It was just another beautiful day in the deep canyon country of La Sierra Madre. On Wednesday they came; two teams of excellent runners, meeting and walking almost 30 miles together, from the 5,900 foot deep Batopilas canyon, up and over the mountains and down into the 6,200 foot depths of the Urique canyon to arrive at the start of the race in the small town of Urique.
There were now three teams in Urique to compete in the fifth running of the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon.
One team of four Tarahumara runners showed up from the mountain village of Piedras Verdes above Urique. Another team of eight traditional Raramuri from the Batopilas region, and 8 excellent trail runners from various parts of the United States, that we called ėl equipo animalesØ--team animal, including el presidente de Club Mas Loco, Caballo Blanco. All had earned entry into the exclusive Club Mas Loco, by walking over from Batopilas to Urique in one day. During the course of this 13 hours together on the trail, all runners, from both cultures, became pretty close, opening up considerably----it was a beautiful cultural exchange of running people. During the course of the five day race program, all of the runners and towns-people, spectators, roosters and dogs, would also become united in beauty, truth and peace, a cultural exchange of all running/party animals!
Twenty runners would start the race on Sunday, March 5, 2006. All would be winners.
The top 10 won $1,500 U.S.D prize money and 10,000 pounds of corn for their settlements. There were 4 state-side runners in the top ten, who passed on their winnings to the finishing Tarahumara runners; KORIMA-sharing: The primary sponsor of this race!
El Venado Fuerte--Scott J, ran a very smart race, as the Tarahumara went out at a very fast pace, competing with the great Raramuri runner, Arnulfo Quimare. The fast pace took it“s toll and Scott was able to run down all of the raramuri but Arnulfo, who maintained his incredibly fast pace, and won the race by 6 minutes.
100 years ago, the Tarahumara hunted by stalking the deer until it dropped. This year, the deer was doing the stalking!
After the race, El Venado bowed to Arnulfo in a gesture of high respect. The respect is mutual.
17:40, Old Dominion 100 mile winner, Jenn Shelton, ran happy, strong, and lovely, winning the womens race and finishing 6th overall. She was a huge little hit! Urique loved La Brujita agradable.
Barefoot Ted--El Mono, came down from California to run barefoot. He makes it look like that is how it is supposed to be done. Well done Barefoot Ted!
Christopher--El Oso, ran his first all day Ultra Marathon and finished in the dark, an incredible display of courage; puro huevos rancheros!
Luis--El Coyote, flew the down-hills like a skier of scree, and captured many moments of beauty with his artistic eye..
Eric--Gavilon nieve, steady, strong, quiet, confident--true raramuri! Thank you Eric.
Billy--Lobo Joven--The local girls loved him and he ran like a true gringo raramuri too!
And the old Caballo Blanco helped create beauty again, enjoying the results of some newly improved trail up to Los Alisos as well as the out and back section format that enabled all to see the progress of the race as it unfolded, watching all of the race from the trail for 37 miles before hanging at the finish to participate in everybody else“s finish. The champs finished the 47 mile race a couple of minutes before the race director, Caballo Blanco, finished his 37 mile run!
All runners were very respectful in this cultural exchange of trail running people. Everybody who was present in the town of Urique on March 5, 2006, could clearly see that we are all winners, all of us.
May all of us continue to run free.
1--Arnulfo Quimare--26--Chepachare 6:41
2--Scott Jurek--Venado Fuerte--Seattle 6:47 3--Silvino--28--Huisuchi 7:34
5--Sebastiano--36--San Jose 8:00
6--Jenn Shelton--La Brujita Bonita--22--Virginia 8:29
6--Billy Barnett--Lobo Joven--21--Virginia 8:29
8--Ignacio Palma--41--Kirare 8:53
9--Luis Escobar--Coyote--43--California 8:53
10--Leonardo--21--Piedras Verdes 8:55
11--Porfilio--31--San Jose 9:27
12--Eric Orton--Gavilan-39--Wyoming 10:35
13--Ted McDonald--Mono Hablador--41--Cal 10:46
14--Christopher McDougall--Oso--44--Pennsylvania 12:44
37 miler--Caballo Blanco--53--Batopilas/Colorado 6:50
The message: Love rules!