TARAHUMARAS, THE INFINITE RACE: NEW DOCUMENTARY ESPN SPORTS. PREMIERS ON 12/15

TARAHUMARAS, THE INFINITE RACE: New documentary in ESPN sports, with premiere on 15th December. Since the launch in 2009 of the book “BORN TO RUN” the Tarahumara people inspired a wave of minimalism in running around the world. The raramuris were recognized as the best ultra runners on the planet.

They had already conquered great ultras, such as the mythical Leadville 1994 against Ann trason. But from there, they were invited to run around the world, including Spanish races such as Gran Trail Peñalara or Penyagolosa. However, in Mexico, they remain a forgotten people, with their homes and communities devastated by drug cartels and violence.

TARAHUMARAS, THE INFINITE RACE

An ultramarathon is defined as any race longer than 26.2 miles. But, of course, with anything that extreme, such a measurement can only be understood as the start of the story.

Ultrarunning has exploded in popularity over the past decade, in large part because of the phenomenon of the book Born to Run, which chronicles the tale of the Tarahumara, an indigenous community in Mexico who refer to themselves as the Rarámuri, famed for their legendary running ability, and their preference for running barefoot. In the aftermath of the book, international runners were inspired to descend upon Urique, a town in the basin of the Chihuahua’s rugged Sierra Tarahumara canyons, which subsequently became the site of a “bucket list” race for ultramarathoners. Soon, people all over the world were wearing barefoot-style shoes. Millions and millions of dollars were made – everyone profiting, it seems, except the Tarahumara.

Silvino & Arnulfo in Spain 2013, with Nano Pies negros, Judit Franch, Pau Bartóló andNuria Picas.
Photo: Mayayo.

In The Infinite Race, director Bernardo Ruiz explores what’s happened to the tribe that inspired so much of the ultra-racing craze. While the world has been running in their symbolic footsteps, the Tarahumara has continued to face existential threats from organized crime and drug cartels, forcing them from their homes and breaking apart their communities. Victims have been kidnapped and murdered, and local farms have been taken over to plant marijuana or poppy.

In 2015 in Urique, the Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco, the race named after Micah “Caballo Blanco” True, an eccentric American runner portrayed in Born to Run, was marred by violence related to organized crime. With many Americans in attendance, a gun-battle broke out. People were killed – and the race organizers were faced with a choice: keep running or shut the race down.

What ensued was a confusing, controversial series of events that lay bare how outsiders, many well-intentioned, impact a community in unexpected ways and the starkly different ways people can view events based on the economic, political, and cultural realities they inhabit.

TARARUMARAS, THE INFINITE RACE:

ESPN Films Presents A Quiet Pictures Production

  • Director: Bernardo Ruiz
  • Producers: Bernardo Ruiz
  • Editor: Flávia de Souza
  • Co-Producer: Andrea Cordoba
  • Director of Photography: Victor Tadashi Suarez
  • Consulting Producers: Steve Fisher, Ryan Goldberg
  • Original Score: Leo Abrahams
  • Cast: Silvino Cubesaro, Luis Escobar, Irma Chávez, Catalina Rascón.

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Post by Héctor Rubio for Trailrunningspain