Farewell to a legendWe bid farewell to a running legend
The sad news of the death of Micah True brings to a premature end the life of a man who inadvertently inspired a new generation of runners.
Most of us were introduced to him in the opening pages of Chris McDougall’s iconic book Born to Run, as the man know as Caballo Blanco - The White Horse.
Years before he was made famous by a book that went on to sell in the millions, True had organised the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon in aid of the Tarahumara Indians and was driven by his passion for running and the desire to support a community’s quest to uphold their traditions in a world changing rapidly around them.
For a man who, as race director of the event, had enough on his plate, he revealed in an interview in 2010 that he still liked to run 40 miles of the 50-plus-mile race before resuming directorial duties on race day.
In an industry where success is quickly hitched to big brand sponsorship and comes under the full glare of the media spotlight, it seems True’s heightened profile and the opportunities presented to him following the book’s global success had little impact on his outlook.
This was a man who ran every day for anything up to 30 miles at a time because that was when he was at his happiest. When asked for advice on footwear, training or any other running related topic, his answer was usually the same:
“Run easy, light, smoooooth, happy...and run free!”
It seems, when he left his lodgings last Tuesday for a 12-mile run, he was out to do just that and, given the lack of supplies he took, had no plans to be gone for long.
McDougall and luminaries from the ultra running world joined the search for True. When his body was found on Saturday and news of his death spread, it was perhaps, McDougall, who paid the most fitting tribute:
“Caballo had the only funeral he would have wanted: his friends spent days running in the wilderness in his honour.”