A true running spirit and ultra legend. Wonderful article from Brian Metzler.
The legacy of trail running legend Micah True (aka, “Caballo Blanco”) is alive and well.
Two years ago today, March 31, 2012, the body of Micah True was recovered from a remote part of the Gila National Forest in southwest New Mexico near the Arizona border. Nicknamed “Caballo Blanco,” or White Horse, the 58-year-old True became a reluctant celebrity in 2009 after he was featured in the best-selling non-fiction book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. But he made the most of the notoriety, celebrating and educating the world about the Tarahumara Indians (aka, the Raramuri people) from the Copper Canyon region of north-central Mexico.
True had spent another winter in his adopted winter hometown of Urique, Mexico, and was heading back to the U.S. for the spring and summer when he stopped at the Gila Wilderness Lodge and Hot Springs on March 27 for what was supposed to be a 12-mile trail run through a section of the national forest. But True never returned and after several days of a high-profile search, his body was discovered on the edge of a creek. An autopsy report later said he died of heart disease.
After learning of the plight of the Raramuri people in the mid-1990s, True, a vagabond trail running pioneer who had spent time in Colorado, Hawaii and Guatemala, among other places, took it upon himself to try to help them embrace their ancient running roots while also trying to find ways to help their impoverished society. He eventually built a small adobe house in Urique, spending winters there and summers in Boulder, Colo. He also created an ultra-distance race to help support the local people, attracting top trail running stars Scott Jurek and Jenn Shelton, among others.
Now two years after his death—and almost five years since the release of “Born to Run”—True’s legacy is alive and well.