Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sometimes it works better in pairs!

I was interviewed by Kevin Patrick of Endurance Planet. You'll find the interview on the homepage (dated: Thursday, April 3, 2008). Kevin is so nice and I was really glad to have the opportunity to talk about how proud I am of ALL of my Dreamchasers! Hope you enjoy it. You can even download it and listen to it on your iPod as you train.

MDS News...

So...everyone has there own strategy for the long stage…and even with the most solid planning, you just never know what will happen out there.

Some people treasure the long stage because it represents the chance to be alone in a way that is unimaginable to many. I think Aran Gordon described his lone experience beautifully:

I remember stopping and looking up at the sky and thinking it's amazing, no one knows where I am right now, no one knows what I am going through right now, no one truly knows what I have been through (health reasons), so I sat down and decided that I wanted to spend the night sleeping in what is one of the most desolate yet beautiful places in the I did

And then there is the joy and comfort of finishing with another competitor…or as I noticed when looking at the Stage 4 results, a couple of friends! Here’s who I saw finished the long stage together…can’t wait to hear their stories!

ANDREWS, Laurie & EHREDT, Mike
KELLY, Ed. & MADL, Terry
HUNT, Jeffrey & RUSSELL, Arthur Glen
HOGUE, Jason & OLIVER, Becky & PATERSON, Stuart & WHELAN, James
CORBIN, Leigh & VELASCO, George
BELLOR, Kay & DEMARCO, Marianne
LAING, James & MACK, Martin
MEADES, Karen & SLOAN, Andrea
ZAITZEFF, Elizabeth & ZAITZEFF, Lara

I also was surprised to see how close the finishing times were for Jeff Grant (09H04'22) and Damon Goerke (09H04'42). 20 seconds difference in finishing times…but they started at different times, so they did not finish together.

Some of the pairs are not surprising to me (Lara & Elizabeth, George & Leigh!!!)…but some are surprising…and so wonderful to see. Like M and Kay…I coach them both and they are both such incredible women. I have been noticing throughout the week that their paces seemed to be compatible and I was so happy when I saw that they finished the long day together. Both of them often do long runs alone (M in Central Park and K in parks in Thailand and on the Sky Steps!...Kay lives in Thailand and M lives in New York City)…can’t wait to hear what they giggled about through the night!

And to see Ed and Terry finish together…they certainly don’t lack for quality time together back in Chicago, but it is always amazing to share something like the wonders of the Sahara with a friend.

Here’s another
MDS veteran story to share with you. My friend Albert Marteens shares his memories with us.

And another amusing account from Jeff Arricale. We pray for his family and know he is doing great because his humor is clearly going strong.

And from Michele Jensen: (her photo above, she is taking names and kicking some behind!) This has been the experience of a lifetime. Thank you so much for all the email, its meant so much to me. Sorry i haven't been able to write sooner, the lines have been so long in 120 degree heat. This is day 5, the day after the 47 mile. The first day we went thru the biggest dunes and i felt really good, i was in 11th. Day 2 was much hotter, up to 120 degrees and the heat really got to me. My stomach has been really bad, and i haven't been able to eat much, and have gotten sick. Day 4 took me 15 hrs; but it was my greatest achievement. I kept going and know that i can do anything now. It was very spiritual to push thru so much and arrive back at camp at 1 AM. This place is beautiful and the bonding is incredible. I know i will finish with the 26 mile stage tomorrow, and then a 10 mile on the last day. I can’t wait to tell you all more soon!

And from Peggy Gaudet: Yipee I made it. 50 miles in 18 hours. I finished around 3:30 this morning, slept for about an hour and am waiting for the rest of our tent to come in. The run was great. I was really worried after day 3 because it was such a hard day, the sun, blister, heat rash all made for a long day. I thought theres no way I can do that again for 50 miles. So after a night with the biggest windstorm so far, I set off. I found out that the faster I run, the less my blister hurt, so I had to keep reminding myself to pick up the pace. Of course I hit the wall at mile 43 or so, I stopped for a break, ate and told myself that you will never run again in Africa at 1:00 in the morning, so enjoy it, the end was still very hard. Today I will just rest and there is a rumor that we might get a coke that I will most definitely take! Thanks so much for all the emails, I keep all your well wishes in my heart as I run and it gives me strength to keep on going. Love Peggy

And a big thank you to Shannon Farrar-Grier and Moeben Sleeves!!! The Dreamchasers athletes were presented with Moeben Sleeves at this year’s Marathon des Sables. A big huge thank you to company president Shannon Farrar-Grier for this generous donation! The Moeben sleeves help protect athletes’ arms from the sun’s harmful rays and keep the "hot" sun off our skin, not to mention filling the sleeves with ice and dipping them in water.


