Against the grain, the Toughman Triathlon Series has been growing their numbers upwards of 50% per year. Richard Izzo, who jumped in his first triathlon 30 years ago is a doctor who took up race-directing on the side for the fun of it and in the last six years has found out his recipe—low-key, grassroots half-Ironman-length races that didn’t skimp on the music and the post-race beer were a draw. The 2017 Toughman races get started Feb 5 in Rosario, Argentina. A new partner of LAVA Magazine, we talk with Richard about his background, the success of his series, the art of race directing, and Toughman’s partnership with super-coach Brett Sutton and the coaching staff and services (Sutton’s group will be holding clinics in conjunction with Toughman events this year).