Lisa2My name is Lisa Smith-Batchen, I am a 53-year old ultrarunner and elite endurance athlete. I am the adoptive mother of two little girls, Annie and Gabby. They are my light and my motivation. My husband, Jay, is my strength. We live in a working class mountain community in Victor, Idaho. Together, we own a small running store and fitness center called Dreamchasers Outdoor Adventures. In many ways, I lead a perfectly ordinary life, but running has allowed me the opportunity to do some extraordinary things and see some extraordinary places.

I wish I could adequately explain the passion I feel for this sport. I wish I could find the words to explain to you the excitement and joy of ultrarunning. It’s outside the mainstream. But it’s pure and accessible: open to allow perfectly ordinary people the chance to do extraordinary things. This sport has brought a great deal of adventure to my life. In a very real sense, running has saved my life.


One of only two American women to have won the Marathon Des Sables, a 156 mile stage race through the Moroccan desert

  • Twice winner of the Badwater Ultramarathon considered one of the toughest races in the world.
  • Nine times official completer of the Badwater Ultramarathon
  • In 2010, I became the first person to run 50 miles in 50 states in 62 days to raise money for AIDS orphans in India and Africa. It was one of the greatest challenges of my life. During my 50 mile run in Texas, state 26 of the project, I stepped into a pothole and broke the bones in my feet. I finished the 2,500 mile run with a broken foot. The project was called Running Hope Through America (



Over the years I have worked with Sister Marybeth Lloyd, a member of the order of the Religious Teachers Fillipini, known affectionately in the ultrarunning community as “the running nun,” to raise funds for AIDS orphans. We have many missions full of children that need our help. According to Sister Marybeth over the course of 26 years, I have raised $7.5 million to help these children around the world. I have adopted the philosophy of running for a purpose: I believe in using one’s gifts for athletic endurance to benefit the less fortunate. Raising money for orphans is one of the defining passions of my daily life.

As a coach, I believe in leading by example, and I thoroughly believe in using one’s own story to inspire others to make positive changes in their own lives.


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