Many have completed a marathon, but no-one has done anything like Michael Miraglia’s Strongman Marathon.
The fitness coach and CrossFit athlete covered 26.2 miles on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in February by completing a variety of exercises.
The challenge, which Miraglia dreamed up himself, included a mile of a single exercise such as tire flips, lunges, handstand walks and burpees, in between which he ran a mile wearing a 20-pound vest.
The 29-year-old completed it in just over nine hours and 18 minutes – far quicker than he had originally anticipated.
“Once you get out there, you just forget about it all,” Miraglia tells CNN Sport.
“You just live in the moment of like: ‘Okay, here’s a list of things I need to get done right now. Nothing else matters. Let me start chipping away at this.’
“You forget about the conditions. You forget about this beautiful backdrop. All you focus on is that list and objectives that you have.”
‘My shoulders were trashed’
Miraglia says the most difficult part of what he’s calling the world’s first Strongman Marathon was the mile-long handstand walk.
He chose to tackle it near the start of the challenge, but that didn’t make it much easier.
“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he says. “Starting off with that handstand mile, my shoulders were trashed. I couldn’t feel them. They were numb. I was walking 10 feet at a time, it took forever just to finish that alone.
“Typically, handstand walks, I’m very proficient at them. I can walk pretty much whatever distance unbroken. But I was moving five and 10 feet, sometimes I’d fall right down.
“I woke up the next day and my wrists were so inflamed from all those repetitive burpees, all that handstand walking, I’ve never felt them throb before like that.”
‘This is what’s fun for me’
It’s not the first time that Miraglia has taken on a crazy fitness challenge.
A long-time fitness fanatic, he completed a 500-pound deadlift followed by a mile run inside five minutes (four minutes and 49 seconds, to be exact) a few months before the Strongman Marathon.
He wants to set himself more challenges throughout the year, the main aim being to inspire other people to get active.
“Hopefully that just sparks an inspiration for someone else to get off the couch and move themselves, whether they’re going to flip a tire for a mile or do whatever they think is fun,” Miraglia says of his Strongman Marathon.
“That’s all it really comes down to. This is what’s fun for me. And hopefully it sparks the interest for someone to find what they find is fun.
“I’ve been getting a bunch of new messages from people saying: ‘I love what you’re doing, I love what you represent, this pushed me to do this for a mile and this for a mile.’
“And it may not be on my level of fitness, but that’s totally fine as long as they’re moving. That’s the whole goal of this.”
Watch the video at the top of the page to see Miraglia’s Strongman Marathon, which involved:
Mile 1: 20lb vest run
Mile 2: Burpee broad jump
Mile 3: 20lb vest run
Mile 4: 120lb dummy fireman’s carry
Mile 5: 20lb vest run
Mile 6: Handstand walk
Mile 7: 20lb vest run
Mile 8: 200lb sled push
Mile 9: 20lb vest run
Mile 10: 200lb sled drag
Mile 11: 20lb vest run
Mile 12: 150lb dummy fireman’s carry
Mile 13: 20lb vest run
Mile 14: 200lb sandbag carry
Mile 15: 20lb vest run
Mile 16: 250lb tire flip
Mile 17: 20lb vest run
Mile 18: 300lb yoke carry
Mile 19: 20lb vest run
Mile 20: 2x35lb dumbbell carry
Mile 21: 20lb vest run
Mile 22: Kettlebell toss
Mile 23: 20lb vest run
Mile 24: Lunges
Mile 25: 20lb vest run
Mile 26: 200lb dummy fireman’s carry
Mile 26.2: 20lb vest run