Who Are The Rarámuri And The Tarahumara?

by Josh | Last Updated:  August 31, 2020
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These people were made more famous from the book Born To Run, which brought them from the shadows into more of the public light. They are a people who live in the Copper Canyons of Mexico and have been largely able to live outside of current living standards.

The word Rarámuri means “foot runner” or “Those who run fast”. They are a group of runners who run hundreds of miles in a day on basically bare feet or in very slim sandals. Contrary to much of the current running trends they have been minimalists.

I’m going to go into more details on the Tarahumara and explain why I feel they show us how we can perform better in our running. Lately, we have come to rely too much on technology and too little on correct form and it is showing in the number of injuries runners continue to have each year.

Who Are The Tarahumara?

The name “Tarahumara” is actually the Spanish word given to the people when the conquistadors came to the new world. The Tarahumara people instead of fighting and being taken over by the Spanish retreated and ran from them, choosing the canyons to the intruders.

Where Did The Term Rarámuri Come From?

This is a word the Tarahumara use to describe themselves and who they are. It was translated into “foot runner” or “those who run fast” which aptly describes the ability within most of the people.

How Far Do They Run On Average?

Not many have been invited into the Tarahumara areas and cities and got to see much of their racing and foot games. The people who have seen them come out amazed at their abilities to run 100+ miles in a given day without the signs of injury or exhaustion that western civilization has over these same distances.

The Tarahumara also don’t pack themselves to the gill with gels, and snacks or even water. To us in the western world, this is crazy but they run on just a little supply of water and sandals, maybe a small chunk of their food, and they run.

Bottom Line

Everyone who says they are a runner should look to how the Tarahumara live and love. They take care of each other, they love life and avoid engaging in destructive behaviors within their cities and have moved on when necessary.

We all should treat each other in a similar manner along with ourselves, they Taramumara were frequently talked about smiling while in ultra runs at the time where most are fighting pain and showing exhaustion. Pull in some of that joy and exuberance in being fleet of foot and show and bring others into the fold to become the next ketogenic runners!

Additional Resources On The Tarahumara

Born To RunFrom Amazon, Choose 2 Books For Free With Audible Sign Up

I grew up in a home where most our days were spent inside, and sports were not a family priority. I did play soccer and baseball as a kid, but the older I got, the more I lost interest. To regain my health, I decided to adhere to the three tenets of health and longevity. I hope you will join me, by making it your purpose to live as long and well as possible.