17 July 2014

Badwater 4 Goodwater

If you haven't heard of Lisa Smith-Batchen, you are probably not a long-distance runner. She is, in my mind, the godmother of ultra running, an incredible human being, one of my mentors and I am honored to call her a friend. I met her while running the Marathon des Sables in 2000; she, her husband, Jay, and the unstoppable Michael Wardian and I were all assigned to the same tent, Tent 43 (there's a pic in the Photo Galleries-Sporting Pics). How's that for coincidence?

Lisa just completed the Badwater 4 Goodwater, that is, she ran the Badwater Ultramarathon race course FOUR times, that's 584 miles, over some of the most unforgiving terrain possible in some of the toughest weather conditions possible, namely Death Valley, CA. Why? For charity, to raise awareness about and money for access to the basic thing we all need to survive: water. You can find the mission statement and more in-depth infomation here.

Lisa has chosen to use her remarkable talents as an ultra-endurance athlete in the service of others, whether by training others to achieve their goals or running 50 miles in 50 states in 62 days to raise money for AIDS orphanages in Africa. Since I have known her, this is what she does. She makes time for others, while raising her children, cherishing her family and friends and making time to truly appreciate the world around her. I was in awe of her when I met her back in 2000, and even more so now. She is a driving force that reminds me that what is possible is what we make possible. Much, much respect to this woman.

Here is the link to the BW4GW Facebook page, from which the below photos were borrowed (click on one for a full slideshow).

In addition, Lisa and Jay own Dreamchasers Outdoor Adventures in Idaho. I will be racing their Yellowstone Teton 50-mile Race in September as part of my race series.

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