Tuesday, July 31, 2007

If A Picture Tells a Thousands Words...

...here's a novel about the 2007 Badwater Double Challenge!

Here is a link to the latest photo albums: http://picasaweb.google.com/lisasmithbatchen

And you can also see a very neat Slide Show. You can see it by looking to the right-hand column of the Blog and you will see something that says SLIDE SHOW. Click on it and enjoy!

(Many thanks to Cathy Cramer, who organized this amazing photo account of the journey!)

Monday, July 30, 2007

And Now…a Word from Lisa’s Crew Member Scott Morgan

From Scott Morgan:
This was an incredible experience, one that I shall never forget. During this journey Lisa provided a beautiful example of physical and mental strength, grace, compassion, kindness, concern, creativity, beauty and generosity in the face of extreme obstacles.
At the conclusion of this journey looking back upon what Lisa accomplished and the manner in which she cared for and ultimately rewarded her crew and honored the MPD Foundation was nothing short of mind boggling! Lisa chose the safety of her friends over the crucial objective of the summit, thereby ending the double project as we knew it. In the face of utter disappointment Lisa bestowed an incredible gift upon her crew and respected the power of a fundraising commitment by becoming a true part of the crew. We got to experience the race course in full race conditions {crew vans and all}. The creation of the "So Not Normal" relay was born from within her compassion and generosity.
Through all of this one thing remained constant and that was Lisa infectious enthusiasm. I will never ever forget seeing Lisa’s smiling face time and again as I ran towards her on the course, here I was slogging my way along and who was there crewing me but Lisa.
On a personal note, I am supremely disappointed in that I was not able to guide Lisa to the summit and I take full blame for this failure. The summit takes on extreme importance in the context of the double and needs to be treated differently. I failed to account for every possible outcome and that is something that will bother me for a very long time. In the context of the double there are only two outcomes on the mountain..... double continues or double stops. If I had taken more precautionary gear I have no doubt that this story would have a very different outcome.
In closing I want to thank Lisa and the other crew members for providing one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. You all were great and I will never forget the "So Not Normal" double.
Scott Morgan

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"So Not Normal" Relay Finish

Hello Everyone!

Wonderful, wonderful news! The 2007 Badwater Double is finished in a way no one could ever have predicted!

Lisa and the crew finished the relay from Whitney Portal to Badwater in 27 hours and 10 minutes.

It was great for the crew to experience the conditions from a different perspective.

Lisa left me an ecstatic voicemail today, announcing the experience as more than she could ever have hoped for! I can't wait to speak with her live!

Lisa did say that she thought we are all really onto something big with this RELAY concept. Lisa is so wonderful about sharing experiences and I can only imagine how incorporating the idea of a relay will bring amaing new opportunities to the people she coaches and the people she touches in her life. Imagine running with MPD patients! Imagine the RTF kids joining hands and passing off a baton to Lisa's daughters! The possibilities are endless.

Many more details to follow tomorrow, but I wanted to take this opportunity for everyone to know that Lisa and her crew are safe, sound, and so much richer for the experience of a very unique Badwater Double 2007 experience. Your time, contributions to MPD, and your enthusiasm helped guide this amazing experience. Stay tuned this week as we share the many wonderful photos captured on the return journey by the wonderful Cathy Cramer and thoughts from Lisa and all her crew members.

THANK YOU and STAY TUNED for many more details! And please leave your COMMENTS to congratulate Lisa & crew!!!

Runner Change

Runner change on the road to Badwater. Temperatures on the final 17 miles were 120-125 degrees.

Crewing the Crew

Lisa crews Scott near the top of Towne's Pass early Friday Morning.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The "So Not Normal" Relay

Lisa made an incredible effort during the 2007 Badwater 135. The 10am starters went out fast and she was one several women trading places at the front of the pack. Around Panamint Springs, about 60 miles into the race, she began experiencing terrible stomach problems. By the time she was approaching Lone Pine, stomach issues had slowed her pace to about 1/2 mph. She made the decision to stake out for several hours and try to recover. When she resumed she felt much better and was able to maintain a pace of 4mph or more through Lone Pine. Soon after starting up the Portal Road to the finish line, late Tuesday night, she again began having severe stomach problems which compounded other issues; most critically she'd only been able to keep down about 2000 calories since the start of the race on Monday morning. She was very surprised when the race director told her that her time was under 42 hours.

