Lisa Smith Batchen


I have just had the pleasure to interview Lisa Smith-Batchen, a 53-year old ultrarunner and elite endurance athlete. She is the adoptive mother of two little girls, Annie and Gabby. They are the light and her motivation. Her husband, Jay, is her strength. She lives in a working class mountain community in Victor, Idaho. Together, they own a small running store and fitness center called Dreamchasers Outdoor Adventures. In many ways, Lisa and her family lead a perfectly ordinary life, but running has allowed Lisa the opportunity to do some extraordinary things and see some extraordinary places.

I am completely blown away by what may well be one of the most inspiring interviews we will ever have on Talk Ultra.

To put this in perspective, Lisa, in just 2-weeks time will run Badwater 135 4-times back-to-back and summit Mt Whitney twice.

Be inspired! I am.

Press Release: ©

Lisa Smith-Batchen, owner of Dreamchasers,, will try to become the first female ultramarathoner in the world to cross the famed Badwater Ultramarathon course four times back-to-back. The traditional Badwater Ultramarathon is 135 miles.  In addition to running the grueling 135 course four times back-to-back,  Lisa will also summit Mt. Whitney twice. Lisa’s epic quest is to raise awareness and donations for the “Bad Water 4 Good Water” project through her Dreamchaser Foundation non-profit.

Lisa, considered one of the world’s foremost endurance athletes, has previously completed the official Badwater Ultramarathon nine times in her illustrious career and has won the race twice. Smith-Batchen’s back-to-back ultramarathons, plus the two Mr. Whitney summits, will turn her quest into a 584 mile journey.

The Badwater Ultramarathon is considered “the world’s toughest foot race,” a course starting at 282 feet below sea level in the Badwater Basin in California’s Death Valley National Park, ending at the 8,360 feet Mt. Whitney Portals. Lisa will then continue to summit Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the Continental United Sates at 14,876 feet, on two separate occasions during the expedition. Smith-Batchen will start on July 1st when the weather conditions are most extreme and temperatures often climb to 130 degrees.

While this undoubtedly is the most monumental challenge Lisa has undertaken to date, she is also known in running circles throughout the world for her 2010 “Running Hope through America,” when she completed a 2,500 mile run through America, running 50 miles in all 50 US states, in two months raising money for orphans in the U.S. and around the world.  Lisa is asked by many how she garners the strength to undertake such challenges and her response is always the same, quoting Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

The donations raised thru Lisa’s Badwater challenge are earmarked specifically for the “Badwater 4 Good Water” project.  According to the (WHO) World Health Organization, currently a billion people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion lack access to basic sanitation. The WHO also reports that the contaminated and infectious agents, the bacteria that causes diarrhea, account for 4.1% of the global disease burden killing 1.8 million children a year. “Access to clean water is a basic human right and we all need to help; there is no contribution too small, even a $1 donation makes a difference,” said Smith-Batchen.

Lisa is the owner of Dreamchasers which promotes and organizes running events and running retreats in the Teton Range and around the world.  Races include the Marathon Des Sables, Jackson Hole Marathon, Yellowstone-Teton Endurance Runs and the Tucson Marathon Events.  Additionally, she provides on-line coaching for runners of all levels.

For details on sponsoring the run, please contact Lisa:

Lisa Smith-Batchen results ©wikipedia

  • Competed in 9 Badwater Ultramarathons (Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA): Was the 1st woman twice – 1997 (3rd overall) & 1998 (4th overall).
  • 2 Marathon des Sables Ultramarathons (Moroccan Sahara): 1999 First and only American female to win the event in its 18 year history.
  • 2008 Rocky Racoon 50 Mile: 10:16
  • 2008 Florida Keys 50 Mile: 9 hours
  • 2008 306 Miles: 1st person to ever run from Las Vegas to Mt. Whitney. Raised $590,000 for AIDS Orphans Rising.
  • 2008 Badwater 135 Mile Ultramarathon for the 9th time.
  • 2008 Ironman AZ
  • 2007 Desert Springs 50 mile: 14th Female. 12:08:39
  • 2007 Ironman AZ: 12:54:30.
  • 2006 Completing the Badwater double has been one of the greatest highlights of my athletic carrier but also as wife, mother, coach and mentor. The gifts that God shared and showed me along the way are the greatest for me to this day!
  • 2006 Grasslands 50 mile: 1st Female. 8:40:30.
  • 2005 Bishop 50k: 2nd Female. 6:04:25.
  • 2004 Squaw Peak 50: 12:46.
  • 2003 Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Finisher: 1st Female; 7th Overall.
  • 2003 Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run: 4th Female. 30:39:43.
  • 2003 Western States 100: 19th Female; 133rd Overall. 26:30:54.
  • 2003 Vermont 100: 23rd Female; 144th Overall. 24:15:15.
  • 2003 Squaw Peak 50: Won the husband and wife award. 11:17.
  • 2002 Old Dominion Memorial (VA): 1st Female; 4th Overall. PR: 20:34:30.
  • 2002 Leadville Trail 100. 10th Female; 74th Overall. 26:56:58.
  • 2002 Umstead 50 (NC): 1st Female.
  • 2002 HURT 100k: 34:53:00.
  • 2001 JFK 50. 128th Overall, 10th Female; 128th Overall. 8:52:27
  • 2000 GNC National Championship (Pittsburgh) 100k, 1st Team; 1st 30-39; 7th Female. PR: 9:50
  • 1999 Team USA World 100K Championship (France).
  • 1998 Long Island 50 Mile Endurance Run: 1st Female; 2nd Overall. 6:42
  • 1997 Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race (India): 2nd Female. 18:50:03
  • 2 Vermont 100s: PR: 1997. 2nd Female; 12th Overall. 18:26
  • 1997 Old Dominion Endurance Run (VA): 2nd Female; 8th Overall. 19:07:52
  • 5 Hawaiian Ironman Championships: PR: 10:33:27
  • World Duathlon Championship
  • 3 Eco-Challenge Multi-Sport Adventure Races
  • 2 Raid Galoises Multi-Sport Adventure Races
  • 2 ESPN X-Games Multi-Sport Adventure Races
  • 1 Four Winds Multi-Sport Adventure Race
  • 35 Ultramarathons (50 miles or more): Including: Western States 100, Leadville Trail 100, Wasatch 100, Vermont 100, HURT 100K, Rocky Raccoon 100, Squaw Peak 50. • 100 Mile PR: 18:26 / 50 Mile PR: 6:42 • Over 90 Marathons PR: 2:48:52. Half marathon PR: 1:23. 10k PR: 36:01.


  1. Pingback: Episode 64 – Smith Batchen, Perkins, Almeida, Rasmussen | Ian Corless host of Talk Ultra podcast

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