On Saturday, Micah True’s body was found in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. He was only 58 years old, a shocking age to die for a man who seemed to be in such good condition.
True was familiar with the area, and a well-known ultra-marathon runner, so it was shocking when he was found dead four days after he went on a standard 12-mile run he’d completed before.
True was a pacer for a member of the Tarahumara tribe, the wilderness tribe from Mexico whom are known to run hundreds of miles at a time, during a Colorado race.
True lived among the tribe for a long tibe, ultimately becoming the subject of the book, Born to Run, later turned into a movie.
He celebrated the tribe’s way of life – their simplicity, their happiness and their athletic skills. He highlighted their running skills, adapting to their running style of using sandals instead of sneakers.
His race, called the Copper Canyon Ultra-Marathon is a 50-mile long race in which many members of the tribe of all ages participate. As quoted by the Associated Press, Nick Coury said a quote that has stuck with me:
‘Coury remembers his first Copper Canyon race.
Sitting in the darkness at the finish line, he waited for others to cross. First came two young boys and then there were two 15-year-old girls wearing their traditional layered dresses — colorful but heavy. On their feet were plastic jelly sandals.
“That’s all they owned. Shoes are hard to come by,” Coury said.
“Every year there’s something that touches me in a new way,” he said.
“They come to the race, some of them hiking in from 30 to 40 miles away, and they still believe they can run. It reignites their culture inside them.”‘
Running fifty miles in general, let alone running fifty miles in these outfits:
I can’t even imagine.