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Club Mas Loco

Run Free- November 2013 Newsletter


Run Free- November 2013 Newsletter

The theme of this year's race, is a harmonious collaboration of all cultures."SOMOS MAS LOCOS" - "WE ARE MAS LOCOS"! As similar with the Raramuri Greeting, "Kuira Ba" - We are One! Yes, all of us are MAS LOCOS! 


Mas Locos at the 2012 Javelina 100


Mas Locos at the 2012 Javelina 100

Update by Maria Walton - RD

Fifteen Mas Locos raced across the Sonora Desert of Arizona. The Javelina Jundred, truly captures the natural beauty, along with the power of Mother Earth. Two Mas Locos traveled from Sonora, and Chihuahua, to take on their first 100-mile adventure. As Jesus finished, he humbly asked if Nick and Jamil would give him an extra belt buckle for their president, who truly admired Caballo Blanco. Jesus and Francisco have ran the CCUM for the past three years. Jamil and Nick lovingly gave them race shirts, and hats, for their entire running team of Mexico! Tyler Tomasello and I distributed hundreds of 2013 Race Posters. The Millers hosted a beautiful post-race celebration. We truly believed that Micah's spirit was with us. And, Guadajuko just grins :D


Cabro Colorado's Guide to the "Copper Canyon" Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon


Cabro Colorado's Guide to the "Copper Canyon" Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon

If you have any questions on travel or race details, please Contact Us or visit our Travel Page or Race Page

*This was originally published by Mas Loco Chris Labbe (Cabro Colorado) as a PDF on, it has been updated by the Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon team to reflect any current changes.

*The information contained in this guide is from the experiences of Cabro Colorado. If the opinions or experiences of Animales Mas Loco that are not Cabro are used, every attempt to give credit where credit is due has been used.

What is the Caballo Blanco "Copper Canyon" Ultramarathon?

This is a very big question… ultimately the race is an ultramarathon designed to celebrate and encourage the continued development of running as a central element in the culture of the Raramuri Indians of Central Mexico.

In a less philosophic sense, the race is a mountain running festival with multiple days of hikes with the Raramuri, followed by a 51 mile race in the bottom of the Urique Canyon of the Copper Canyons in Chihuahua, Mexico.

The race was originally called the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon. It has since been renamed the Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon to in Memory of Micah True (known to many as Caballo Blanco), the founder of this wonderful event.

Why should I run in the CCUM?

If your goal is to win more races, then you should not be running this race. You might win this race, but that is very much not the point of this event. This is a celebration of running. It is a celebration of the Raramuri. It is a celebration of Central Mexico. The CCUM is an event unlike any race you will find anywhere else.

What’s up with this Korima business?

Korima literally means “sharing without caring” … put another way, give what you can and do not expect any thanks for the giving. It’s strange business for us Americanos. If you give something to a Raramuri they will take it. Sometimes they will acknowledge the gift … most of the times, not. It’s not an insult, it’s the way they live. The reward is in the giving, right?

Who is Caballo Blanco?

Find out for yourself by reading articles posted on the website or by googling “Micah True" Born to Run and “copper canyon ultra marathon”.

Arrgh! I’m trying to plan my trip, but can’t find any schedules or info!

It can be intimidating thinking about navigating through Mexico to find buses and trains that can't be arranged ahead of time. Cabro felt the same way last year. Now that he’s been through it once, he can tell you that it's pretty easy as long as your willing to roll with whatever happens, think on your feet and have no shame for trying to use crappy Spanish in nontouristy places.

How much dinero should I bring?

*ballpark figures only

Hotels will run between $15 & $40 per night, but you will almost always have the opportunity to split room costs. The extended plan is 7 nights and 8 days … makes for around $300 in food and lodging Transportation into and out of the canyon towns will vary depending on your route choices. However, buses/vans from the train in Bahuichivo down and from Urique back up will be $15 to $25 each. Throw in a few other expenses (like paying a Raramuri to make you some huaraches) and $400 would be a fair amount to bring.

Can I use traveler’s checks or credit cards during the trip?