As previously reported, she and her crew waited to make a Whitney summit attempt until the weather on the mountain cleared. They set out about 8pm Wednesday. Even with heavy summit gloves and many layers of clothing, within 2 miles of the summit she was nearing hypothermia. Lisa was prepared to rest on the mountain until sunrise brought warmer temperatures, but after assessing the condition of herself and her crew, she felt any choice other than descent would endanger the team.

After a safe descent and a couple hours of rest, Lisa was still experiencing stomach pain whenever she stood up or walked. She felt that she could not finish the Double as a solo effort, but she and her team are committed to completing the Double and continuing their effort to raise money for the MPD foundation. In that spirit, they've decided to run a team relay back to the start line in Badwater with Lisa crewing them.

The rules are there are no rules, but at least one runner will be on the course the from finish line at Whitney Portal to the Start line. Lisa ran the first 135 mile leg of the team double, now each crew member will run 25 miles or more on the way back. George and Scott ran down from the Portal finish line to Lone Pine late this afternoon. Laurie and Mike are running the next leg.

The team members all made prediction times for the 135 mile relay:

Scott - 28:30
Mike - 30:00
Laurie - 31:00
Leigh - 32:33
Lisa - 34:00
Marie - 35:00
George - 37:32

Okay, finally...we have told you so much about Marie Boyd, crew chief extraordinaire, but now you can watch a video clip of her describing the recent turn of events. Enjoy and watch how this amazing TEAM is sticking together, guided by Lisa's strength & spirit.

Mighty Mount Whitney

Lisa and crew have returned from Mount Whitney and are back in Lone Pine.

Unfortunately, they did not reach the summit. Temperatures as they neared the top last night / this morning went below freezing and the group was at major risk. A very responsible decision was made to turn around.

I spoke with Crew Chief Marie Boyd, a person with such calm and composure. She explained Lisa is getting some much needed rest right now and they will re-group shortly.

I will post again to the blog tonight to keep you updated.

Lisa and crew could use your prayers and positive thoughts right now. Thank you so much!


Pre-Race Photos

Check out the pre-race gallery on Picasa.

Video of the Badwater Start, July 23

Students at Badwater

Many of Lisa's students ran the 2007 Badwater Ultramarathon.
Some of their photos are below - enjoy! And send us more from your cameras - we'd love to get a little gallery going!:

Lisa Bliss (Female Winner!!!)

Tom Triumph

Nattu Natraj

Frank McKinney

Kira Matukaitis

Kira and Tom

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

On Mt Whitney

Lisa and crew spent most of Wednesday in Lone Pine waiting for the weather to clear to allow a safe attempt at a Whitney summit. Lisa, accompanied by crew members, Laurie, Mike and Scott, all experienced mountain climbers, started their ascent about 8pm local time. There was a beautiful sunset as they left and they expect good weather for their trip up and down Mt. Whitney. They anticipate returning to the trailhead about 10am Thursday. They'll regroup in Lone Pine. Then George, Leigh and Marie will crew Lisa as she starts the journey back to Badwater, while the three mountain climbers take a well-deserved rest.

Badwater veteran Monica Scholz visits Lisa and crew on Tuesday

The Ascent of Mt Whitney Is Next...

Lisa is ready and so excited to be starting the next part of her journey...the ascent of Mt Whitney. Leigh called me about 90 minutes ago to say that Lisa was ready to go, but it looks like Mother Nature had other plans.

Leigh reports that there is a really mean cloud that is resting above the mountain. So the decision is to wait in Lone Pine and start the ascent a little later today.

So what will this climb be like? Here is a link to a short video that takes you up the trail to the summit {it runs about 9 minutes}. For those of you who have never done the mountain, it will really give you a feel for what it's like (or so I have been told - I haven't done it myself!).

