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MHU alumna Becca Pizzi set to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days

Becca PizziThe second World Marathon Challenge is scheduled to begin January 23 in Antarctica, and Mars Hill University has a strong connection to the challenge – alumna Becca Pizzi ’02 is participating as one of the 15 runners to attempt to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.

How long have you been a runner? What was your longest race before you joined the Mars Hill cross country team? I started running when I was 6 years old, my dad inspired me to run and I have never stopped! My longest prior to MHC was the Boston Marathon. I ran it when I was 17 years old, as a senior in high school.

How many marathons have you completed? 45 Marathons, in 27 states. My other goal is to run a marathon in every state. I’ve run 15 Boston Marathons - it is my favorite!

Do you have a favorite memory from running at Mars Hill? I LOVED running for MHU, and Coach Owens is my favorite. He was very fatherly and very proud of us. We had a great relationship. We worked very hard and made it to Nationals in Cross Country in California. That was my favorite memory! We laugh now that we got whooped, but had the times of our lives! I still keep in touch with Coach Owens, he is very proud of me! By far the best coach I have ever had!

When did you consider doing this marathon? I love to travel, I love to run and I thought it would be the ultimate test of endurance and strength. What an honor to represent our country. The support from MHU has been humbling, I love hearing from alumni and current students! It is my goal to show my 8 year old daughter Taylor that you can do anything you put your mind to, and to believe in yourself.

There are so few runners that are competing – what was the process to registering for the challenge? It's a first come first serve basis. There are 15 spots available. If I complete this (challenge) I will be the first American female to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. Not finishing this race is not an option for me.

Describe a typical week of training. I work out 7 days a week, running every day before my daughter wakes up for school. Then at night, I go to personal training, cross fit or yoga for runners.

When did you begin training for the challenge? I started training January 1st, 2015.

How do you balance your family life with work life and running? My daughter comes first. She was the first person I talked to about doing this, and without her on board, I would not have done it. We have learned a lot about continents and where I will be running. We are having a lot of fun, the hardest part about running 7 marathons, on 7 continents in 7 days will be being away from her for two weeks. We will Skype or talk on the phone every day.

Do you have a breakdown of when and how long you’ll be in each city? We will be averaging 12 hours per continents. 4 of those will be running! Eat, sleep, fly, run, repeat!! :)

Do you have a goal time for each marathon? My goal is to run each marathon at a 3:55 pace. Im dealing with temperatures from sub 0 to summer in Australia.

Which marathon are you looking forward to most? Antarctica (the first one we are running on a glacier), and crossing the finish line at the Opera House in Sydney, Australia! I have never been to any of the other continents (except North America) so I am really looking forward to the 26.2 foot tour through each continent!

The North American portion of the challenge is expected to take place Monday, January 25. Learn more about the World Marathon Challenge on their website – www.worldmarathonchallenge.com – or Facebook – www.facebook.com/theworldmarathonchallenge