On Sunday, Pizzi Starts Her Adventure of a Lifetime … All In One Week

Photo: Becca Pizzi with Belmont Saving’s CEO Bob Mahoney.

Just reading about Becca Pizzi’s typical day for the past year is exhausting.

The 35-year-old lifelong Belmont resident gets up before the sun comes up to run more miles in one morning than most people do in a week, gets her daughter ready for school, manages a child-care business, then heads over to run Moozy’s Ice Cream shop on Trapelo Road, be back for her daughter, goes back to complete work, before heading off for a quick hour of CrossFit or some other exhausting hardcore exercise program. Then back home for some down time with her daughter before popping off to bed.

It would not stretch one’s imagination to know the 1996 Belmont High grad is seen at the starting line of the Boston Marathon (3 hours, 25 minute PR) and other road races, running in the top ten percent of not just the women’s field but among men in the races.

But the challenge facing her in the next week is one that is more daunting than any other athletic accomplishment on her resume. It begins today, Sunday, Jan. 17 with a long-distance flight to Chile where Pizzi joins 11 men and three women traveling 32,000 miles in 70 hours and running 183 miles in a week participating in the second World Marathon Challenge.

Pizzi is attempting to be the first American woman to complete the around-the-world course. “This by far the toughest test I’ve ever put myself through,” said Pizzi at a public send-off at the Belmont Savings Bank’s headquarters in Belmont Center.

“This by far the toughest test I’ve ever put myself through,” said Pizzi at a public send-off at the Belmont Savings Bank’s headquarters in Belmont Center on Thursday, Jan. 14.

“But I’m looking forward to this test of endurance and strength and representing [Belmont],” she said

At the celebration which included ice cream (from Moozy’s, of course) and autograph posters of Pizzi, who spoke to half a dozen media outlets and a steady stream of admirers and family who came to wish her well. 

“It was just seemed like an amazing confluence of events,” said Robert Mahoney, CEO and president of Belmont Savings Bank. “We have a customer who is a mom and a neighbor who is going to run for a while, for seven days. Oh, and did I mention the seven continents and run 26 miles each day.”

“And that struck me as an extraordinary event that we should somehow celebrate and make it an even better event,” said Mahoney, presenting Pizzi a $1,000 check made out to the Belmont Food Pantry, the local anti-hunger non-profit Pizzi asked to receive the funds.

When Pizzi returns, the bank will sponsor a welcome home celebration and a student/parent lecture by Pizzi on the importance of goals and endurance. 

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On Jan. 23, 2016, Pizzi will be in Union Glacier, Antarctica, to run the first of seven marathons on consecutive days. After running with spikes on her shoes in zero degree temperatures (that’s if it’s a “nice day” said Pizzi), she’ll be on her way to:

  • Punta Arenas, Chile;
  • Miami;
  • Madrid;
  • Marrakech, Morocco;
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and finally
  • Sydney.

“The best way to describe it as ‘eat, sleep, run, fly, repeat’,” she said.

You can follow Pizzi’s trek around the world by going to the Belmont Savings Bank web page.

Daughter of Susan and Fred Pizzi (the long-time owner of Lawndale Realty that recently merged with Century 21) heard of the challenge just over a year ago before the inaugural race took place. 

“The moment I heard about it, I knew I wanted to do this, I had to do this,” said Pizzi. 

The first concern was finding sponsors to foot the $39,000 entry fee that includes all air flights, lodging, supplies and a support staff to help the runners. Her three major sponsors are the Lyon-Waush Auto Group, Dr. Cool and Ultima Replenisher while LuluLemon and Swift Socks are apparel suppliers. 

But this is no cake walk even for someone as physically strong as Pizzi. Even the event’s website warned participants of “marathon fatigue, jet lag, and sleep deprivation as the event progress.” In addition, there will be changeable environments from brutally cold in Antarctica to the desert heat of Dubai. 

Pizzi has been putting herself through the extended training regiment “because I know I’m going to be running on tired legs and I just have to get used to it.” She is aiming to finish each marathon in approximately 3 hours and 50 minutes.

Pizzi said she’ll have the company of the three women competitors, who all happen to be mothers. The other women have an advantage in the event’s first race as each has participated and two have won marathons held on Antarctica or the North Pole.

The worst part? Being away from her daughter, who she will Skype each day. 

So why put yourself through all this? 

“I’m doing this to inspire the world that you can do anything that you put your mind to,” she said.

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