It has taken more than two weeks for the word to get out, but today the news is circulating quickly about a 22-year-old Rarámuri runner who won an ultramarathon April 29 in Puebla.
María Lorena Ramírez, considered one of the fastest long-distance runners from the Rarámuri indigenous community in Chihuahua, won the females’ 50-kilometer category of the Ultra Trail Cerro Rojo, in which 500 other runners from 12 countries participated.
But unlike her fellow contestants, Lorena completed the course with neither sports equipment nor professional preparation. For clothing she wore a skirt, hat and kerchief. For shoes, a pair of basic sandals with soles made from recycled tire rubber.
Carrying only a bottle of water, Lorena ran the 50 kilometers in seven hours and three minutes.
“She carried no special accessories,” said race organizer Orlando Jiménez. “She didn’t bring any gel, nor energy sweets, walking stick, glasses or those very expensive running shoes that everyone wears to run in the mountains. Just a bottle of water, her hat and a kerchief.”
A Puebla community website provided even more details.
Lorena ran “without a hydration vest, without running shoes, without Lycra and compression socks, without any of those gadgets used by the runners of today.”
Nor were her kilometers published by Nike or on Facebook, the site added.
Lorena, whose job is herding goats and cattle, walking 10-15 kilometers with her livestock every day, won second place last year in the 100-kilometer category of the Caballo Blanco ultramarathon in Chihuahua.
Running is in the family of the young woman from Guachochi. Her father, her grandfather and various brothers and sisters run, too. One brother also ran on April 29, both of them having been provided support by organizers so they could attend, traveling for more than two days from the Chihuahua town to Tlatlauquitepec, site of the event.
Lorena’s win was accompanied by 6,000 pesos in cash.