How a gruelling ultra-marathon put Mexico’s Tarahumara tribe on the map | Olympic Outposts


The remote town
of Urique, Mexico, has a famous ultramarathon
called the Caballo Blanco. The course is 50 miles long
through an unforgiving terrain unlike anything I’ve
ever experienced. What makes this
ultramarathon so unique isn’t just the distance and
terrain, but the runners– local villagers who
consist of anything from elderly women
running in sandals to teenagers running
in boots and jeans, all without proper training. Joining them are visitors
from around the world, who travel thousands of miles
to run alongside the Rarámuri. I am here to discover
the passion that drives these superhero athletes
to run such an intense race. My name is Colin O’Brady. I’m a professional
endurance athlete. I’m a two-time world record
holder in mountaineering. I’m on the summit
of Mount Everest! I’ve come here to
Mexico to compete in the famous ultramarathon,
the Caballo Blanco, named after an American runner
who came to the Copper Canyon many years ago. One of the most
famous Tarahumara who ran with him, Arnulfo, has
come to race once more, and I’m lucky
enough to meet him. Before Caballo Blanco passed
away, did you know him? Was he a friend of yours? Yes I knew him,
he was the one who first invited me to run here. I liked him a lot. He was really supportive. I won three times when
he invited me here. I’m gonna run with
shoes on, but are you going to be
running in these? Huarache lunas -Huarache lunas
-Ay. And tell me about
running in those. Is it difficult? Running shoes cramp my feet. Yeah, I like
huaraches a lot more. And do these ever
break when they run, or are they very strong? No, they last one day. It’s only one piece of string. Yeah, you wrap it around. Wow. I’ve been a big fan, and you’re
a huge inspiration for me. So it’s a dream come
true to meet you. -Uh-huh.
-Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Miguel, who was the winner
of last year’s competition, lives just a few
miles from here. My name is Miguel
Lara Viniegras. I’m from the Poroche
community here in Urique. And, well, I’m a Tarahumara. So I’ve always run. I like to run with other people
to learn from what they know. I also like to win. I counted my medals last
year and there were 57. Almost all of them were
in first or second. It’s only a short walk
for us to get to Urique. I think it’s about
50 kilometers. It’s normal for us to run
100 kilometers, or 80 or 60. Como estas? -Good, you?
-Me llamo Colin. I’ve heard that you’ve
won this race before. Is that right? Yeah, I won three times. -Three times?
-Sí. How many hours does
it take to finish the race? About six and a half hours. That’s my best. How long do you think
it’s going to take me? This is my very first time. Honestly, I don’t know. I’d have to see how you walk. For me, it’s a great
honor to be here with you. Hopefully I’ll learn
some of your tips and be able to complete
the race tomorrow. I noticed that you are
actually wearing the huarache sandals right now. So are you going to plan
to run in those tomorrow? No. I just bought these from
here because these epitomize the resilience and
the determination of the local people here. So no, I thought
I’d give it a go. -They’re really comfortable.
-All right. I think I’m gonna
try on a pair. Let’s give it a go. Yeah, they feel
pretty good, right? Should we give it a
little bit of a test run? -I think that’s a good idea.
-All right. Let’s do this.
Let’s get a little jog. But they’re surprisingly
comfortable. They’re really light,
really comfortable, yeah. I can see how they
could be good. I know my front foot is used
to having a little more, like, shock absorbing coming down. Hey, good luck on
the race tomorrow. -We’ll see you out there.
-Yeah, see you there. It’s 5:00 AM. Headed to the race. Going to be
an epic day out here running with the Tarahumara. What a dream come true. I’ll see how the day goes. The course is hilly
and kind of winding. Some big steep hills
fall in this river here. People have tripped and fallen. There was a little
bit of a stream cross where people were just
jumping over rocks. But the Tarahumara
seem to not be phased, running straight through
the stream in their sandals. I’m feeling kind of soft
compared to them, to be honest. Man, that was steep up there. It was a tiny little
single-track trail, switchbacking all
the way up to the top and then running
all the way down. The downhill’s kind
of crushing my legs. But I think, what,
three hours, 15 minutes in, we’ve done almost 20 miles
or so, so definitely starting to feel the fatigue. It’s hot and
challenging and hard, but the environment and
being here in this place is just keeping me
motivated to keep going. Wow. Crushing it in first
place for the 80K. This is where it goes from
the physical to the mental. It’s up here. We have a champion! It’s a local champion! Miguel Lara! Eighty kilometers! Last mile. Coming into town. Woo. The course is hard. Mental toughness,
physical toughness. I’ve seen it all today. Number 490 is saying
hi to his audience! Oh, just finished the marathon. What an incredible experience. Really tested me today,
but so inspired being here. Like I said, a dream come
true to be out running with the Tarahumara. I’ll remember this for
the rest of my life. Welcome to this awards
ceremony for the winners. Congratulations, my friend. How do you feel? Not too bad, just recuperating
a little from feeling tired. Yeah, I broke my
personal record. The time I had before was 6:25
and this time I broke 6:18. It was amazing to run with you. For me, it was such an
inspiration to see you running. A very good job
to you, my friend. Congratulations to you
and to your family. I’ve competed in
triathlons professionally all over the world,
completing the Iron Man, but the challenge
today was truly unique. Just having the opportunity
to run through the Copper Canyon, this beautiful
place, was incredible enough. But having the opportunity to
run alongside the Tarahumara, some of the world’s
greatest runners, was something I
will never forget. The way they competed with
such poise, humility, strength, I really don’t know
how they do it. The journey today was something
I will never forget and cherish as I compete in other endurance
events around the world.




