Friday, February 25, 2011

ViVa La Mexico Prelude to the Copper Canyons Ultra Marathon

Quote from Caballo Blanco
 (CCUM Race director)

"While they are at war, we come together at the bottom of a deep canyon in Northern Mexico to create peace. That is all we can do. Run Free!"

I have never been to Ireland.  I don't care to much for cold wet weather.  My life I have lived in the sunshine near the beach of the southern Californian .  To classify myself as Irish because of my namesake (Sweeney) I find absurd.  I have always considered myself to be much closer to being Mexican than an Irishman.   Plus I always thought Mexico got screwed in the treaty of Guadalupe. 

This Saturday I enbark on a 12 day journey to Participate in the Copper Canyons Ultra Marathon and
 run with Tarhumara.

In a perfect world my training would be at it's peak right now.  Never have I been so excited for a race yet alone a cultural experience.  Because of injuries I am not as prepared as I would like to be. Mentally it drives me crazy not to get the miles in I desire.  To make matters worse last Thursday while playing Disc Golf barefoot I dragged my frozen toe across a concrete tee pad.  

My foot was numb at the time and what felt like a little scratch 
was actally a big chunk of skin

Sorry about the gresome pic.  (A few more gorry details  about the wound in this paragraph and then I promise nothing but positivity for  the rest of the blog post.)  The wound was pretty deep I wanted to tear the dead skin off but decided to push it back on (after all it is a perfect form fitting band aid) Well the dead skin is still there it has sealed it's way most of the way on  with a little bit of blood trickling out here and there.  I have had to postpone my 3 favorite hobbies for the last week  No disc golf, running, or sauna. I've been spinning on the bike and my ass is getting sore from the seat 

Currently It looks like my big toe is wearing a hat

Enough about the stupid things I do to my body. 

Mexico is calling my name and once again it's time to strap on my Sandal's and hit the trail.  I've got a new pair of Luna's awaiting me with grip of  Leadville the leather of a Equus and enough lacing to tie a cinder block to my foot perhaps even  a double knot on the bottom. :)

Luna Sandal Factory

Saturday I leave LAX on a plane ride to El Paso where I all will meet of with "EL Mono" himself  Barefoot Ted and a few other Lunatic's from the factory.

I think there will be at least 4 Gringo's wearing sandals in the race hopefully more. 

 From El Paso I think 13 of us are jumping in some sort of vehicle and driving for a day or two down to the Barancas

Do I have any clue really where were going, staying, or sense of when we will get there?
I presume we will be heading south but even that I am not entirely sure of

Perhaps I should have looked at a map of Copper Canyons before 5 minutes ago.

Theres a certain excitement about not knowing what lies around the corner.  My attitude towards racing is no different.  I Love running a trail Ultra without ever stepping foot on the course until race day.  
Bewilderment is what I seek.  It doesn't really count as exploration if you already know what you will encounter.

I have always loved Mexico and it's people.  In no way do I fear for my safety or my possessions (their aint much to take and I aint very safe anyway). 

I don't believe in boarders
when I'm President the the fence will come down.

 As a kid (maybe 18) I once tried to walk home to Los Angeles from  Tijuana (Possibly climbing the boarder fence along the way) that night is kind of a blur.  What I do remember are all the smiles and strange looks I got from the Mexican people walking home their country as I stumbled back to L.A.  

Since then I have made numerous trip s to Baja California with nothing but positive experiences.

It's been a couple years since my last trip to Mexico which was probably my memorable. After my pops passed away my step mom and I went down past Puerto Vallarta near Manzanillo to go visit some old friend who live down their.

The lagoon was full of gators and ends just steps from the ocean and the cities commerce. 

The dangers were very real.
While my friend was out of town his dog took it's last sip of water at this very spot

I was not gonna let that happen to me. I drank all my water in the form of beer just to be on the safe side.

I met some lovely ladies

  picked some wild tomatoes straight off the vine.

and even found myself herding cattle for a few miles as running down a trail, just minutes after stopping to let a 6 foot python cross my path.

But mostly
I was there to gorge myself on guacamole, drink cerveza and relax on the beach

Me after a week in Mexico

It was awesome trip  and I'm sure this journey will be even better.

I feel very privileged to have this opportunity.  I am prepared to embrace whatever happens and really have no clue what to expect. Some might classify this as a once in life time journey but why limit the ones scope of experiences.  

I look forward to meeting  learning from the Rarámuri especially Manual Luna whom inspired Ted to start his sandal company.  I have a lot of admiration for the Tarhumarian way of life and feel extremely fortunate to have this chance to show my gratitude.

ViVa La Mexico

1 comment:

  1. I have to admit that I really like their food. It is quite good. I would like to go back some time.