To the best of my knowledge, I haven’t ran very many marathons. But if I had, I think one of the keys to successfully running a marathon would be the pace one might choose. Obviously, if you’re a Kenyan, and you frequently run and win marathons, your pace would be a little faster than say, a guy in his mid-30s, who really enjoys a juicy burger from his favorite lunch spot, Tom & Eddies. Did I just profile myself? Don’t judge me…
A marathon is 26.2 miles. By most standards, that’s really far. But, believe it or not, there are a group of individuals who run significantly farther than 26.2 miles…for FUN no less! Often referred to as ultra-marothoners, they start running, and they don’t stop. Think an athletic (sane) Forrest Gump. One of the most intriguing and famous group of long distance, ultra-runners, would have to be an indigenous tribe in Northern Mexico, the Tarahumara. They have ran for centuries, as a way of survival, and as a way of life. After reading about them, here are a few things I learned:
- Have fun. Most of the general public, say, does NOT run 50-60 miles a day, and just the thought of it makes us cringe. But the Tarahumara have embraced long distance running, to such an extent, that when reporters have to gone to study them, they always remark that the Tarahumara have a smile on their face and are having fun!
- They often run with a group. Life can be difficult, and sometimes downright depressing. Find a group…and stick around!
- Pack light for the journey. Our culture says you have to buy a $100 pair of Nike’s to successfully run. Not so with the Tarahumara. In fact, they basically run on a thin piece of tire rubber.
In this race we call life, your pace is critical. Remember, you’re in this for the long haul! So, have fun! Find a group, and do life with them. And finally, pack light for the journey, there’s just some things that you don’t need to carry around. Release them. Let go of them. And run, Forest…RUN!!!