Copper Canyon to Canyon Trail Marathon

Sunday, March 23, 2003
This was a beautiful weekend in the deep canyon
country of La Sierra Madre.
On Saturday they came, walking into the plaza of
Urique from ranchos hidden in the protective
folds of La Sierra Madre and Batopilas canyon.
We all hung out in a really nice hotel, Kstrella
DelRio({star of the river}, ate from a huge pot of
4pozole4{corn and goat stew}. Even the
vegetarian Caballo Blanco partook of this korima {gift};
then had a good nights sleep in the deluxe hotel room.
In the morning we ate more pozole, then the run
began. We danced all morning and into the afternoon,
with and through our mother mountains; moving to the
lovely rythm of her heartbeat, the heartbeat of
freedom. Friends were dancing with us in spirit,
as they have been a part of this through
positive thought and inspiration.  Vive la inspiraccion
{inspired action}. In these times of world strife and conflict, may
the Tarahumara and all of us continue to run free.
1--Manuel Luna {38} La tierra/Sierra Madre-4:50
2--Felipe {18}  La tierra/Sierra Madre-4:51
3--Herbalisto {47}  La tierra/Sierra Madre-5:03
4--Sebastiano {33}  La tierra/Sierra Madre-5:04
5--Caballo Blanco {50}  Colorado/ la Sierra Madre-6:58
6--Nacho {38}  La tierra/Sierra Madre-7:07
7--Porfilio {27}  La tierra/Sierra Madre-7:08
On the friday morning before the race, the sponsor
and race director, Caballo Blanco, did not know what
kind of response to expect, he had no expectations. 
As he left his home in the deep canyon town of
Batopilas,walking over la sierra to the start of the race
in the deep canyon town of Urique, he was joined by a
raramuri runner {Nacho}.  Upon reaching the town of
Cerro Colorado seven miles into the 29 mile
journey,he encountered two more raramuri runners waiting
for him.  Shortly thereafter another couple of runners
fell into line behind him until there were six
excellent traditional raramuri runners following
him on the climb out of Batopilas canyon, six miles
across the mountains in the oak then pine forests, then
the rocky, steep descent into the lovely arroyo 4Los
Alisos4, where all camped on the property of the
family of Prospero Torrez, who fed us all and
gave blankets and a place to camp.  This would also
be the first key aide station of the race where all
would take a bag of burritos and cup of pinole before
beginning the 3,000 foot in two mile climb! 
The next morning, the team of Batopilas canyon
raramuri and their gringo raramuri friend walked
the 8 1/2 miles to the town of Urique.
There was a team of 10 Urique canyon raramuri
runners who were sighned up to run the race, but upon
hearing of the arrival of the traditional Batopilas
canyon runners wearing their 4sapetas4{white cotton
wrap around skirts}, the Urique runners did not show
up, conceding the race to the reknown traditional
rararamuri runners. This was the first time that any of the team of
Batopilas canyon raramuri had seen the urique canyon
and the first time that any had traveled on this
trail that was to be the race course.  The race
sponsor acted as their guide, and it was an honor to
have done so.  While in Urique, the runners were treated
with great respect like the champions that they are.
The raramuri took off from the start of the race
in the plaza of Urique, like this were a 5 km race!
After a couple of hundred meters, the team
running in a group, disappeared from sight. I saw only
their 4huarachi4tracks throughout this 29 mile journey
until catching up to two runners a mile from the
finish who had stopped to drink some beer at the invitation
of a spectator.  This had been a very close race with
four runners shattering the previous course record of 6:27,
held by the gringo raramuri Caballo Blanco.  It
was a very positive experience for all involved and for
me,a great honor to have run in their tracks!
Caballo Blanco