A Rarámuri runner who has just returned from competing in an ultramarathon in Spain has a dream that one day there will be a gym and training ground in his community to help nurture the next generation of indigenous athletes.
Chihuahua native José Mario Ramírez, who along with his sisters Lorena and Juana ran in the Tenerife Bluetrail race last Saturday, told the newspaper El Universal that he and his family want to cultivate the passion for running among the youth who live in the state’s Tarahumara Sierra region.
“We want to help the Rarámuri people, to have a professional team in order to be able to prepare ourselves better and teach youngsters so that they keep running. We would be very happy to receive support to achieve it,” he said.
After he and his sisters met yesterday with Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral, Ramírez’s dream may be one step closer to reality.
“We’re going to support them so that they achieve this objective because they are an example for all of Chihuahua . . . there should be a gymnasium inspired by the Ramírez family, it has to be a gymnasium inspired by what they represent,” Corral said.
The governor congratulated the siblings for their achievements in Spain and said the government will get to work to ensure that the gymnasium project comes to fruition.
At a press conference before the meeting with Corral, Ramírez said that running can help young people “get away from bad habits,” adding that he’d like to see everyone fighting to achieve their dream, which could be competing in an ultramarathon or even representing Mexico at the Olympic Games.
The 27-year-old’s personal goals include running “as long as God lets him” and competing in the Canyons Ultramarathon in his hometown of Guachochi next month.
Five members of the Ramírez family, including the three siblings’ proud father Santiago, will take part in either the 63-kilometer or 100-kilometer events.
Lorena Ramírez won third place in her category in the 102-kilometer Tenerife Bluetrail, held on the largest of the seven main Canary Islands, while José Mario and Juana both finished in the top 10 in their divisions.
Female Rarámuri runners are especially famous for eschewing normal running shoes and attire, preferring to compete in traditional dress and sandals.