There is very little opportunity to use credit cards, especially in the canyon towns. There is a cash machine in Creel and a bank that can advance cash against your CC. After that, no chance. Traveler’s checks are a similar story. The cambio de checques in Creel or the bank in Creel can convert your checks. Past this point in the journey, it’s basically a cash world. In general, you should convert enough $$$ to pesos in one of the major cities (Los Mochis, Mazatlan, Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua) and avoid the stress of being peso or cash limited. If you run out of pesos, many of the Mexicans will take $$$ at a favorable exchange to them. This year the normal exchange was around 13p/$1.

I hear the course is unmarked. How will I know where to go?

*The course is now marked with white paint at interserctions and critical points.

There really is no way to get lost on the first spur. It's a road that leads up to Guadalupe Coronado and back down to the river. Then we run up another Canyon on single track to Naranjo. For the 2nd leg, 6+ miles of road is the main part, then cross and follow the river to Los Alisos and the grapefruit orchards. The path is wide and obvious all the way to Los Alisos because of the sponsored trail maintenance. For the 3rd leg, all road back to Guadalupe Coronado and back to Urique.

Do I need camping equipment?

No. Unless you intend to deviate from the basic plan, you will not need any sleeping equipment. You will be “pampered” by central Mexico standards.

Do I need to speak Spanish to survive this trip?

Cabro’s experience says that the Mexican people truly appreciate anyone trying to speak Spanish. Many of them can speak English and will respond quicker after a feeble attempt by an Americano to speak Espanol. However, there will be many people in the group that are either fluent, or can hack their way through. Spanish language is NOT a requirement for joining this adventure.

Can we talk to the Raramuri in Spanish or English?

Maybe … some of the Raramuri will also speak Spanish. They speak a unique language that is not rooted in the latin derivatives. Here is an online translator you can use to entertain yourself.

Where do we stay in Urique?

Sponsored event lodging is at Hotel Estrella del Rio. The Rio is nice enough by Mexico standards, but these are not always as nice as cheap hotels here in the US. A bed and a basic bathroom is what you should expect. Cost should be about $35 per room.

Hotel de los Cañones is on the main street, nice enough old place for about $20 to $30 will be an option.

Campers may pitch tents or get a room/bed at Entre Amigos, about $8-$20 bucks....Nice piece of land, good shower, ect... Los Barrancas at around $40 is available as well. There are many more hotels in Urique an several options available. Reservation in advance is recommmended.

How do I get to the race start? *seriously tight budget (from Caballo Blanco himself)

• Bus to El Paso • Get to the Americanos bus station on El Paso street on the El Paso side of the international bridge. • Buy a ticket on the next bus to Juarez bus terminal earlier the better • AMERICANOS bus will stop at the border while Mexican passengers are having their luggage inspected by Mexican customs, you go into the migra office and get your tourist card...tell the bus driver what you are doing so he waits. This ride will cost ya about $15. • When you get to the Juarez bus terminal, buy ticket on next bus to Chihuahua city (about $30). 5 hours later you will be in Chihuahua city bus terminal. • There will be a direct bus to Creel (about $25) leaving at 2 and 4pm (4 1/2 hour ride). • If you miss all rides to Creel in Chihuahua city, there is a really nice hostel, with rooms right next to the train station. Hostel is owned by a French guy, called Casa De Chihuahua. • Next day get on the early second class train to Bahuichivo, or first class if ya want to spend twice as much money and leave earlier. ALL transport from Bahuichivo station to Urique will wait on the 2nd class trains to up and wait, or wait and hurry up? Your choice. • Train from Creel to Bahuichivo station is about $15

Semi-tight budget

Fly to El Paso, follow instructions above

Less-tight and I want to ride the train through the lower canyons

Fly to Mazatlan • Bus to Los Mochis • If you get to Mochis • Catch train to Creel or Bahuichivo

More $$$ less buses

• Fly to Los Mochis • Train to Creel or Bahuichivo • Fly to Chihuahua • Train to Creel or Bahuichivo • Creel to Urique - Catch first or second class train to Bahuichivo for $12 to $24. Then catch public bus to Urique for $12.

What should I bring to the race?

Our only fire. We had a low-carbon trip.