And just a very sincere ote of thanks to those helping with very generous donations to the MPD Foundation. Here are is a link to start to introduce you to the faces of MPD:

'V' is for VICTORY!

Just got a call form Leigh to let us know that Lisa finished the official Badwater race - 135 miles of it! Lisa finished around 4am (Pacific) and placed as the 8th (oops - LSB was 8th! --cw) female finisher. And she'll have a shiny new buckle to add to her collection.

Leigh said one of the highlights of the finish is how close Lisa finished to Marshall Ulrich. Lisa and Marshall have been friends for so long and share so many Badwater memories. In fact, it was Marshall how convinced Lisa to run this race her very first time!

Leigh said Lisa & crew will take a little rest in Lone Pine before they return to the Whitney Portals and start the ascent of Mt Whitney.

Thinking about thte Badwater Double as three distinct parts - the official race, the Mt Whitney sections, and the return 135 miles...Lisa has one-third down, two-thirds to go!

Let the games begin...

(Thanks so much to Leigh for calling in all these reports. I notice her voice gets a little softer with each call as exhaustion sets in, but her grace and sweetness never fade. She's so great!)

ps - Thought I'd have a little fun comparing photos of Lisa through Lone Pine in 2006 versus 2007. She finished faster this year - coming through Lone Pine during the night and needing reflective gear. Notice one thing that is the same year over year? Go George Velasco - you are the man!

Lisa Bliss (inc Dreamchaser crew: Dave Heckman)

Tom Triumph (inc Dreamchaser crew: Ed Mafoud & Tom’s wife the Peach)

Nattu Natraj (inc Dreamchaser crew: Dale Perry & Bob Becker)

Greg Pressler (Lisa and Jay’s dear friend)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gift from Lisa & Zensah - 50% Off Coupon

Have you noticed the black shorts that are peaking out from under Lisa’s pink skirt? You’re right – they’re not just a fashion statement! These are compression shorts and Lisa loves them!

In fact, to the left is a photo from 2006, when she wore a white pair.

Lisa is now sponsored by the company that makes these shorts – Zensah® – and they have generously offered to honor a 50% discount on all purchases made on their website for the next 72 hours.

Lisa has teamed up with Zensah® to offer you a special discount for the next 72 hours. Just use the code “run50” at checkout to receive a 50% discount off the most advanced performance apparel in the world. Visit www.zensah.com to order and learn more.

Zensah® has created the most comfortable fabric for endurance sports especially running. The proprietary Zensah Fabric® incorporates silver ions which eliminates order, and dissipates heat. The fabric is moisture wicking keeping you cool, light and dry. All Zensah® products are made in Italy and use seamless technology which allows the engineered zones for ultra-breathability. The Zensah Fabric® is so comfortable you literally don’t feel it. Once you run in Zensah® you won’t want to wear anything else.

Back on Her Feet!

Report from
Crew Member Mike Ehredt

Mike just left me a message to say that Lisa is back on the Badwater course. As of 8:51pm (Pacific), Lisa was running strong and nearing the Lone Pine time station. He said they were about 3 miles out from Lone Pine.

AMAZING NEWS on the outcome of the women's race: Dr Lisa Bliss won!!!! Congratulations - so great!

Staked Out for Now…

Leigh just called me to let us know that Lisa is staked out. So what does that mean?

Well, here’s the official description from the Badwater Race rules:

If a racer needs to leave the course, his/her crew must note the exact location with a numbered stake in the ground. This numbered stake must be visible from the road in both directions. The racer must then resume the race from the same place that he/she left it. The numbered stakes will be provided to all runners at Runner Check-In. Racers may only leave the course for appropriate reasons such as rest or medical attention. Focus must be kept on the speedy completion of the course.

Leigh said Lisa is really okay with the decision…knowing that this provides her with an opportunity to re-fuel (here nausea/stomach issues haven’t allowed her to get in as many calories as she needs), take a shower and get in a small nap. Leigh also told me that Marie is going to work on Lisa’s feet. Marie is a registered nurse and received specific instructions from Denise Jones about how to do this, so Lisa is in good hands.

