Three eminent Tarahumara runners are signed up to compete in the maximum challenge of Ajijic’s Ultra Trail Campanaria 2017, a three-pronged mountain race slated for Sunday, August 13.
Organized by the local Club Salvajes runners club, the fourth annual race encompasses the 9.1-kilometer Copal Chino route, the 14 km. Campanaria course and the grueling 43 km. Tecuan trail traversing the heights and rough terrain of the north shore mountain range.
The race’s founder and lead organizer Daniel Urzua was delighted to announce that siblings María Juana, María Lorena and Mario Ramírez will be coming from their remote home in Chihuahua’s Sierra Tarahumara to tackle the longest leg of the contest.
At age 22, Lorena made headlines in international media earlier this year as female champion of the Ultra rail Cerro Rojo held in Tlatlauquitepec, Puebla, clocking a time of seven hours, two minutes in the 50-kilometer race. Her younger sister Juana, 20, is a two-time winner of the 63- kilometer component of their home state’s Ultra Maratón de los Cañones. This year Lorena and Juana ran the Cañones marathon’s full 100-km route, placing first and second respectively among six women who finished the long course. Their brother and father Santiago have racked up numerous wins in the same contest.
The young women of the Ramírez clan, including 17-year-old sister Talina, stand out in racing events not only for their accomplishments and true grit, but also for competing in traditional Raramuri shirt and blouse outfits and sandals, eschewing the natty running shoes, lyrca tights and other specialized gear employed by other contestants. They don’t engage in formal training, instead developing strength and endurance through their day-to-day activities that require trotting on foot through their mountainous homeland.
The Tarahumara runners and their long race rivals will dash off from the Campanaria starting line adjacent to the Ajijic Malecón at 6 a.m. sharp, with top contestants expected to finish about four and a half hours later. The 14 km. run starts at 8 a.m., followed by the 9 a.m. kick- off of the short race. A series of quick sprints for kids divided into five age divisions will keep spectators entertained while the main races are underway.