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Lisa Smith-Batchen: One Extraordinary Runner

In less than a month, Lisa Smith-Batchen will set out on a 3,100-mile journey in an attempt to break the overall transcontinental coast-to-coast speed record. On April 24th, 2016, she will start in Los Angeles and make her way to New York City. In order to break the current record set by Frank Giannino in 1980, Smith-Batchen will have to cover 50-68 miles per day in less than 46 days and 8 hours.

She isn’t doing it to break a record though, not really. She wants to break the record as a way to give hope to those suffering from pediatric cancer. She wants to help families cope with the emotional tragedy of a cancer diagnosis as well as help them financially, by raising one million dollars for the cause. (change...by raising as much money as possible. Imagine if 1 million people all donated just $1!)

With 35 ultramarathons, 90 marathons, 5 Ironmans and over $2 million raised for charity, Smith-Batchen is a renowned endurance athlete.(Take out the $2 million and replace with several million)  She shares her passion for the sport by helping others achieve their dreams and become the best runners they can be. In fact, she just helped Runwell Ambassador Walter Bortman train for his first ultramarathon in Sri Lanka, helped Mike and Mark with Cape Fear and Thomas is coming up with TNF 50 mile next month.

Here at Runwell, we encourage people to accomplish extraordinary things. We encourage people to dream big, and Lisa Smith-Batchen is an outstanding example. Read our recent Q&A session with her below!

How did you hear about Runwell?

I have admired Linda Quirk for some time now and all the amazing work she is doing. Linda actually reached out to me and asked if I would like to be a coach for some of the Runwell students. What a great honor and opportunity for me to work with those I have been able to coach so far. A real treasure each of them.

What is it about the mission that drew you to the organization?

I am a recovering addict myself! Running has saved my life more than a few times and I am over the moon thankful Linda has the Runwell program to help others know that they are never alone and that being part of or a group such as Runwell that trains together, races together is FAMILY. I hope to do more and more with Linda and Runwell in the future.

What was something that surprised you about training someone in recovery?

Training someone in recovery is remarkable because they don’t take anything for granted. They value life and the moments of life in a different way. They know that they must take it all one day at a time and trust me to help them get to where they are headed. Coaching these students in recovery has also helped my own recovery. Such a respect and admiration for working through the really hard stuff in life and knowing we have each other’s back. I am honored.

How did you get involved with the Tyler Robinson Foundation? 

I am running for pediatric cancer and at the forefront of this run is  the Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF), which was created by the band Imagine Dragons in honor of one of their biggest fans, Tyler Robinson. Below is a summary of TRF, but I urge you to read more about them on their website.

Tyler passed away at the age of 16 after battling rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. In the year leading to his passing, Tyler touched countless lives, inspiring people with his courage and his insistence on enjoying life and spreading happiness despite the physical and emotional strain of living with cancer. Determined to continue Tyler’s legacy of creating something positive despite the odds, his family and members of the band Imagine Dragons, who had grown close to Tyler, came together to create the Tyler Robinson Foundation.

The mission of TRF is to strengthen families financially and emotionally as they cope with the tragedy of a pediatric cancer diagnosis by providing hope, information and relief through financial services, caring volunteers and monetary grants.

Tell us a little about this journey and what you hope to accomplish.

On April 24th, 2016 at 6:12 am I will stand at the Santa Monica Pier with my amazing team and take the first step towards 3,100 miles from LA to NYC. My goal is to run the fastest across the USA than any person has done so far.  The hope is to give and bring HOPE to all children suffering from cancer and to help the families! Save lives, spread awareness and raise as much money as possible that will be donated to the TRF. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

How can people out there help your cause?

Visit and like the Run The Nation Facebook page and check out the Run The Nation website for blog updates and to make a donation to support the cause.

What kind of gear do you take on a race like this?

Lots of Nuu-Muu running dresses, 15 pairs of HOKA ONE running shoes, headlamps and everything you would pack for a multi day ultra. We will have an RV camper and a back up car.

Some advice you would give a novice runner that wants to make a difference such as you have?  

Each one of you has many gifts and talents. Step out and use them. Each one of us has the ability to help others in a way that can not only help our own life but help another life. Fundraising is hard work but so is recovery. Imagine if one million people donated to Run the Nation just one dollar, we can all afford one dollar and that dollar could help save a life. I ask that you help me reach one million people and together we raise one million. When it is your turn I will help you! 

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” –Helen Keller

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