Rarámuri Runners Aren’t Done Breaking Records as They Head to Czech Republic for Ultramarathon

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres
Art by Stephany Torres
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Talina and Toño Ramírez are not done breaking records – and doing it in their own way. The Mexican runners, who alongside sister Lorena, occupied the first three positions in the 60kms category in the Ultramarathon Born to Run 2022 in California a couple of months ago, are now moving on to another ultramarathon, this time in the Czech Republic. 

As the name indicates, marathons are already complicated enough, and ultramarathons take that to another level. The term is used to define any race longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometers. There are various ultramarathon distances raced competitively, with ranges that go from 50 kms to over 100. The Moravsky ultramarathon, in which the siblings will be participating, lasts seven days and has a particular level of difficulty – it consists of seven marathons, one run every day. 

For Talina and Toño, who were born in Guachochi, Chihuahua, running long distances is a family tradition. They inherited their passion from their father, Santiago Ramírez. Their younger sister, Lorena, also competes – and is considered one of the best in Mexico. But the tradition goes back farther than that. The Rarámuris or Tarahumara, in general, are known for their long-distance running abilities – but competition and glory never spurred them on.

Instead, the reality of dispersed settlements led the Rarámuris to develop a habit of long-distance running through their homeland, typically made of rough canyon country, for reasons that ranged from inter-village communication to transportation and hunting. Talina and Toño are now taking that tradition into competitive sports.

The siblings will represent Mexico in the Ultramarathon and compete in their traditional Rarámuri garb, including leather sandals, called huaraches.