According to Leigh, Lisa is in 5th position among the women. The website currently has her in fourth position, so I am thinking that Lisa Bliss must have advanced ahead of Lisa since the last checkpoint. Leigh said that Lisa Bliss is going very strong…something which I know Lisa (Smith-Batchen) would be very proud to see. LSB is coaching Dr. Bliss and has also been the recipient of Dr. Bliss’ generosity, when Dr Bliss served as a race volunteer on the course in previous years. Go Lisa!

Lisa holds a very good chance of finishing within 48 hours (tomorrow morning at 10am Pacific Time). This will earn her the coveted Badwater medal.

Lisa is down, but not out…and owing to witnessing last year’s Badwater Double, all I can think is, “Wow, Lisa has only just begun”. Strange sentiment thinking our friend has already covered the distance of more than 4 traditional marathons in temperatures of 110 degree plus heat and heavy humidity!

Rough Night

Hi Everyone,

I just spoke with Leigh Corbin, one of Lisa’s crew members.

Leigh said that they are about 28 miles from the official Badwater race finish and that Lisa is being a trooper. Leigh said that for about the last 14 hours (since midnight), Lisa has been really battling nausea. I could hear George in the background saying, “Tell Colleen it is just like last year.” At which point, my heart sank a little…

Because last year was so tough. Lisa kept forging on, but there was serious concern about her finishing the race, let alone the Double. She pulled through and forever won rights to the term COMEBACK KID in my book, but how many times can you pull out of those lows and rebound with the highs?

The crew is really optimistic and figure Lisa is about due to turn the corner. I have the privilege of knowing 5 of the 6 crew members – everyone with the exception of Scott Morgan. Leigh tells me that Scott is such a strong member of the crew. Leigh said he is soft spoken, but he’s the one who can say to Lisa that its time to go and she moves on.

Leigh said that all the crew members are taking turns pacing Lisa and that Lisa really listens to each of them. One of the challenges of doing the Badwater Double is keeping your eye on the prize. It’s very easy to want to go for a great finishing time at the official race, but Lisa has committed to running 292 miles, not 135 miles. Managing her energy is no small task and recognizing the challenge of Mt Whitney and the return trip can be pretty daunting.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to speak with Leigh later tonight and I will post another Blog entry tonight.

Onwards, Lisa, onwards…

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday Update

Hello Everyone!
Lisa and crew are doing just GREAT!!!
I spoke with crew member Leigh this morning
and I am just so impressed with how CALM everything sounds!
Lisa started at 10am and reached Furnace Creek in a time of 2:51
and Stovepipe Wells in a time of 7:34.
The course is VERY difficult after Stovepipe Wells...
so please think of Lisa and send her some strength and courage!
Here are some great photos from the past two days...
courtesy of Leigh Corbin and Cathy Cramer.
Thanks so much, Cathy & Leigh!!!

Lisa with Marshall!

Lisa, describing what so many people really think! :-)

Where the race will begin!
This is one of the last times Lisa will wear "street clothes" for the next few days!
Thanks, Athleta!
Has Lisa every told you to eat bananas before a race?
She does!

The crew - in street clothes...

The crew - race gear

Lisa and Dean!

The 10am Start...
I hope to vbe able to share some video footage tomorrow.
Sleep well everyone
and hope that our friends in Death Valley do well
and find the magic!

What Happens the Day Before Badwater?

Here’s a quick video to let you see how Lisa’s 2006 Badwater Double journey finished:

And now the 2007 Badwater Double begins.

Today (well, technically yesterday…I am referring to Sunday), all athletes meet in an auditorium at Furnace Creek for a mandatory pre-race meeting. Crew members come along. One part of this meeting is the induction of honored individuals into the Badwater Hall of Fame. Lisa told me that there was an absolutely beautiful welcome of Dr Ben Jones and his wife, Denise Jones into the Hall. I couldn’t think of people who deserve this more! There are so genuine in their passion for this race and their love of the course and the athletes who choose to take on the BW challenge.

