These children lose everything; I am so blessed to have the opportunity to use athletics to raise money for this worthy cause. I have increased the difficulty of this year's event in hopes that our donors will help us contribute even more to AIDS Orphans Rising than in 2006. Together, we can have an incredible impact on children's lives.
Grand Tetons, ID (PRWEB) July 20, 2008
In temperatures approaching 130 degrees, with a scorching sun and endless miles ahead, Lisa Smith-Batchen runs her heart out for the AIDS orphans of the world.
Dreamchasers Outdoor Adventures, an organization that helps athletes of all abilities conquer the world's toughest running events, is the organization Smith-Batchen founded in order to use extreme athleticism to raise awareness for the plight of AIDS orphans.
Smith-Batchen will run 302 miles and cycle 508 more, all through the Nevada and California deserts, and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to children who have been orphaned as a result of the AIDS virus.
The event is designed to call attention to the fact that there will likely be 25 million AIDS orphans by 2010; the organizers hope to raise awareness and money in order to reduce the starvation, rape, and death that confront many AIDS orphans.
The event began on July 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada at Badwater in Death Valley National Park, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at 292 feet below sea level--and the starting point for the world-famous 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon. This is followed by the official Badwater race, topped off by a run to the top of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States at 14,496 feet. Following the 302-mile run, she will complete the Furnace Creek 508, a 508-mile non-stop cycling event in October.
The 810-mile course is even more aggressive than Lisa's 2006 "Badwater Double," a 300-mile run she completed to raise $294,000 for AIDS Orphans Rising.
"There is no greater purpose than helping children who have been orphaned by AIDS," Smith-Batchen said. "These children lose everything; I am so blessed to have the opportunity to use athletics to raise money for this worthy cause. I have increased the difficulty of this year's event in hopes that our donors will help us contribute even more to AIDS Orphans Rising than in 2006. Together, we can have an incredible impact on children's lives."
Sister Mary Beth Lloyd, founder of AIDS Orphans Rising, said the following of Lisa's upcoming Death Valley 810: "Lisa is an inspiration to our organization, to me personally, and to so many around the world. Her work with our organization has directly saved countless lives. We wish her the very best with this ambitious endeavor, and we thank her, the entire Dreamchasers crew, and all other donors to this cause for their commitment to helping women and girls avoid poverty, starvation, and death."
About Dreamchasers and Lisa Smith-Batchen:
Lisa founded Dreamchasers Outdoor Adventures, a teaching organization, official representative for some of the world's toughest ultra-endurance races, and promoter of the Grand Teton Races. One of the most accomplished ultra-runners of all time, Lisa has completed eight Badwater Ultramarathons, one 300-mile Badwater Double, and is the only American woman ever to win Morocco's 150-mile Marathon Des Sables. She has been featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post, Runner's World, Sports Illustrated for Women, and ESPN Magazine. She has also appeared on ESPN, Discovery Channel, NBC's Nightly News, and Good Morning America.
Ed Mafoud, president of Damascus Bakery, is a personal friend of Smith-Batchen's and is a race sponsor in order to show support for the AIDS Orphans cause.
"Lisa has made it her mission to RUN 302 miles in the grueling heat (think 120 degrees F!) from Vegas to Whitney in support of Children orphaned by AIDS in third world countries, and Damascus Bakery is proud to support her in this quest," noted Mafoud. "We are honored to be associated with Lisa and her dedication to this cause. She is truly a first-class athlete with a heart of gold."
Lisa's Death Valley 810 in support of AIDS Orphans Rising can be followed via the event's website at http://www.lisas810.com. Individuals, endowments, and corporations interested in sponsoring the cause are encouraged to visit the website. Contact Dreamchasers at info @ dreamchaserevents.com or 208.787.2077, or contact AIDS Orphans Rising directly at http://www.aidsorphansrising.com.