Showing posts from July, 2019

Tarahumarans And Ultras

The Tarahumaran/Raramuri runners of northern Mexico have an exalted ultra reputation. Their legendary running skills have cyclically transfixed ultras here in the USA going back to the early nineties. Coming out of deep, remote canyons in Chihuahua, the optics were magnetic. What gets lost in the media pixie dust is that they are desperately poor, sustaining themselves in a harsh landscape, and beset by loggers, narcos, and an indifferent ruling class and government. Starvation is a constant threat, now exacerbated by global warming climate change.
Here it comes: “Born To Run”McDougall’s “Born To Run” book is often cited as a primary source on the Raramuri. Last time it was mentioned by an aggrieved SJW who was newly woke on ultras, I nearly shot coffee out my nose. Wikipedia can be like that. But McDougall’s done well with it, bullshitting TED talks in Davos etc. I get it, writing doesn’t pay much, and Davos can be fun. 
Rewind!The Raramuri have been in several Little Brown Indian Trav…

Fake Solo Runners

The Legit Solo Runner in its purest form is almost a unicorn. I know several of you—and I respect it. My first two hundreds were pacer-less. I got thru Angeles Crest in '91, and Wasatch '92 without a pacer. I had a crew in '91, no crew in '92. But crews and pacers can be fun, if you're willing to be responsible. More on that here.

I hear distant “Chariots of Fire” trumpets. The Solo Runner heroically running the 100 all by themselves—without an entourage, posse, or circus caravan. 

The Solo Runner idea was to encourage or goose signups in the Lottery Age we now live in. It's obvious that this can be gamed by clever people, with few penalties. However rules are mysteriously bent when celebrity or a course-record might be involved.

Take the doddering AC100 for instance. RD Ken Hamada was trying to get less cars up on Highway 2, because each runner had 14 friends with 2 cars each, creating traffic and confusion. So the answer there is to only let in people who have n…