Michael Heyl, AS93
Michael Heyl is one of only 66 people to have completed a marathon on the mainland of every continent, and he completed the final run only two days before his 40th birthday. Within the past ten years, Heyl has run across glaciers in Antarctica, steps of the Great Wall of China, and sand in South Africa, to name a few.
Heyl graduated from the University of Delaware in 1993 and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Heyl also met his wife, Andrea at UD.
Regarding his experience at UD, Heyl says, “As a Political Science major, I feel that my education at Delaware prepared me for the challenges of law school and for my career as an attorney at a big DC law firm. My focus on international relations peaked my interest in international travel.”
It is this interest in travel, combined with his love of running that led Heyl to pursue marathons all over the world. Heyl claims that while each marathon was challenging in its own way, “I would have to say the Great Wall of China was my most difficult race. Along the 26.2 mile course, runners also must climb 5164 steps and steep hills. Antarctica also was quite challenging due to the winds, cold temperatures and the trail that we ran on. It was all ice and snow.”
Heyl’s favorite marathon was in South Africa. He says, “The Big Five Marathon gives runners the chance to see wild game animals in their natural environment. We saw lions, cheetahs, giraffes, wildebeests, rhino, impala, zebras and many other native animals.”
Heyl has run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. (2003), Paris Marathon (2004), The Great Wall Marathon, China (2005), The Gold Coast Marathon in Australia (2006), The Big Five marathon near Johannesburg, South Africa (2009), Maraton Internacional de Buenos Aires, in Argentina (2009), and The Antarctic Ice Marathon (2010).
Heyl has many great memories of his time at the University of Delaware, but he particularly enjoyed the people and professors. Heyl says, “I felt that U of D provided the perfect atmosphere to balance a great education and social atmosphere. Whether it was going to football or basketball games, the Deer Park, or just walking around campus, I will always remember my years at Delaware.”