2007 Copper Canyon Run & Ultra Marathon Results - March 4


It was just another beautiful day in the deep canyon country of La Sierra Madre. On Wednesday they came, a team of 13 ultra-runners from the United States departed from the deep canyon town of Batopilas to walk 30 miles up and out of the canyon, crossing the mountains and down into the deep canyon town of Urique at the bottom of the 6,200 foot deep Urique canyon.
When we arrived at Cerro Colorado, 7 miles up-river, we were joined by 3 Raramuri--Tarahumara runners, who had walked to this meeting place from their settlements spread 4-10 miles up-river from the little town of Cerro Colorado. It was just a bit disappointing to see only these three young runners waiting for us to arrive, but, we can only offer an event and not be attached to what may occur. I was thankful for what we were doing and whom-ever might show up here in the land of manana and uncertainty, the only certainty being that of beauty.
We introduced ourselves with a light touching of the finger-tips, then proceeded around the next bend where we were met by a couple of other runners. Starting up the mountain, beginning the long climb out of the canyon, we looked back to see another group of 5 or 6 Raramuri lead by the canyon champion, Arnulfo Quimare. The day was getting more beautiful by the moment.
The group of trail running people, including 3 women from various parts of the United States, continued the long and lovely climb, stopping at the over-look to eat some lunch and marvel at the spectacular views of where we had come.
We shared our snacks with the Raramuri runners, also sharing laughter. Another few runners from Tarahumara country arrived from the trail directly below us, to number 13 state-side and 12 Raramuri runners. Our group arrived in Urique after 13 hours, and we were joined the next day by a couple of more late coming Raramuri from the Batopilas canyon.
There were 14 runners from the Batopilas canyon, 12 stateside runners, and 1 Caballo Blanco--me, from both Colorado in the states and Batopilas in the Copper Canyons.

27 runners filled the hotel Estrella Del Rio in Urique, which is owned by another of the several race sponsors, Grandma Tita. Tita and Jose Quintana fed the Raramuri 3 meals a day as KORIMA--a gift/sharing, in appreciation of our buying the Raramuri hotel rooms and all of the stateside runners staying at their hotel and eating the delicious food prepared by their restaurant, who catered to our every desire, which included many vegetarian dishes for those of us who are vegetarians. The Raramuri participants were treated with respect, like the champions they are

On Friday, we all walked the other 18 mile loop of the course that we had not covered.
This event was shaping up to be another, and even grander cultural exchange of trail running and party animals!
The vice-presidente of Urique had delivered 11 runners from La Sierra of the Urique canyon, and we now had 38 starters for Sunday`s 47 mile ultra marathon. Another 3 Mexican women who worked at the local health clinic, would run the first 18 mile loop with us, thus, having 41 starters gathered at the starting line outside of the Plaza on Sunday morning at about 6:30. The run started at 7 A.M.

41 runners began the journey up-river. The Raramuri from Batopilas as well as the less traditional runners from the Urique canyon blasted off the line and were running as if this race were a 5 km! Most would pay later for the incredibly typical early fast pace.

The great Raramuri runner Arnulfo Quimare held the lead for all of the first 18 mile loop and most of the second 18 mile loop which included some awesome cross-country, river crossings and single-track trail sections. Upon crossing the river another time and arriving at the dirt road 5 1/2 miles to Urique, at about 30 miles, Scott Jurek-- El Venado, known respectfully by the Raramuri as El Chumari--The deer, closed the gap and caught up to Arnulfo.
The out and back loop format of the run enabled all to see the progress of the race as it unfolded. I was amazed to see El Venado closing the gap, as well as the 3rd and 4th place finishers from Virginia, Billy Barnett--El Rana Lobo and Jenn Shelton--La Brujita.
We all had spirit animal helper names. The little witch, Jenn Shelton, chose the bat as her helper, and she flew with the grace of la morsielega--the bat!

The challenging 47+ mile course ended where it had started in the plaza of Urique, to the applause of the many towns-people gathered to witness this event, and the ranchero band that the town had brought in from Los Mochis to play music from beginning untill the end, and into the late night.