As for the weather (and there is always talk of the weather when the Badwater Ultramarathon is concerned!), Lisa reports that it is not very hot – say, 118 degrees. While that may sound like an inferno to some, when the thermometer fails to reach the 120’s, Badwater athletes are very grateful. Lisa also mentioned that it was 85 degrees at Stovepipe at 6am this morning, and that is really considered mild. Let’s hope this ‘cold front’ holds out for the competitors.

In addition to Lisa, Anita Fromm and Linda McFadden will be doing the Badwater Double. Hopefully this will make the return journey from Mt Whitney a little less lonely.

Lisa is just so grateful for Marie’s crew skills…her leadership allowed for another relaxing day for Lisa, which is awesome because the next week will be anything but relaxing!

While Lisa’s children are still a little too young to read Blogs, she wanted to be sure that I sent them her love. She didn’t get a chance to speak with them today when she talked to Jay because they were both asleep in their car seats, but she knows that they want their Mommy to run fast and strong!

Tomorrow (Monday) the official race begins!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Weekend at the Races!


Before Lisa made her way to the airport on Friday, she reminded me (after mentioning it several times earlier in the week! :-) ) that so many of her students were racing this weekend and next and that it was really going to be tough for her not to know immediately about their races & results!

So let's tell Lisa all about it! Using the COMMENTS feature, please respond to this post and let us know how your weekend race went. I'll print out your comments and get them to Lisa somehow!


Saturday Night!

Lisa & Crew at Dinner on Saturday Night
Photo Courtesy of Cathy Cramer

Blog Post from Colleen

I had a chance to speak with Lisa this evening and she sounds just great! Denise has finished Lisa’s feet and her crew has done an amazing job pulling together the many logistics. In fact, I understand all the gear was ready to go by 4:00 this afternoon so they all got to relax and hang out at the pool for a little while.

Lisa and crew put pen to paper and recorded some of their thoughts of anticipation and readiness about what lies ahead.

Read on for the first-hand accounts:


From the Crew Chief: Marie Boyd
This is HUGE!!!
We have such a gracious runner, and a wonderful crew. Gradually, we are getting acquainted, and I am so happy to have this committed and caring group with whom to work.
Lisa's feet are taped - Denise Jones has shown me all of her professional tricks, and those feet look just greatly protected and ready to carry Lisa close to 300 miles!

From Laurie Andrews…
Death Valley Dreamin': Being in the Valley is full of extremes - beautiful and striking, hot and dry, bright and glaring. Feeling so fortunate to be part of this adventure and the full force of this undertaking is hitting me in waves. Lisa is in a good space and has the grace of a champion. The crew is bonding as we organize, plan and anticipate the journey ahead. Know we will be carrying you close - our friends, family, running companions - as we travel many miles.

From Leigh Corbin…
They say that there is a beauty to the desert and I think of a desert flower in full bloom. Lisa has arrived to Death Valley as a flower in full bloom. She is so calm and ready to rock and roll. As her crew, we worry about keeping up and have no doubts about her ability to ahieve her goals. I am so excited to be on a crew of this caliber and I am already learning so much. Man, its hot down here!!!

Hi Dana...miss you!

From George Velasco…
Lisa looks so buff!! She is going to rock this course!! I'm proud to be with this lady and the crew - WOW! - its a good-looking, qualified crew!!!

From Mike Ehredt…
The expected is sometimes unexpected. hat I thought or expected Death Valley to be is not what it turned out to be. Mountains and a long life line of asphalt, dunes in the distance and beauty in it all versus my vision of flat desert and sagebrush. The knowledge and experience of my crew mates astounds me and the fire in Lisa's eyes inspires me...


And finally, from Lisa…
Give my Jay, Bella and Gabby a big kiss for me. Thank you to Barbara (Jay's mother) for her support helping with our kids. I am blessed - I feel so good. God is on our side. Lauren, thank you for being my inspiration. Dad, I pray for you to feel better. I run with a purpose. I run for all of you...God willing, we will have success!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Badwater Double: And They’re Off!

