Woman’s challenge: 7 marathons, 7 days, 7 continents _ again
BOSTON (AP) — She’s already run around the planet in world-record time. So what does Becca Pizzi do for an encore?
Rinse and repeat.
The Massachusetts marathoner, who won the 2016 World Marathon Challenge — seven marathons in seven days on all seven continents — will attempt to become the only person to twice complete the odyssey, which begins in Antarctica on Jan. 30 and ends in Miami on Feb. 5.
Why? “I’m certifiably crazy,” the Belmont woman jokes.
The Associated Press caught up with Pizzi, 37, a single mom with a singular mission:
AP: Why in God’s name would you do this again?
Pizzi: The locations! I get to run marathons in Novo, Antarctica; Cape Town, South Africa; Perth, Australia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Lisbon, Portugal; Cartagena, Colombia; and Miami. I love to run and I love to travel. I’m literally seeing more of the world, which is really fun for me.
AP: How is this second attempt going to be different?
Pizzi: This time I’m serving as race ambassador, which means answering fellow competitors’ questions. A lot of people are asking about Antarctica: what to wear, what to expect. Also, this time they’ve chartered a plane, so no more commercial airlines. Leaving my gear on the plane and not having to lug it through seven different airports will be much better. The seats recline all the way and let us lie down flat.
AP: What are the greatest challenges?
Pizzi: Antarctica is the most intimidating. The wind is fierce. The sun is blinding. There are crevices you can fall through. It’s bitterly cold, though actually not much colder than Boston has been lately. There’s also no internet — no way to call home. You’re in a different world down there. We’ll cross 16 time zones — that’s tough — and we’ll go straight from zero degrees Fahrenheit (minus 17 degrees Celsius) in Antarctica to 80 degrees F (26 degrees C) in Cape Town.
AP: And the biggest thrills?
Pizzi: The biggest thrill is that my 10-year-old daughter, Taylor, will be at the finish line in Miami to run me in. She’s my biggest inspiration to get to the finish as fast as I can. I’ll also have friends and family on every continent. My friends are so loyal and loving and supportive of my dreams. Whatever I need — a banana, an Advil, a hug — they’ll be there for me.
AP: Celebratory drinks after you finish in Miami: mojitos or margaritas?
Pizzi: Milkshakes with a cherry on top with my daughter. We love ice cream.
AP: Are you planning to orbit the Earth a third time, or do you have another athletic quest in mind?
Pizzi: If the locations change, I’ll run this race again. I’m currently trying to run a marathon in all 50 states — I’ve done 33 so far — and this year I ran the Volcano Marathon in Chile at an altitude of 15,000 feet (4,600 meters.) I’d like to run the Ironman triathlon world championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (2.4-mile (3.9-kilometer) ocean swim, 112-mile (180-kilometer) bike leg and full 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) marathon run.) It’s on my bucket list.