Friday, August 12, 2011
Meeting the Tarahumara
This week’s psyche post is from Micah True (aka Caballo Blanco), who was made famous by the book Born to Run. This is the true story—as opposed to the hyperbole-ized book version—of how he met the Raramuri people of Mexico who he’s been intricately linked with ever since. It’s a great read that will motivate you to get out on the trails even if you aren’t a runner. Click on the excerpt to read the rest:
"Well, shucks; I really want to run this race, and am an old time, loyal friend of this event; won't you let me enter?" I had pleaded with the race director, who did not even remember my name, or who I was, even though I had run the "family'' like race four times. No chance; the race had grown big now, and entry was at a premium. The "New York Times" and many publications had written the story of the 55 year old Mexican winning the race. Leadville was now a huge spot on the ultra-running map! The race and their corporate sponsor, a shoe company, had benefited considerably from all of the publicity, the feel good story of the impoverished Indians running for their communities; and not JUST running, but winning; and a 55 year old in sandals at that! A deal was made with the 'gringo' promoter who had driven the Tarahumara north, to bring another team of seven Raramuri to the '94 race. I think that part of the deal was to wear the race-sponsor's shoes for a photo op.
I received a phone call from the gringo sponsor/promoter of the team of Raramuri. He was looking for help, someone who could run and knew the course, to pace some of "his" runners. "Sure, I'll do it, providing I can run the whole 50 mile return with the runner of my choice." "They tend to run faster as they go; you think you can keep up?" he challenged. "If I can't keep up, then they don't need me," I confirmed...
CB and his dog, Guadajuko, and at the start of the race he organizes each year, The Copper Canyon Ultramarathon.