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Long Distance Legends Meet at MCM50K

The inaugural MCM50Kwill burst onto the 31 mile course under the iconic MCM arches this October. Alongside 1,700 ultra participants will be two world renowned runners, Michael Wardian and Dean Karnazes.

The MCM50K is the first of its kind, an urban ultra in Arlington, Virginia and the nation's capital with all the same on-course benefits of a marathon. Event registration sold out in under one hour, attracting enthusiastic runners from all over the US and big names in running. When the runners cross the MCM50K finish line, it will make the event the largest ultra in the United States by nearly double the current record.

“More and more people are looking for what’s next after they’ve run a marathon, and I think this is it,” shares Wardian.

Wardian is hoping to add the MCM50K top finish to his already impressive resume, which includes finishing over 400 marathons and ultras with dozens of top finishes, three 50K and one 100K titles from US Track and Field championships. Wardian is known for outlandish running feats and being a positive character in the running community, most recently running the entire 90-mile Capital Beltway.

“It's an opportunity to put myself out there, have a great experience, get a chance to see even more of beautiful Washington DC, but also to try to get on the podium.” With over a dozen MCM finishes, Wardian hopes this is his time to grasp the lead sharing, “I’m super excited. The Marine Corps Marathon was my first big city marathon I ever did in my life and it’s been a really important part of my career. This is my opportunity to have another chance to win the event, especially with inaugural 50K, a distance I’m quite comfortable with.”

As a northern Virginia native, Wardian hopes to pull from his hometown advantage. “I have a lot of friends and fans who are going to be taking part in the event with me and family that'll be out on the course supporting.”

Standing next to Wardian at the start line will be friend and competitor, Dean Karnazes. “Dean and I have worked and traveled together for nearly a decade. I’m looking forward to hanging out and experiencing this together,” offers Wardian. “I’m sure he’ll be inspiring people to get out there and put their best foot forward.”

Karnazes is known for being a New York Times bestselling author, named one of TIME magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World,” one of the fittest men on the planet according to Men's Fitness, and for accruing a wild list of incredible running accomplishments including running 50 marathons in all 50 states in 50 consecutive days.

“The two of us have a really interesting and very close relationship. It’ll be great to see him on the start line,” shares Karnazes. “Mike and I gravitate towards the same type of events, and from a competitive standpoint it’s unbelievable what he’s accomplished.”

Runners will get to interact with Karnazes during the ultra event. He looks forward to enjoying the ultra at a comfortable pace, taking in the inaugural event and connecting with his fellow runners. On the eve of the MCM50K, runners will have a special opportunity to interact with Karnazes and hear motivation from him at the Carbo Dining In. Tickets to the military-style carbo-loading can’t-miss event are available online.

“The MCM50K is somewhat a spirit of exploration and innovative thinking. It's something new and different and that’s exciting.”

Runners will get the chance to interact with Wardian and Karnazes at the MCM50K start line and during their 30+ mile journey. Running an inaugural event is special, and running alongside a few of running idols makes it unforgettable.

Here are five things to expect when sharing the start line with these famous feet.

  1. Community Connections.The event weekend draws nearly 150,000 spectators and Marines are at every mile ready to cheer on the runners. “It’s a local run to me and its part of our community. It’s something that I look forward to every year,” says Wardian.
  2. Shared Stories.Each runner has a reason and a story propeling them to run for hours. Karnazes tells, “My goal is to enjoy it every step of the way, engage with others and really immerse myself in this inaugural experience.”
  3. Spotlight.You get to share the pavement with running legends and make history of your own by being one of the inaugural finishers. Wardian says, “It’s an opportunity to be one of the groundbreakers and to be a part of something from the very beginning.”
  4. Motivation and Marines.“I feed off his energy and we keep each other going,” Karnazes shares of Wardian. Going the distance takes teamwork and leadership. The MCM community of runners and the Marines have your back.
  5. Views.The course covers countless landmarks, national treasures and scenic parks. Wardian excites, “I'm definitely going to take a look around the beautiful course and I like to cheer everybody else on.”

It takes courage and commitment to #RunWithTheMarines and to go the distance alongside such accomplished athletes as Wardian and Karnazes. For those so motivated, limited 50K spots remain available through select MCM Charity Partners.