Micah True, better known as Caballo Blanco – the White Horse – was the central figure of Christopher McDougall’s 2009 best-selling nonfiction book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen about the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico. Also known as the Rarámuri, or Running People, they are some of the best long-distance runners in the world. On December 7th, Southside Works Cinema will look at True’s legacy and his relationship with the Rarámuri with an exclusive documentary screening.
Directed by Sterling Noren, Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco chronicles True’s life and his quest to promote and preserve Tarahumara running tradition. Caballo Blanco lived and ran with the Tarahumara after moving to remote Copper Canyon in the 1990s, and created the 50-mile Copper Canyon Ultra-Marathon to honor their running traditions and aid in their sustainability. Now in its thirteenth year, the race attracts hundreds of local Tarahumara to the village of Urique to compete alongside some of the best runners in the world. All race finishers receive five hundred pounds of corn, which the international runners traditionally donate to the local Tarahumara, commemorating the spirit of sharing, or kórima, which is a way of life among the natives of Copper Canyon.
Most of the material for the film was recorded in the weeks leading up to the 2012 race. Shortly after that race, True disappeared in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico during his daily run, prompting ultra-runners from all over the country to drop everything and join in the search. His body was discovered several days later on a trail in a deserted canyon.
Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco will screen at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance at the film website or $15 at the door. Discounted tickets for $11 are also available from the event sponsor, Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh. A percentage of the film’s profits, including DVD sales, will benefit Norawas de Rarámuri (Friends of the Running People), the non-profit agency founded by True to preserve traditional Tarahumara culture.