Americans break records for running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Becca Pizzi, left, and Daniel Cartica pose with an American flag after the seventh and final leg of the World Marathon Challenge, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Sydney, Australia.
Rob Griffith/AP Photo

Becca Pizzi and Daniel Cartica are not only the first Americans to win the World Marathon Challenge, they broke records too.

The pair completed the globe-trotting event on Friday. Competitors finish seven marathons in seven days on all seven continents, this year in Union Glacier, Antarctica; Punta Arenas, Chile; Miami, Florida; Madrid, Spain; Marrakech, Morocco; Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Sydney, Australia.

Pizzi, a day-care operator in Belmont, Massachusetts, broke the female records for both fastest time frame and fastest average race time. She finished the event in 6 days, 18 hours 38 minutes with an average time of 3 hours, 55 minutes and 11 seconds per race.

Cartica, a U.S. Marine Corps captain from Chicago, broke the male record for fastest average, with 3 hours, 32 minutes and 25 seconds per race. He said he was completing the race in honor of the four Marines who were killed this summer when a gunman opened fire at a U.S. Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Pizzi told the Associated Press that her confidence in her ability to complete the race pushed her forward.

"I believed in myself since the moment I signed up for it," she said. "I went for it and got it done. When you believe in yourself, anything is possible."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.