VCM Elites: Mike Stadolnik

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Racing

Continuing our preview of the invited field for the Vermont City Marathon (5/29 in lovely Burlington, VT), we turn our attention to elite masters runner Mike Stad… Stadalanak… Stadolnik. Yeah, Stadolnik. Here’s Mike’s profile, courtesy of the VCM website:

VCM 2016 elites Mike StadolnikTown: Plainfield, CT
Originally from: North Haven, CT
College & Year: University of Rhode Island,

Occupation: Manufacturing Manager / Applications Engineer
Club Affiliation: Mohegan Striders

Recent Race Highlights: 2014 Hartford Marathon: 2nd Place Masters
2015 Vermont City Marathon: 3rd Place Masters
2015 Hartford Marathon: 1st Place Masters
Marathon PR: 2:34:46 in 2015 at Hartford Marathon

We sent this high-mileage masters machine a few follow ups in order let our good readers get to know him a little better. Find out what his favorite distance is, what he think is the toughest part of VCM, and, most importantly, who he thinks could sell a Thigh Master to Mr. T. We really cover everything here:

First time at VCM? What does it mean to be a part of the invited runner field?

This will be my second VCM and also second time as an invited runner. Bumped into Michael Wardian at last year’s Boston Marathon and he talked me into it trying the VCM. What a great race and I’m so glad to be invited back.

Pretty interesting that Wardian talked you into it. Did it take much convincing? How was his sales pitch? I’m kind of picturing it starting off with Mike complimenting you on your shoes, and then next thing you know you’re driving away with a commitment to VCM along with a box of old VHS movies and some timeshare at a condo in FL. He’s that good!

I didn’t take too much convincing for Wardian to talk me into running my first VCM. He was all,“If you like Hartford, you’re gonna love VT! Talk to Joe, he’ll let you in…” The guy is good, he could sell a thighmaster to Mr T. Managed to walk out without a new pair Hokas but was sold on the race. Now that you mention it, I did find a pile of VHS tapes in my backpack. Hmmmm.

What do you love most about the VCM?

I love the atmosphere surrounding the race. Everyone gets really onto it and there’s a great attitude all around. Not to mention it’s also a beautiful course.

What goal are you aiming for?

Feeling great! Looking to drop a low 2:30’s or better.

What’s your biggest strength as a runner? How do you think that translates to the VCM course?

I’m a high milage runner, usually peak out at 130-140 miles per week. I feel that this makes me a strong and consistent runner. The last leg of the race is the toughest, lots of turns on tired legs. This is where I hope to dig in and move up in the ranks.

What is your favorite race distance? Which one is your best one? Why?

By far my favorite distance is the marathon. Hartford Marathon is my PR, I work in Hartford and run parts of the course daily. It’s my stomping grounds…

How do you juggle family, career and training all while competing at such a high level?

I’m married but have no kids, not unless I can count two needy cats. I do work long hours and have a horribly long commute. Usually I run 7-9 on my lunch hour then drop a double when I get home. The #1 thing that makes my training possible is an understanding and supportive wife. Thank you Christina!

In a race like this, what’s more important, time or place?

To me place is more important. That is among my peers, I’m a masters runner. Heat, rain, and wind will effect everyone so I don’t feel chained to the clock. Don’t get me wrong though… I’d love a PR.

Is it enough to just be the top masters runner, or are you disappointed if a few wily open runners get away from you?

It’s enough to be top master but I like to chase down anyone I can. If you’re going to beat me, that’s okay, but you’re going to have to earn it. Started running when I was 36 so I’m not looking back and comparing myself to what I was. I’m looking forward to what can be and am still getting faster.

Do you have a nickname?

No nickname, only some butchered attempts at pronouncing my last name that stick around for a while.

I’m right there with ya on the last name/nickname issues. Narcisi doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Is there a particular incident that stands out? How about race announcers as you’ve finished in the past?

Well, for starters my last name just showed up in print recently as St’r’adolnik. Stadolnick is probably the most common.  Statronic is the strangest I can think of so probably my favorite. Will let you know when a race announcer gets it right.

Go-to post marathon meal (celebration mode)?

Love a good beer. IPA is the best post race, just is. Luckily Burlington is loaded with breweries! Find myself craving fish & chips afterward. If anyone knows a good place, hook me up…

We can swap stories of last name butchery over a Headytopper post-race! 🙂 You can find more on Mike and the rest of the elite field here. More to come!

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