Sunday, April 1, 2012

Micah True's Running Legacy

I'm taking a break from posting my training today. I want to dedicate this post to my ultra running idol, Caballo Blanco.

On Tuesday, Micah went out for a routine 12 miler in the Gila Wilderness reserves of New Mexico. The park has an abundant trailhead, Micah set out without informing anyone which trail he was taking. This time he didn't bring his dog along.  It was his usual deal. He was familiar with the Gila cliff dwellings, as he has visitied the Park numerous times in the past. However when he did not return Wednesday morning, his friends who operated the resort where he was staying, reported him missing. Thus, a flurry of search teams was unleashed, on foot, horseback, atv's and helicopters as well as infrared technology too. He was last seen wearing a t-shirt, shorts and carrying a water bottle. Temperatures were mild, but as of late, it dipped down in the 20's. We all hoped that he would be found safe. Unfortunately, four days after he was reported missing, on Saturday night, Micah's body was recovered. There were no obvious signs of trauma, but cause of death is still unknown.

The ultra running community have lost a great man. He was legendary when Chris McDougall memorialized his spiritual, godlike omnipresence when he would come and go as he pleased from the Copper Canyons of Mexico. He was epitomized as a living legend. He was a man of simplicity. He embraced life at its fullest. He loved living and being amongst the Raramuri's. He was eager to drop all the complexities of life in exchange for running free. Corre Libre! He died doing what he loved the most. Being one and communing with nature. He had webbed an enviable life as an ultra-runner.

I ran across one of his earlier writings about the first time he met up with the
Tarahumara's (Raramuri's).

In it, he describes the time in his life when he raced competitively and was plagued with an assortment of foot injuries. He describes with candid wit and humor about his pacing duties to Martiamo, one of the best Tarahumara runners who finished fifth in Leadville in 2004. What strikes me in this piece, is his growing love and concern for the impoverished Indians of Mexico--almost the instant he met them. He was touched by their use of their running prowess to give back to their own community. In the end, all 7 Raramuri's runners placed in the top 11 finishers of the Leadville 2004. However, although the Raramuris were considered the best runners in the world, they were never asked back to run in Leadville again? All the other past champions are invited back, but why not the Raramuri's? Why is that? I wondered if that practice has since changed? Or is it still like that today?

Reading about his article, you know that Micah True is truly a champion of the people of Urique. He embraced the Raramuri's simple living, their culture and their way of life. They live to run; they run to live. It can't be any simpler than that.

To Caballo Blanco, may you rest in peace and long may you run! Corre Libre Micah!

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