Nun to run Cooper River Bridge Run

Mt. Pleasant, S.C. (WCIV) — Lacing up her sneakers, Sister Mary Beth Lloyd loves a physical challenge.

She laughs while showing the bandages covering cuts and scratches on her fingers.

"My knuckles. In practicing I fell,” she said.

The minor hand injury won't stop her feet from exercising to the double diamonds on the bridge on a sunny Thursday morning.

Lloyd is a nun on the run with the Religious Teachers Filippini Order in Morrison, New Jersey. Since 1994, she's taken part in races in all 50 states.

"People run up to you. And as you're running, it’s almost like you're going to confession. They ask you please pray for my child or please pray for me. And you can do a lot of good running to help other people," she said.

That's what the nun from New Jersey is doing Saturday for the Cooper River Bridge Run.

She's raising money for Orphans Rising, a group that helps poor orphans with AIDS around the world.

She points to a photo on the cover of a book she wrote about children in Ethiopia in need.

"The mother and father have died from AIDS. So we pay $3 dollars a month for them to live in this house," she said. "The children have nothing to eat. And for $10 dollars you can buy 400 bread rolls for them. Some children only eat one roll a day," Lloyd said.

Sister Mary Beth explained how her exercise habit - while wearing a habit - helps her mission.

"I wear the black one. You know Johnny Cash? The Man In Black. The same reason. It draws attention. People say, 'What are you doing? I say, 'I need help with the children.' Then people help," she said.

She doesn't consider herself an expert runner. Still, she says the Cooper River Bridge Run organizers invited her to stand in the elite corral at the starting line on Saturday. She'll be gathered with professional marathoners from countries where kids are starving.

"This is who we help. We help the children in Ethiopia. And I'll be able to get the message to the Ethiopians themselves. So maybe they'll start to run for the children," Lloyd said.

Until then, she'll pound the pavement alone on a journey with Jesus.

"I constantly say the rosary a lot. I even say the stations of the cross. Whatever it is that'll get you across," she said.

Sister Mary Beth Lloyd is staying with friends from Stella Maris Catholic Church on Sullivan's Island and Christ Our King Church in Mount Pleasant.

To learn more about her work, click here.

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