Lisa Smith-Batchen

Lisa’s 810 Raised Over Half a Million Dollars!

Lisa Smith-Batchen

The summer of 2008 Lisa ran the Badwater Double (a little over 300 miles). Immediately after that, she did the Funace Creek 500, which is 500+ miles on a bicycle. These two events generated over $500,000.00, all of which went to help the children who need so much.

Sister Mary Beth & Lisa Smith-BatchenUltramarathon running legend Lisa Smith-Batchen has one thing in common with the iconic “Energizer Bunny”: she has a super-human ability to go the distance. However, Smith-Batchen is not powered by batteries, but by an internal drive to make a positive difference in the lives of children, and that goal is what energizes her to keep going. Smith-Batchen has completed eight Badwater Ultramarathons, one 300-mile Badwater Double, and been the only American woman ever to win Morocco’s 150-mile Marathon Des Sables.

She completed the 300-mile “Badwater Double” in 2006 to raise money and awareness for AIDS orphans. Now she is setting out to do an unprecedented 810-mile run and ride to raise more funds for the same purpose. She has already collected $150,000 in donations since announcing her aggressive attempt of the “Death Valley 810.” The money will go to AIDS Orphans Rising, an organization that benefits those orphaned by the AIDS virus, and she hopes to exceed the $294,000 she raised in 2006. “There is no greater purpose than helping children who have been orphaned by AIDS,” Smith-Batchen said.

Start of the Day“These children lose everything; I am so blessed to have the opportunity to use athletics to raise money for this worthy cause. I have increased the difficulty of this year’s event in hopes that our donors will help us contribute even more to AIDS Orphans Rising than in 2006. Together, we can have an incredible impact on children’s lives.”

Sister Mary-Beth Lloyd of the Religious Teachers Filippini founded AIDS Orphans Rising, and 100 percent of all donations directly benefit the lives of the orphans. They receive shelter, food, clothing, and much-needed attention from those who care. The organization succeeds by providing the children with skills necessary to live productive lives.

The inspiration behind the event comes from Sister Mary-Beth Lloyd, and it has been the inspiration behind the spirit of Smith-Batchen for 25 years. It is the first time she will accompany Smith-Batchen as a member of her support team. She will summit Mt. Whitney with her, something that Smith-Batchen said she is excited about.

On July 9, Smith-Batchen begins her 810-mile journey in Las Vegas, Nev., where she will run to Badwater, Calif., in Death Valley National Park, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 292 feet below sea level and nearly 160 miles away.

By Teresa Griswold

Jackson Hole Weekly

July 2, 2008