Thursday, September 10, 2015


Croton Resident Paul Steinberg's September 10th Letter to the Gazette is re-printed below. It concerns the "Toughman".

To the editor:

Amid all the discussion of "Toughman" nobody has bothered to point out that there is no such organization.

There are actually 4 corporations, only 1 of which is a non-profit entity subject to filing a public report with the IRS.

According to their website, "Toughman" is a trademark owned by "Toughman Inc." [sic].

According to the NY Secretary of State, "Tough Man Inc" is a non-profit formed in 2008 with an address in Sag Harbor NY.

According to the IRS, "Tough Man Inc" had support funding of $210,171 in fiscal 2010, and by fiscal 2013 that had dropped to $318. There is no explanation for what happened at a time when the "Toughman" race has been growing and presumably increasing in revenue. It appears that although the non-profit entity is the owner of the intellectual property, it is not being paid for the use of the marks by Izzo's for-profit entities.

There is also a "Tough Man Enterprises Corp" which is listed as the site owner on the race website. That entity is a for-profit domestic business corporation formed in 2008 and since it is for-profit it does not file a Form 990.

After forming the profit-making corporation "Tough Man Enterprises Corp" Dr Izzo stated:

"2009 also marked the beginning of Toughman Enterprises, an apparel, coaching, and event planning company that essentially has created the brand for Toughman. Our product line has been assembled according to our experiences in triathalon, but will expand as time goes on to reflect the changes in our customer needs."

There is also a "Tough Kids Inc" formed in 2011 as a for-profit domestic business corporation. There is also a defunct entity formed in 2008 as "The Westchester Toughman 1/2 Ironman Triathalon Corp" which was a for-profit domestic business corporation.

Nobody begrudges Dr. Izzo making a decent living, and Sag Harbor ain't cheap, nor is Rye Brook. And if people choose to volunteer to help Dr. Izzo, that is every bit their right as if they wanted to volunteer to work at Macy's. 

Dr. Izzo told triathalon website Xtri: "In the end, you have to be a damn good salesman." Dr. Izzo has certainly been a good salesman, and has done well by being a good salesman. And participants in the triathalon have donated money to many worthy causes.

But when we speak of "Toughman" it is important to remember that there are a host of related Izzo entities, and the only public documentation is for the sole non-profit entity, whose most recent IRS filing shows that it has a negative worth and only had a few hundred dollars in revenue, down from over 200 thousand dollars in the space of 3 years.

It is also important for the Village to clarify what entity (or entities) are liable for the actual "Toughman" race, particularly since the non-profit entity appears to be a shell corporation.

In December 2011, an interview with Dr Izzo gave to blogsite "TriEssential" identified Izzo as "Race director and owner Dr. Richard Izzo." If he is the "owner" of the race, this would impact certain aspects of the Village negotiations with Dr. Izzo.

When residents write about "Toughman" it is important to clarify which entity they are talking about.

Paul Steinberg



  1. What an eye opener! It appears that a for profit company is being promoted by the village....this sounds familiar.

    So is that legal? Can CVS ask the village to shut down rte 9 for a CVS memorial run? I doubt it.

  2. I would like to know what Leo and the rest of the Board think about these two letters

    1. Don't hold your breath. Thanks PS for your letter. It gives you a lot to think about.

  3. Thanks Paul S and Brian P

  4. Thank you Mr. Steinberg. I never go into Croton when this event occurs. I guess my new favorite restaurant E-atalia will survive without that money but I wonder how many other people feel this way and I've always wondered about this race.

  5. Has there been any response to this letter from the board? Not that I was expecting one.