Danno said...


This blog is impressive. I thank you for highlighting tales from Morocco about my sister Kay. I have been posting encouragin words every day and sending her an inspirational haiku after each race.
Thanks for doing this, I wissh you great success!

Danno said...


A haiku for my sister Kay's l'etage quatre.

Sun rises a rose.
Sun sets a fiery thorn.
Sunrise, I finsh.

Thanks again.

Dan J. Bellor

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

I have really enjoyed following the race through the eyes of a past winner, really neat to get your insight. It is also great to following the progerss of my friends running the race. Maybe some day I will get the chance.


Anonymous said...

Impressive list of happy runners indeed, but are all those dreamchaser runners be trained and prepared for the race by you Lisa? If so, would love to be part of it sounds like a possible challenge. On your blog I can read in many place you won the race but have not found anywhere what year you won it. Lisa, did you win the scratch or the women category? Nice blog...

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

Hi Syl!

I won the race in 1999. 1st women overall and 33rd...32 men ahead of me:)
I coach a great deal of those you are reading about and many of them have come to our training camps we put on. This race is a race that most people with a dream can, you can do it to:)
Dream on

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,
I actually got to meet Shannon's Mom and baby during Rocky Raccoon. Super people and very generous of her to donate the sleeves. Good luck to all the dream chasers. Wayne Bates

Anonymous said...

I have never before followed a race that had so many of my friends in it, as in this year's MDS. Almost all of them were my camp mates at the Dreamchasers stage racing camp held in Death Valley last October.
I've been following my friends' progress with a mixture of excitement, apprehension, worry and a bit of envy.... and this last bit, because I wish I were there too. (How dare they have all the pain??) When I did the camp, I was already committed to doing the Libyan Challenge which I did early in March, so my date with MDS will have to wait till next year. Still... I would have loved to have joined Jay,Ted, Jeff, Terry, Steve, Peggy, Andrea (eh?), Leigh, George, Georgia, Mike, Laurie, Aaron (another eh?) and especially..... Marianne (a.k.a M, also a.k.a Bunny). Now, talk about one funny girl, she is a laugh-a-minute!!! Read her blog See if you can keep a straight face reading past the first line!
Hang in there everyone, you are all doing great!!!

Sr. Mary Beth Lloyd, MPF said...

Hi Lisa...incredible interview...congratulations...great words of advice for your dream ...your work should be a joy...
continued prayers for all at MDS..these people will come back changed for the better.Nothing better than pushing yourself beyond what you think you can do. There is so much good in each of us and we don't even know it.
Viva Dreamchasers!
God bless you.

Danno said...

Wow! Sister Kay Bellor has moved from 679 apres l'etage four to 444 after stage five. Go little sister!

Lisa, thank you for providing this forum. We all love our sister, not only for her humanitarian efforts in Myanmar, but also for her driven spirit.

Have they taken down the e-mail posting capability at Darbaroud? I did not see where you could send a message to competitors today.

If Kay can read this, here is your
daily haiku:

Journey's end creeps close,
Friends pass by, the final stretch.
My dream is now real.

Love ya sis!

Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

I love your poems!!
Kay must be thrilled. I can't wait to hear from all of them:)
You can't send any more emails to the runne's now that the race is over, but stay tuned for more blogs and an email or phone call from you sis!

Anonymous said...

Good interview Lisa.
I am glad to see you and Shannon are friends. I like the sleeves she makes and respect what she is doing for the running world and that goes for you to.
Loved reading all of these postings.


Lisa Smith-Batchen said...

Glad you liked the interview..stay tuned there are going to be more!
Shannon has been kind enough to supply the runners with her arm sleeves. She is onto something very big and is doing an amazing job! Thank you Shannon.