A lot of things have happened in 2015. Some happy, some sad.
March 2015 was, in many ways, a terrible moment for everyone gathered around Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco. For outside runners, faced with the reality of violence in Mexico. For Uriquenses, stuck between a rock and a hard place. For the Raramuri, who have high stakes in the event for the livelihood of their families. For local government, who had to react as best they could to an impossible situation.
In the midst of the chaos, a decision was taken. For better or worse, Urique would hold a race, even in the face of severe adversity.
Months passed before we could travel again and come back to Urique. In November, 3 runners made the trip down to the Barrancas, on foot, accompanied by a Raramuri runner. We had a chance to see our friends from the Urique Municipio and sit down for a talk.
Before anything was said, Daniel Silva, Urique's president, made a statement. "You, the runners who come in the Canyons, are an example to our youth, and a demonstration that there can be healthy, joyful, positive things revolving around an active lifestyle. You will always be welcome in Urique."
He went on to explain that the decision taken to hold a race last March, and to hold it again in 2016 and beyond, was based in large part on this positive, constructive example to all the people of Las Barrancas, and to its children, who can be inspired by the humble celebration of running and the bridge that is created between cultures. We, of course, agreed wholeheartedly.
So there will be a race in Urique in 2016. It will be organized locally, by the very people who welcome us in their town, on their trails and in their homes. And I, as nothing more than a Mas Loco runner, will travel down and run it, and so will a number of you, too.
Norawas de Raramuri will keep sponsoring and supporting ideas and projects emanating from the Canyons, and will now focus its efforts on the Kid's race, providing shirts, medals, prizes and donations for the children of Las Barrancas. We are also very proud to annouce that the Caballo Blanco Trail Project is more alive than ever, with the last segment from the Canyons top running all the way down to Batopilas now under construction. Both ourselves and the local people are very excited, as this is a new opportunity for adventure travel, tourism and events, but more importantly, this reopens an ancient Raramuri path for safe travels on foot between the two main canyons of the Barrancas Del Cobre.
Adventurers interested in traveling down for the 2016 event can get more information on the Club Mas Loco Facebook page, where they will also find advice and comments from experienced travelers to the Copper Canyons.
Our friends in Urique are also actively preparing the event, organizing accommodations and planning race logistics. They have setup a signup page for the race, and travelers seeking a place to stay can contact Cecy Villalobos or still make arrangements at Mas Loco headquarters, Entre Amigos.
The simple, humble message of running transcends everything, and resonates strongly with our friends in the Copper Canyons, sending ripples of positivity and hope. So, as Caballo Blanco himself used to say...
Eres Mas Loco?
Photo credit : Patrick Sweeney