Just for fun, watch last year’s 10am start of the Badwater Ultramarathon – you’ll see Lisa in a long-sleeve pink shirt. And you’ll see that she follows the advice she shares with her coaching students…start slow and if you think you are going slow at the start of an ultra, go a little slower!


Hello Everyone!

Thanks for checking Lisa’s Blog as she attempts the Badwater Double for the second year. Let’s hope she meets with success again.

My name is Colleen Woods and I will be posting entries throughout the course of the next week. I’d love to hear from you and will do my very best to send along your well wishes to Lisa and her crew.

SEND A MESSAGE TO LISA AND HER CREW: Contact is limited, but I have told Lisa I would fax to her any comments posted to the Blog before 12 noon on Sunday. So if you want to send Lisa and her crew a note to encourage them before the race begins, please post it as a comment and I will print it off and fax it to her. I know your comments mean so much to them!!!

THE DEPARTURE: Lisa and her Jackson, WY-based crew members left for Death Valley today. They flew out of Jackson’s Airport, had a layover in Denver and arrived to Las Vegas. In Vegas, they shopped for food for the race. Lisa has been trying a number of different food combinations for this year’s race, but one thing I’ll know she’ll eat again out…AVOCADOS! Lots of good fat! Her crew member Scott Morgan is on avocado duty – he can buy 25 avocados for $2 on the roadside…in Jackson, that would buy 2!

TONIGHT’S DINNER: Tonight, Lisa is dining with her crew at Stovepipe Wells. They are also joining Frank McKinney and his crew. It will be Frank’s third year doing the race. Frank was a student of Lisa’s when he began his Badwater journey (read Frank's coaching testimonial
). You’ll also see a great shot of Frank at the 2006 finish line. Here's a photo of Frank, Lisa and their crews at Stovepipe last year:

WHAT LIES AHEAD: This weekend is all about staying calm and making last minute adjustments to the race plan. Lisa will have her feet taped by the Badwater Blister Queen, Denise Jones. Denise is an absolute sweetheart and a footcare expert, co-author of Death Valley Ultras: The Complete Crewing Guide with Theresa Daus-Weber. Denise has aksed Lisa to set aside at least 3 hours to tape her feet – an allowance is only too happy to make considering how well her feet held up after Denise taped her feet for last year’s Badwater Double.

WATCH BADWATER ON VIDEO: One of the unique things about Badwater (and there certainly are many!) is the lack of contact with the outside world that athletes and crew alike experience in Death Valley. There is no cell reception the first 100 miles or so into the race and from there, it can be spotty at best. No e-mail within those same limits, too. So there is occasional communication via phone calls from pay phones, but by and large – the action is confined right there to the race course.

This year, Adventure Corps has secured a spot on YouTube to broadcast videos. I can’t wait to see them…here are instructions for subscribing:
In preparation for the 2007 webcast, our web-video head honcho, Mike Schafer, has set up the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon channel on Youtube. We encourage you to "subscribe" to our channel so that you are notified when we post more videos, and also select us "a friend." Click here (you can already enjoy our videos from 2006 and also pre-race entrant videos from 2007):



Thursday, July 19, 2007

We are off to the races!

4 am wake up call, 7am flight to Vegas, 8pm dinner at Stove Pipe Wells Village at 41 miles on the Badwater course with some great crew and friends..wow how blessed are we.

I can't tell you how over the top it has been for me the past few days with cards, emails from so many friends and family to wish me well. Thank you, thank you. I wish you all the same...
I will carry each of you with me and I will think of so many of you who are running your own race, or have your own journeys ahead of you that are not a running race but the race of life..
slow down, enjoy the moment..this is my plan!

Colleen, will be posting great updates all week long, thank you!

I am ready, we are ready...calm, cool and relaxed...I have a great crew this year just as I did last year. I will miss many of my crew from last year but will carry them with me to.

Love to you all

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Good morning to all of you!

It is going to be yet another sunny hot day here in the Tetons!!

The count down is here for Badwater, we leave on Friday morning!!! I feel so calm, so relaxed and the best part will be seeing many old friends.

When it comes time to getting ready to leave for events like this I feel so torn between being really excited and already missing my family.

