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Bernardo Ruiz on Tarahumara Ultra-marathoning As a Culture [Exclusive Interview]

The Infinite Race
Bernardo Ruiz directed The Infinite Race documentary.

The Tarahumara Mexicans take born to run to the next level.

For many generations, the Tarahumara indigenous communities live in the sierras and canyons of Chihuahua, Mexico. Their primary transportation from neighbor to neighbor is on foot. On a daily basis, the people would walk and run great distances to interact with each other due to the rough terrain.

Due to the environment, the people developed the skill of running ultramarathons, which is a footrace race length of 42.195 kilometers or 26 miles.

In 2009, a nonfictional book called “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” by Christopher McDougall placed the Tarahumara on the map. And the world for them never been the same.

In ESPN 30 for 30 documentary The Infinite Race from Bernardo Ruiz, the film examined the well-intentioned outsiders impacted the community by spotlighting the people through the Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco.

Also, the documentary gets into an in-depth look from the culture’s minimal foot ware of running in sandals to the constant threat of organized crime threatening their livelihoods. Then in 2015, tensions erupted between the American organizers and the city of Urique in regards to the decision to cancel the 2015 Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco due to possible crime violence.

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LRM Online’s Gig Patta discussed with director Bernardo Ruiz the Tarahumara Mexicans and following the history of the Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco that made them famous.

Bernardo Ruiz is a two-time Emmy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker. Most recently, his Harvest Season documentary aired on PBS’s documentary series Independent Lens. In 2013, he made his directorial feature debut with Reportero about attacks on the Mexican press.

The Infinite Race airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

Watch the exclusive interview with director Bernardo Ruiz below. Let us know what you think.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, ESPN

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