As little as possible. You can rinse/wash stuff in the river or showers. There will be no need to dress up for anything we will do. Everyone will be wearing t-shirts and running shirts. Running shoes and a pair of hiking sandals is enough. If you have more than a big backpack and a small hiking type pack, you are probably over packing.

The Raramuri will graciously accept any small gifts or tokens you might bring. There are several great pictures of La Brujita Jenn Shelton sharing Clif gels with them. This is a sweet treat they are not accustomed to.

For running fuel, you can BYO or use what will be available at the race. Pinole is a very finely ground form of roasted corn and mixes well in water. It makes for a terrific carbohydrate source. Last year Cabro used this and some gel packs as his only fuel source. You can buy pinole in Creel or Divisadero before heading down into the canyons.

Can I drive down to the race?

*Driving info from Caballo It is an awesome drive and fast there is a shortcut over the mountains halfway down the freeway thats right between Juarez and Chihuhua, that avoids Ciudad Chihuahua and brings you out at Ciudad Cuauhtemoc....2 1/2 hours to Creel. Takes about 9 hours total......11 real easy.

More information on driving down can be found on Mexico Horse's website



What is the Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon?

The Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon (Also known as the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon) is a 50-mile (80km) Race run at the bottom of the Urique canyon, in the Barrancas Del Cobre or Copper Canyons of Mexico, held between the local Tarahumara (Raramuri), Mexican nationals and foreign runners who come together to celebrate peace and the long-living traditions of the Running People. This unique event was created by Caballo Blanco, also known as Micah True, after he met the Raramuri at the Leadville Ultra in the 1990's and decided to travel down to the canyons, inspired by their simple ways and physical capabilities. With the intention of celebrating and promoting the running culture of the Raramuri, he created an event where foreign champions and runners would come all the way down to Urique to meet them, share and celebrate together. Every runner who participates in the CCUM and completes a segment of the race wins. Runners completing the first segment (20 miles) win one 100-pound bag of corn. If they complete 2 segments (40 miles), they win 3 bags. Finishers (50 miles)  win 5 bags of corn, which means 500 pounds of food. Since the very first race, all the winnings earned by foreign runners were given back to the Raramuri as Korima, the Circle of sharing, a tradition at the heart of their culture.

[caption id="attachment_418" align="alignleft" width="300"] Caballo Blanco distributing race numbers to gringo and Raramuri runners[/caption]

Foreign runners, generically called gringos or chabochis, travel from all corners of the world for the chance to run with the Raramuri in a beautiful, remote environment that is sure to leave lifetime memories. After the race, they get called "Mas Locos" and join an international community, rich in human values and new friendships.

The race is held yearly on the first Sunday of March, when the weather in the canyons is not yet in the highs of summer. Race headquarters are in the town of Urique and the event is one of the biggest celebrations in the year for local people, who celebrate the Raramuri as true champions and welcome the Mas Locos and aspiring Mas Locos cheerfully.

To honor Micah's memory and perpetuate this unique event, a group of Mas Locos, helped by many supporters, are currently working at the 2013 event, and beyond.

Register Now or Contact Us to become a Sponsor or Donor of this event!



Farewell to you Micah | A Tribute Poem

by Natasha Vizcarra Two friends found him in a beautiful place His feet still in the burbling stream His water bottle, half full The following day he was carried out by friends A white horse named "Tequila" leading the way There is no better way for a trail runner To cross the finish line than this Farewell to you Micah, White Horse of the Copper Canyons See you out there someday, out on the trail Beyond my own finish line Save some tequila for me And one of those white MASLOCOS t-shirts



Mas Locos con Puro Corazon

Post by Diego Rhodes, the Mexico HorseThis post is to thank CCUM 2012 participants who came for the event but went further in helping our people. Yes, you runners are “Mas Locos” but, like Zacatecas you are also “Puro Corazon” which translates to something like “All Heart”. Many of you helped by providing food to traditional Tarahumaras others provided donations and I’d like to recognize them by name where possible. Aida and German donated a part or all of their winnings to fund a student trip. Over the past 9 years, these trips have proven to be a major motivation factor for kids to stay in school and do the best they can in their studies. It is also an educational experience of a lifetime and something which continues to motivate the participants long after their trip. I was especially touched when German told me it also gave him the incentive to keep running the best he could in the hopes of winning for the students.