The winner of the race was Scott Jurek--Venado--Chumari, with a new course record of 6:32. Arnulfo finished second, and the top 5, winners of the bigger prize money, was rounded out by Billy Barnett--El Rana Lobo--Wolf frog, and Jenn Shelton--La Brujita, then the fifth place Raramuri from the Batopilas canyon, Manuel Luna.
Three traditionally clad Raramuri from the Batopilas canyon finished 5th through 8th place, with 2 Urique canyon runners won 9th and tenth places.
All of the top 10 won prize money and corn. 6-10th places each were to win $100, and thanks to Scott Jurek´s giving korima of his prize money, ended up winning $150 and 1,500 pounds of corn.
1st through 5th places each won 2,000 pounds of corn. ALL finishers ended up winning 1,500 pounds of corn, and any Batopilas canyon participant who did not finish, of which there were 8 of the 14 entered, are to be awarded 500 pounds of corn.
1st place won almost $700 cash, and Scott gave his winnings back to the Raramuri in the form of cash divided among the Batopilas canyon finishers, and Scott wants to deposit the rest of his race winnings into a seed bank account so that the people may plant, and with the blessings of rain, sunshine and the mother earth, harvest food and nourishment.
2cnd place Arnulfo won $500 plus the $50 bonus cash that Scott gave as korima.
3rd and 4th places Billy Barnett and Jenn Shelton graciously gave much of their winnings back to the people. 5th place Manuel Luna won $200 and 2,000 pounds of corn.
Thanks to all of the respectful people who see the beauty, and participate by contributing korima in various energetic forms to this project.
May the Raramuri and all of us continue to run free.

Caballo Blanco
Presidente: Club Mas Loco

Results: The Ultra Marathon had 38 starters and 20 finishers.

1) Scott Jurek {33}--El Venado--Chumari'--Washington-- 6:32
2] Arnulfo {27}--Chepatare--Batopilas canyon 6:50
3} Billy Barnett {22}--El Rana Lobo--Wolf Frog--Virginia 6:59
4} Jenn Shelton {23}--La Brujita--Little Witch--Virginia 7:00
5} Manuel Luna {42}--Gavilana--Batopilas canyon 7:47
6} Arnulfocito {18}--Santa Rita--B atopilas canyon 8:00
7} Nacho Palma {42}--Quirare--Batopilas canyon 8:03
8} Martin Gallito {21}--Chepatare--Batopilas canyon 8:10
9} Leonardo Cleto {22}--Piedras Verdes, Urique canyon 8:12
10}Jose Hilario {22}--8:13--piedras Verdes, Urique canyon 8:13
11} Sebastiano {37}--San Jose, Batopilas canyon 8:16
12} Mike Adams {38}--El Perro Grande-Big Dog-Washington 8:48
13} Micah True {54}--El Caballo Blanco--White Horse--? 8:58
14} Barefoot Ted McDonald {43}--El Mono--Monkey--California 9:44
15} Charlie Crissman {38}--El Buho--The Owl--Washington 9:54
16} Chriss Labbe {37}--El Cabro--The goat--Colorado 10:02
17} Jamil Courey {22}--El Carnero--The Ram--Arizona 10:16
18} Deborah Bezanis {49}--La Cebolla--The Onion-Chicago 11:33
19} Samuel Warren {38}--El Girafa--The Giraffe--Washington 11:33

20} 36 miler: Leah Jurek {30}--La Venada--Dear--Washington 8:20 

Note from the RD: This run project is about more than a race. It is about respect, and a cultural exchange of trail-running people. The Running project is staged for the benefit of the Raramuri people from where I live in the Batopilas canyon, and like most good things, benefits many, from varied places and walks/runs of life!
The Raramuri participants are by no means the best runners in Tarahumara land, but rather, mostly consist of but a small percentage of the Tarahumara population, many having ceased to, or all but stopped running. We hope to turn that back around.
This project is about pride and self-empowerment.
My thanks to the several sponsors who have given me their trust and faith.

Micah