Tues. I had a great workout and it gave me great confidence. I power walked uphill for 1 mile and ran down hard x 3. My hard miles on the down hill were 6:30 mile pace and this felt easy. Wow..I am ready.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my family for all the continued love and support, for my friends with all the extra work they take on to help me get it all done, my amazing crew for having it all together even when I don't, the sponsors that are so very kind to us and then all of you.

Running with a purpose, running for a purpose, we can all make a difference, YOU do make a difference.

A friend and student sent me this and I just love it so wanted to share with all of you to.

The difference between you and some people is that..
Some people give to be seen,
to build a good reputation
Some people give out of insecurity,
to be accepted
Some people give to compete,
to appear to be better than others
Some people give to build self-esteem,
to feel good about themselves
But you are so genuine: you give out of the goodness of your heart.
Thank you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Your Donations to the MPD Foundation – Online or In the Mail


Your generosity towards our fundraising effort for the MPD Foundation has already amazed me. THANK YOU!

We provide a way for people to donate online:

Please note that 100% of your donation goes to this special cause – there is no administrative fee to handling the online donation.

That being said, I understand there are reasons you may prefer to send a check in the mail. And you certainly can do just that! Here are the details:

MPD Foundation
233 South Wacker Drive
Suite 375
Chicago, IL 60606

On the check, please write this in the MEMO field:
Lisa Smith-Batchen / Badwater Double

Many, many thanks for your generosity…thanks for allowing me to run with a purpose! And thanks for inspiring me in your words and deeds.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Badwater is in the Air!

Thought I’d share a few photos I received recently…

Courtesy of Leigh Corbin, look at this great artwork!

Dean and I will both be back this year…love his tie-dye!

So nice to have the support of others…look what one student e-mailed me to show me some support in places I never knew!

RunnersWorld Magazine Discussion Group

Friday, July 13, 2007

Have a Wonderful Friday the 13th!

Hello Everyone,

I am off for a day out with my kids (can’t wait!), but I just wanted to share a few things.

Life is hectic, but I am so fortunate to be able to make time for fundraising for the MPD Foundation. Many have asked why I would consider taking on the Badwater Double again…here’s a link that describes the important cause I will be supporting when I take on this challenge:

Dean Karnazes won the ESPY Award for best Outdoor Athlete, earning over 50% of the vote! Good Dean. Here is a link to a great post about this on Scott Dunlap’s Blog. Thanks, Scott – for sharing such awesome information about ultra running!

My brother Mike, who lives in Illinois, is one of my best friends. Mike sent this e-mail to his friends…his kindness inspires me every day!

Dear family, friends & acquaintances,


Please take a moment to check out these links; they link you to my sister Lisa’s next challenge and provide you with a way to help her reach an important goal. She has and is giving all she’s got physically, mentally and spiritually to meet this incredible challenge. But, she cannot do it alone and needs a little help and kindness from a lot of unknown people.

Therefore, I am asking for a moment of your time; the moment it will take to click on this link, to read and to understand Lisa’s passion and the selfless challenge she has ahead. She has committed her mind, body, talent, time and resources to reach a goal: to financially help the MPD Foundation explore treatments, find a cure and save lives.

But, as I said before, she cannot do it alone and needs a little help and kindness from a lot of unknown people. If you can skip a Starbucks today, you can help. If you can dig the loose change out of the creases of your couch or from the bottom of your purse, you can help. Any and every coin will help; each and every dollar will make a difference. When Lisa succeeds in this challenge and accomplishes her goal, it will raise the performance bar for success and motivate other talented and driven athletes to jump higher and to use their gifts to achieve greater goals…to help others.

Please…she needs your help to succeed!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Badwater Runner needs your help!!

Good morning!

My good friend Chris Frost who has run Badwater many times needs crew people for this years Badwater race. Chris has lost his crew due to various issues. Chris is an amazing runner with great experience.

Here is his email to me today:

Hi Lisa…..Just found out that I have no crew for BW (due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control…..fire dept. scheduling etc.).
If you know of anyone who is qualified and would fit in well, please let me know. Will pay for food, lodging etc.

