Runners are constantly looking for the next challenge. Whether it’s aiming for a sub-four-minute mile, or setting off to run 50 marathons in 50 states, there is no shortage of feats that may have non-runners shaking their heads in wonderment.
According to the event’s Web site, there are only 11 current members, 10 men and one woman. Timothy Durbin of San Francisco is the only American on the list. Durbin, who wants to cover 24,901 miles – the length of the equator – before 2022, completed the seven/seven/seven challenge in January.
“I set a goal for myself I thought was attainable, which was to run 1,000 miles and walk another 1,000 in 2013,” he told Competitor.com. “About halfway through the year, I saw I was easily going to reach it, so I started increasing my goal.”
Becca Pizzi, a 35-year-old day care center operator from Belmont, Mass., is hoping to become the first American woman to join the club when she begins her quest on Jan. 23 of next year in Union Glacier, Antarctica.
“The second I heard about it, I knew I was born to run this race,” Pizzi told The Associated Press. “I’m doing it to represent my country and to inspire the world that you can do anything you put your mind to.”
After Antarctica, Pizzi will run back-to-back marathons in Punta Arenas, Chile; Miami; Madrid; Marrakech, Morocco; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Sydney – all on consecutive days. Overall it will take 168 hours – 59 of them spent recovering in compression socks aboard a charter flight, according to The Associated Press.
“It’s going to be an uncomfortable seven days,” she said. “We may not even get a shower. It’s basically going to be run, sleep, eat, repeat.”
Pizzi, who has run 45 marathons, including 15 Boston Marathons, will be joined by four other Americans — all men — and runners from Australia, Germany, Japan, Morocco and Singapore, including three other women.
A single mother, Pizzi told Associated Press reporter William J. Kole that she has been training 30 hours a week, which includes running 80-100 miles a week, in addition to yoga and cross-training. She finished this year’s Boston Marathon in 3 hours 28 minutes 11 seconds.
Pizzi has also run a marathon in 27 states, more than halfway through her quest to run a marathon in all 50. In 2006, Dean Karnazes completed his much-publicized journey of running 50 marathons in 50 states on 50 consecutive days – dubbed the Endurance 50.
“Running is the easy part,” Karnazes told The Post’s Eli Saslow in 2006. “What’s exhausting is the other stuff: the logistics, the travel, being so social all the time. I’d rather just run.”
It’s a sentiment that Pizzi might end up sharing by the end of her own running challenge.