Marathoning Nun Determined to Stroke Out, Prevent Piracy

Sister Mary Beth Lloyd will run Keys100 for the kids this weekend -- in a calf-length black habit

Good heavens! We complain about any temperature over 90 degrees and only jog for donuts, and along comes 60-year-old Sister Mary Elizabeth Lloyd, a Catholic nun from New Jersey, who's going to run 100 miles over 43 bridges in a black calf-length habit -- at once.

"I'm like Johnny Cash, I wear black to draw attention. And when people ask me: 'Why in God's name are you doing this?' I can say, 'For the orphaned children,''' she told the Miami Herald.

It's better than killing a man in Reno just to watch him die, though we're shocked she doesn't keel over herself wearing so many clothes in the blistering South Florida sun.

Sister Mary Beth will be running the Keys100, the ultramarathon that stretches from Key Largo to Key West, with about 65 other people starting Saturday.  By her side will run her trainer, Lisa Smith-Batchen, who once completed a 150-mile race through the Sahara Desert after being bitten by a scorpion.  Sister Mary Beth has already completed a 50-mile trail race through the Grand Tetons, and paced Smith-Batchen for 100 miles of a run through the Nevada desert and up into California -- all while carrying her rosary and holy water.

Are these two insane?

No, just inspired.  Sister Mary Beth is part of an order whose mission it is to help the poorest women and children in the US and nine other countries. 13 years ago, she founded a program to help orphans of the AIDS epidemic, and later wrote a book called AIDS Orphans Rising about children who watch their parents wither and die under the deadly disease and are left alone to raise their siblings.

She also runs for merchant marines: ''In Ethiopia, there are 470,000 new orphans from AIDS last year.  Where do you get the Somalian pirates? From little children with no place to go.''

''In Brazil, they take kids for their organs,'' she continued. "In Mexico, children are living in sewers because it's safer for them at night. They're like Ninja Turtles; it's so awful.''

So let's get this straight: Sister Mary Beth is a 60-year-old planning to run for nearly 32 hours in a giant heat tent to raise money for orphans, and she knows what Ninja Turtles are?

Excuse us while we go make a sign and secure some cheering space on the sidewalk.

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