When Matt first told me he and his brothers were signing up for a 100 mile endurance run in Vermont, I thought it was beyond insane. Then again, I had the same feeling when he told me he was going to run a 10 miler, a half marathon, a full marathon and a 50 mile ultra marathon. (Little did I know each time, he would inspire me to sign up for these distances myself.) But besides thinking they had all gone a tad off the deep end, I knew, without a doubt, that they would do it together.
I often joke that the Izzo boys are genetic freaks – able to take on these distances without a wince, waking up before the sun to add 30+ mile training runs to their jobs of being husbands, fathers, sons and businessmen, enjoying every easy or painful step for what it was, and no matter how the race went, how bad their legs hurt, how many blisters they can count on their feet (which sometimes, is a disgusting amount)- they would cross that finish line and almost immediately sign up for the next challenge. And don’t get me wrong – there is something tweaked in their DNA – but moreover, it is the strength of their minds, not their legs, that continues to knock the running socks off the rest of us who admire them.
In the movie “100:Head/Heart/Feet,” one of the runners describes ultrarunning as a “game of inches,” with the most important ones being the “three between your ears.” While us Izzo women wish we could infiltrate that space more often (wash the dishessssss), the 27 hours the boys spent on that hilly 100-mile long course was, hands and muddy running shoes down, their greatest showing of mental toughness. When they crossed that finish line on that early, dewy, hazy Vermont morning, I was never more proud to be a runner, a crewer, a wife and, more than anything, an Izzo. Congratulations, Matt, Paul and Stephen!