Roy won the experience of participating in CCUM, no sooner had he returned home than he sent me payment to sponsor one student. Other people who stayed with us at the Oso donated money anonymously.

Your trip donations are used as matching funds, the students need to come up with an equal amount to go on the trip. Thus, Roy’s and other’s donations for one student will provide matching funds for two students. Thanks to the auction at the Oso and their other fund- raising activities, the Huicorachi school now has 50% of funds needed for their trip, by raising matching funds, the trip will mean more to everyone than if it was just given to them. If donors want to join the students, departure for Guadalara is 29 June, the day after they graduate. We'd love to have you share the experience.

To Flint, Paloma’s group from California and others who donated seeds but whose names I missed in the hectic CCUM atmosphere, thanks for giving something that would provide sustainable subsistence. Seeds were selectively given to people who had gardens but were lacking in seeds. People who received the seeds promised not only to plant them but to allow some to go to seed so that your donation will continue to provide nutritional food down through the years.

Tyler sent an Apple Computer to El Paso, it was part of the load in one of our shuttle vans, Paloma and Lynette both brought laptop computers. Michael who brought down two computers in a plastic storage container—which I forgot to ask if you wanted back. O other male brought a laptop, forgive me for not getting your name.

Ricardo brought so many boxes of school supplies that his baggage charges undoubtedly exceeded the cost of his flight. Some of these supplies he was able to give out himself, others he was not permitted to take on the train but were shipped separately and will go to remote schools and the most needy students. Many people filled their bags with extra clothing and had the pleasure of seeing students from Huicorachi and others selecting and wearing the clothes. Robyn brought a bag of baby clothes from Australia, somehow it boggles the mind to think of Tarahumara kids wearing clothes from Australia!

All you Mas Locos were so generous that it is impossible to recognize everyone, please forgive me for the people who I have missed in this post, you are all winners and Puro Corazon! May you all receive blessings and great karma.



CCUM 2012 | Caballo's Race Report

Sunday, March 4, 2012 was just another beautiful day in the deep canyon country of la Sierra Madre. Wednesday they began to come; a whole bunch of international runners met at the Rancho Del Oso hotel near Cerocahui and hiked together 8 hours over the mountains and down into the 6,200 foot deep Urique canyon and arrived at the town of Urique where we encountered all of the other international runn...ers, numbering over 80, and about 350 Raramuri [Tarahumara Indian runners]. There were another 70 or so locals, numbering almost 500 total by the race start.We celebrated together with food and festivity for a few days until the Sunday race, then ran all day through the beauty of the Urique canyon, distances of 22, 40 and 50+ miles. We ran in peace together, dancing in rythm to the lovely heartbeat of our Mother Earth; the heartbeat of freedom. ALL were winners. The first finisher of the 50 mile "main event", and winning the great prize money of almost $3,000 dollars [35,000 pesos] and a ton of corn [food value] was a Tarahumara runner named Miguel Lara, from the mountain village of Porochi, Urique. Seond place was the Czech Republic star Danel Oralek, and third place was the legendary German Silva of Mexico. ALL 3 broke the previous course record of 7:04 set by Miguel in 2011! Miguel won the 2012 race in a time of 6:40. Danel came in in 6:46 and German in 6:51. It was an incredible day and performance by ALL that participated in any way, shape or form. The top 10 men and women finishers received cash prize money and maize [food vales] with the top 5 each winning a ton [literally] of food per runner along with cash prizes of almost $3,000, $2,000, $1,500, $800 and $400 dollars [in pesos] awarded the top 5 men and women. The 6th-10th place runners [men and women] received 1/2 ton of food and about $250. ALL finishers [180 of them] of the 50 mile ultra won 5 50 kg sacks of maize [food] payed in vales to purchase whatever is needed, at community Diconsa markets. Korima [sharing] amongst their communities. ALL finishers of the shorter distances also received corn/food prizes of 50/100 kg sacks of corn/food. On this day, yet another time, peace was created in the deep canyon country of la Sierra Madre. Run Free!

Caballo Blanco