Comments
  1. 2 months ago I started training to run 5k, I finally managed to do it. After watching this, I will go for 40km at least. So inspiring.

  2. Thanks for showing a side of indigenous Mexican people. And with so much respect. Mexico doesn't appreciate them and looks down on them. I hope their culture keeps on surviving.

  3. For Kenya this is a joke… We run without shoes first, then wear shoes after reaching 15 years, then move to Olympics 😂🤣🤣

  4. My mouth was wide open in disbelief when I saw what they wore for running! Those shoes! The dress! Wow. Just amazing! Very inspirational!! I am so happy for them.

  5. This was dope and much respect to those Aztec warriors. Now you got to take a Kenyan with you next time. It prolly be Disneyland for him.

  6. I have tarahumara offspring, by my father side, and I'm so proud of that, I use to run long distances, I participated in 3 marathons and always ended in the top 3, I never knew why I have that strength and such passion for this sport, now I know ……….

  7. This is amazing! I feel as if this is not just a another race or record to crush. It’s tradition. It’s great that you wanted to partake in the tradition and not just compete for the sake of competition.

  8. Is it something to ponder that the champion guy has 57 metals but still lives in povety as it appears.

  9. I took me a bit to realize he's was saying "huaraches sandals" which he's really just saying "sandals sandals" lmao

  10. The tarahumaras are the top predators of elite endurance sports just like the sherpas. I wonder if these ppl get sponsored by the big brands & help them out. Professional athletes with all their fancy gear and training can't even compare to these natural born beasts.

  11. What does the commentator mean by the runners don't have proper training. The runners have been running that train all their lives. Experience life running is proper training. The runners are their own personal coaches. The human body will adapt.

  12. I'm only 1/4 tarahumara. In the 70's while in the U S MC I was one of the fastest runners in my platoon. As a recon marine I was assigned to carry the radio w/accessories. The joke was "only for a week … and rotate the responsibility to another …". Being 5' 8" at 155 lbs. w/heavy back pack , I can only think I've inherited the Tarahumara endurance/stamina. In school I never was an athlete. Also,I was very good at force marching. Aauurgha !

  13. This video is less about the Tarahumara people and more about self gratification and advertising for O'bradley 😑

  14. Imagine if a Kenyan runner breeded with one of these Mexican runners. The perfect hybrid vigor athlete. Ultimate runner.

  15. It is a great honor that a world-renowned athlete(COLIN O'BRADY) expresses his admiration to these great Tarahumara runners.

  16. ok peeps, gonna go buy some Xero Shoes Genesis – Barefoot Tarahumara Huarache Style Minimalist , brb

  17. And here I thought huaraches/chanclas was the same thing as sandals in English growing up…🤔

  18. Esto es el verdadero México el verdadero ejemplo lo dan ellos donde el dinero es necesario pero no roban ni nada de malo si no luchan por un poco de alimento y dinero sin lastimar a nadie ,que orgulloso me siento de esta gente mi México, el verdadero el que se debe de imitar, disfrute mucho el video 😊

  19. Imagine running in a complete set of runner equipment, then suddenly some old woman in dress run passes you.

  20. There Is an explanation for the tarahumara endurance and strenght …………they where BORN TO RUN.

  21. Truely a beautiful piece of the human race. God bless all of you and your little AWESOME huaraches. Pride of Chihuahua Mexico. 🇲🇽🌿🌹🌿🇺🇸

  22. Lol 3 out of 4 of my grandparents originated from that area and I’m the best sprinter and distance runner in my high school

  23. cant even pronounce their names right once throughout the whole video, says taramahura everytime, what a dreamm cant true and you honor them soooooo much by not saying their names right once, even in your own language, pathetic

  24. People that live in tribes and people of a primitive heritage do stuff like this all the time. I'm very impressed.

  25. I tried running in home-made huaraches a few times, and it was terrible. The sole kept slipping away to the sides and I kept tripping over the front, which did not stick to my toes at all.

  26. I know some profesional runners that didn’t run unless they have the latest in hi-tec, and very expensive gear 😂💥

  27. Next time you think running a marathon is hard, just remember it's just half of what some of these ladies can do in sandals and dresses.

  28. I'm curious why the people of this tribe don't routinely win races like the Boston Marathon, New York Marathon, etc?

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