Legendary runner's body found

2012-04-01 14:06
Mexico City - Searchers on Saturday found the body of renowned long-distance runner Micah True, who vanished four days earlier after heading out from a lodge for a morning run in the rugged wilderness near New Mexico's Gila National Forest.

The body was discovered in a remote area of the Gila Wilderness, state police spokesperson lieutenant Robert McDonald said.

The cause of death was still unknown, but there were no signs of trauma, incident commander Tom Bemis said.

"It's too early to say, there was nothing obvious," he told the Boulder Daily Camera.

The 58-year-old True, whose extreme-distance running prowess is detailed in the book Born to Run, set out on what - for him - would have been a routine 20km run on Tuesday from The Wilderness Lodge and Hot Springs, where he was staying. He left his dog at the lodge and never returned. A search began the next day after.

Lodge co-owner Dean Bruemmer, who helped with the search on Saturday, said he last saw his friend at breakfast. He said True gave no indication of a specific route, which made the search more difficult.


"There are a lot of trailheads up the road," said Bruemmer, whose lodge is about 6.5km from the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

Though daytime temperatures in southwest New Mexico have been mild of late, temperatures have dipped into the mid-20s on recent nights. True left for his run wearing only shorts and a T-shirt and carrying a water bottle.

Fourteen search teams that were scouring the area on Friday were supplemented with additional volunteer teams from across the state Saturday morning, McDonald said. Teams were hiking and on horseback and ATVs. They also used dogs and employed a helicopter and plane in the search.

True, who had been friends with Bruemmer and his wife, Jane, for 10 years, would often visit their lodge while travelling between Mexico and his Boulder, Colorado, home. As a result, Bruemmer said, True certainly knew the trail system well - which made his disappearance all the more mystifying to everyone.

Michael Sandrock, a columnist who writes about running for The Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, knew True for at least 20 years and had run with him. He called True a pioneer of the sport of ultrarunning, which involves running extreme distances, often on gruelling terrain and many miles longer than a traditional 26-mile marathon.

True, he said, had a rebellious spirit but never sought to draw attention to himself even as he became legendary for his talents, which included "just going up and running for hours and hours at a time."

"He's just authentic and genuine. ... Micah is a guy who follows his bliss," Sandrock said.

True was the race director of The Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, an 80-plus kilometre extreme race that took place in Urique, Mexico, on March 4.

He was featured in articles in running magazines and was a central character - known by his nickname, "Caballo Blanco" - in Christopher McDougall's nonfiction best-seller Born to Run.

"He's such an integral part of the fabric of the ultra community," Sandrock said. "He's one of the stars .... the Caballo Blanco, he's a legend."

Read more on:    us  |  mexico

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.