Steamboat Running Series helps bring award-winning film to Chief Theater
If You Go...
What: Steamboat Springs Running Series presents: "Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco"
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 10
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Steamboat Springs — Micah True, better known as Caballo Blanco — the White Horse — is a legacy, one that continues to thrive in more ways than one.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, the community of Steamboat Springs will get to see the life this ultra-running legend lived through the feature-length documentary “Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco,” showing at the Chief Theater.
True is also known as a visionary who lived and ran with the Tarahumara runners from the Mexican village of Urique after moving to remote Copper Canyon in the 1990s.
There, he created the 50-mile Copper Canyon Ultra-Marathom to honor these Native American people and their traditions. Not only that, he wanted to aid them in their sustainability efforts by providing them with a vital resource — corn.
Alongside some of the best runners in the world, hundreds of local Tarahumara compete in the race that is now in its 13th consecutive year.
Upon finishing, each runner receives 500 pounds of corn, which each of the international runners traditionally donate to the local Tarahumara. This act commemorates “kórima,” the spirit of sharing, and is a way of life for the natives of Copper Canyon.
“Micah’s genuine passion for honoring the sacred running traditions of the Tarahumara people was the essence of his being,” said Maria Walton, executive producer of the film and Micah True’s girlfriend at the time of his death. “We made this film to share Micah’s vision of hope for the Tarahumara culture and empower people everywhere with his joy of running.”
Seattle filmmaker Sterling Noren, the film’s director, wanted people to learn who Caballo Blanco truly was and to see him in his everyday reality.
Told through the eyes of Caballo Blanco, the 90-minute film comes from material recorded in the weeks leading up to the 2012 race. Shortly after, True disappeared in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico during his daily run. After his disappearance, ultra-runners from all across the country dropped everything to join the search. Days later, his body was recovered, found on a trail in a deserted canyon by some of his friends.
Although the book “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” by Christopher McDougall told True’s story through written word, Noren wanted people to capture a connection to True through film.
“I wanted to capture his life so that people could walk away from the film and see what is important to them, to capture the spirit of how running is good for life, how movement leads to joy and how living simply and authentically — like Micah lived — can be an antidote to what ails us in the modern world,” Noren said. “The film is a different form of telling this story in a way that invites people into his life to see him and be with him in another way.”
The film was released in 2015 and has been entered in several national and international film festivals. It won the 2015 Bud Greenspan Memorial Film and Video Award, was named Best Documentary at the 2015 Arizona International Film Festival and was also a winner of the Award of Excellence from the IndieFEST Film Awards.
Tickets for the event are $11 in advance online at imathlete.com/events/runfree or $15 at the door the night of the showing. A percentage of the film’s profits will go to benefit Norawas de Rarámuri — Friends of the Running People — the nonprofit agency founded by True to preserve traditional Tarahumara culture by providing maize, non-GMO seed corn and cash awards for for participating Tarahumara runners. A portion of the proceeds will also go toward the Steamboat Springs Running series, the event sponsor.
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