The story of famed ultrarunner Micah True will come to the Capitol Theatre screen Tuesday. The one-night-only showing of “Run Free: The True Story of Caballo Blanco” is sponsored by the Oly Trailrunners.
True, also known as Caballo Blanco, the White Horse, was the focal character of Christopher McDougall’s 2009 best-selling book “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.” The book is 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.
In 1994, True began spending the winters and running with the Tarahumara in the remote the Copper Canyon. He created in 2003 the 50-mile Copper Canyon Ultramarathon to honor their running traditions and aid in their sustainability.
Now in its 13th 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 500 pounds of corn, which the international runners traditionally donate to the local Tarahumara.
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The feature-length documentary is directed by Sterling Noren, a filmmaker from Seattle who met True in 2009. 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. His body was recovered several days later on a trail in a deserted canyon by some of his friends.
“We wanted to tell the story of Micah True in a way that was exciting and authentic, so that viewers could get a sense of what an amazing and inspiring person he was,” Noren said in a news release. “Micah’s vision lives on and his legacy is honored in this film. The film shares Micah’s compelling message of love, hope and kórima with the world while helping sustain the people and culture that meant so much to him. We’re honored to be part of this project and are committed to keeping Micah’s mission alive.”
The 90-minute film recently won the 2015 Bud Greenspan Memorial Film and Video Award, presented by the Track & Field Writers of America. In addition, the film also was named winner of the Award of Excellence from the IndieFEST Film Awards.
Most recently, the film was named the Best Documentary at the 2015 Arizona International Film Festival.
Benefit: A percentage of the film’s profits, including from DVD sales, will go to Norawas de Rarámuri (Friends of the Running People). The nonprofit agency was founded by True to preserve traditional Tarahumara culture. Norawas de Rarámuri works to provide maize, non-GMO seed corn, and cash awards for participating Tarahumara runners.
Who are they: The Oly Trailrunners is a group of local runners who run the trails of Capitol State Forest and the Cascades. For more information, go to their Olytrailrunners page on Facebook.
Tickets: $12 in advance at olympiafilmsociety.org or $15 at the door. Olympia Film Society members can purchase tickets at the door for the advance price upon showing membership status.
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia.
More info: Go to runfreemovie.com.