See you soon,

Please reply to this post ASAP if you can crew for Chris.

Happy day

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Great Shot of Mark Wieneke & His Brother!

Please keep sending me pics of your proudest moments at races...I love to share them!

This is a great shot of Mark Wieneke and his brother on the Western States course.

I love the reason Mark gave me for sending this particular photo: 'I thought I would send you this one, it is not the best quality but it is my favorite. My brother and I on No Hands at mile 97 with the finish in sight.'

Keep on running Mark! with your brother at your side!

Oh, and here are some photos from last Sunday's Table Mountain hike. I can't believe this gorgeous hike is practically in my backyard!

Really...not all of our company meetings take place in the shadow of the Grand!

Mike & Laurie...
should I tell this beautiful couple
that Badwater is not exactly going to look like this!!! ;-)

The count down is here....

I really can't believe that in 2 weeks many will be running BW again..it just does not seem like a year has already gone and passed us by. I am ready in the physical and mental sense, I have my heart and mind wrapped around doing the double again I have to say I really am looking forward to it. My personal training has been so completely different this year. I have only pulled the tire once and I have not pulled or pushed my kids at all. I have been trying to get my training in during the heat of the day or early morning while all are sleeping.
Yes..the heat of the day here in the Tetons..It has hit close to 90 or even hotter for over a month now..best darn training I have ever had. Well, we shall see come Monday July 23rd if my new training will pay off. It is going to be a great joy to be in a place I absolutely love and surrounded by so many people I adore..Let the show begin but let it wait another 2 weeks.
I have all my packing to do and many projects to complete before we head to Death Valley.
My crew is so wonderful, loving and organized!
I ask you all to pray for us and all the runners and crews. I ask you to pray that the fires are gone and out of Death Valley. Mt. Whitney was closed this past weekend due to fires.

And I ask you pray for all the others running races all over the World..many are running the Vermont 100..safe, fast race for you all.

My last long weekend was wonderful. 4 hours on Sat. up and down the steep roads.
Sunday we climbed Table Mountain which takes you up to over 11,000 feet..just over 6 hours ups and down. I hope to be able to share some wonderful photos of this with you soon.

Happy training to you all and happy trails.

Here is a great article on pool running!


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Congratulations to Marie Boyd!

Marie Boyd, who like George hails from Bishop, CA, also did an amazing job at Western States. Here are some photos from her race.

Marie is so talented and I am so privileged that she has agreed to be my Crew Chief at Badwater this year.

Marie at Hwy 49 crossing (93 miles into the race), 20 minutes ahead of cutoff!

Marie finishing!

Marie with pacers, Floyd Redmon (her good friend) and Dr Mike Karch, (her orthopedic surgeon!!! She knows how to make sure she has emergency care if she needs it!!!)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Some Said It Couldn't Be Done…They Proved Otherwise!

I must admit that as a coach, I never like to endorse a race plan that involves two people intending to run a 100 mile race together – step for step. Jay and I did Badwater together one year and it remains one of the hardest races I have ever done. Murphy’s law works out that when your feeling good, your partner is feeling crummy and when they pick up, you have a foot cramp, a stomach ache, or an overwhelming desire to take a fiver!

The stakes get higher when those two people are making this plan for Western States – one of the hardest, most difficult 100 milers around. But George Velasco and Leigh Corbin decided this was the way they were going to do it in 2007. And they gave us a run for the money…right down to a nail-biting finish of 29:43:38 (the cut-off time is 30 hours). You guys did awesome and finished with heart! I can’t wait to hear more about the details of your race later this month (Leigh and George are both crewing me at Badwater). Way to go, Leigh and Georgie!

Love, The Batchens

My Desert RATS

I couldn't be prouder of each and every one of their performances out there on the Kokopelli Trail!

Tom, Tess, Rich (and his wonderful wife Shelly - who was an amazing race volunteer and marathon finisher), Laurie, Jim & Colleen...you tested your limits and did just great.

Hope you are enjoying a well deserved RECOVERY week!!!