the record will more than likely go down.”
Spectators are encouraged to attend and there is no charge. This year’s World Record Challenge can be seen live on www.ArmoryTrack.com.
“I would love to regain the indoor marathon world record,” said Wardian, of Arlington, Va., who owned the indoor marathon world record with a 2:27.21 (in 2010) before Richards broke it last year at The Armory. “That is a legit time that you guys (at The Armory) threw down last year so we will see.
“I love to do extreme things that scare me. I find there is nothing better than pushing my body to the absolute limits. In view of that, I thought doing the World Marathon
Challenge and running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents with would test me like no other event had and it did. The event inspired, humbled, empowered me and each day broke me but I kept getting back up.
“The most difficult obstacle that I had to deal with during the World Marathon Challenge was lack of sleep, I think in slept approximately 16 hours over seven days.”
In January Wardian completed his World Marathon Challenge with 30 other runners that started in Antarctica and continued to Sydney, Australia, Argentina, Miami, Madrid, Morocco and Dubai. Wardian’s average marathon time of 2:43.56 smashed the previous World Marathon Challenge mark average of 3:32.25.
Now his latest marathon endeavor takes him to New York City and the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory where another world record awaits.
The women’s title will be between Manninen and Pallardy. Last October, Pallardy finished the Hartford Half Marathon in an impressive 1:15 and is preparing for a run at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials.
“I know that she is tough and has far better PRs than I do,” Manninen said of Pallardy “It’s great to have her with us sharing the sweet pain moments.”
Along with prize money for the top three men and women in the Indoor World Record Challenge, there is a $5,000 bonus for achieving a world record mark. On Sunday (March 26) there will be an Open marathon for individual runners, and the relay teams are also eligible for $4,000 of prize money.
“A race of 211 laps sounds so crazy that I could not resist to register,” said Manninen, who this past weekend was thrilled with her 1:15.17 in a half marathon in Haag, Netherlands. “I take it more like mental exercise rather than running challenge.”
Added Migliozzi, of North Canton, Ohio: “I don’t think there is much advice you can give someone who is about to embark on a 211-lap journey on an indoor track. My best advice would be to try and stay focused the whole time. You don’t want to get into a bad spell when you’re running 200 meter laps. That would be hard to come back from.”
After the first hour of this indoor marathon, runners are redirected to run the opposite direction to compensate to compensate for the repetition of the four turns.
“I think physically running on a track it is pretty much the same as the roads,” said the 42-year-old Wardian, who is an international ship broker. “What you don’t get is any variance. But I run a lot on treadmills so I am used to that.
“Mentally, I am very strong and I don’t mind running around in circles and I have lots going on in my head so I don’t really get bored or anything. I am not very concerned about that aspect of it. What you need to be ready for is that if you fall off pace it is hard mentally to know that and hear it every 38-45 seconds.”
The 2nd Annual Armory NYC Indoor Marathon Presented by the New York Road Runners will take place March 24-26 with eight different relay time slots with teams competing in a marathon distance.
The Armory’s NYC Indoor Marathon Relay already has generated more than 100 teams — squads can have up to eight runners – from the metropolitan and corporate community compared to 37 teams who signed up during the inaugural year. Time slots of 8 a.m.-noon and 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. on March 25 are both sold out.