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Indigenous Runners Win 2017 Canyon Ultramarathon

Agence France-Presse
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July 20, 2017

A Raramuri indigenous woman takes part in the ‘Ultramaraton de los Canones 2017’ (Ultra marathon of the Canyons), at La Sinforosa Canyon, in Guachochi, Mexico (Agence France-Presse)

In old indigenous Latin American cultures, women toil at farming and tackle family duties. Atop this remote Mexican mountain, they also slap on sandals and crush pro athletes on long-distance runs.

Talk about extreme sports: the Raramuri people — part of the Aztec family — over five centuries ago fled up the mountains of Chihuahua state to stay safe from Spanish invaders. There they stayed.

Over the years they have become cliff-dwellers, often sleeping in caves.

But they also are moving their animals along constantly — and as part of their nomadic lifestyle learned to master truly extreme long-distance runs.

This year’s Canyons Ultramarathon brought together more than 1,000 competitors from around the world — Russia, Canada, the United States, Ecuador and Spain — to take on the steep slopes of the Sinforosa range of the Tarahumara mountains in the Sierra Madre Occidental.

With the wail of “Weringa!” which means “Onward” in their language, runners were off. They battled it out in the men’s and women’s 63-kilometer and 100-kilometer contests from Friday through Sunday.

The results: all four races swept by Raramuri (which means Light of Feet) talent.

Read the rest at The Malay Mail

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