Long-Distance Runner Was 'Indomitable Seeker'

Apr 6, 2012



Now, we remember the man known as Caballa Blanco, or the White Horse.

MICAH TRUE: I started running a long time ago and I am an ultra-distance runner - is what people call it, but I just call it - I like to run.

CORNISH: That's Micah True in an interview with Runners World last year. True was a long distance runner made famous by Christopher McDougall's non-fiction bestseller "Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athlete and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen."

Micah True's body was found Saturday in a remote area near New Mexico's Gila National Forest. He had vanished four days earlier heading out for a morning jog. The cause of death is unknown. He was 58 years old.

Christopher McDougall says True was truly one of a kind.

CHRISTOPHER MCDOUGALL: He was this indomitable seeker. He thought he knew where he was going and he just kept heading in that direction.

CORNISH: From Boulder, Colorado, that direction for True was south to the remote copper canyons of Mexico. There, he spent nearly 20 years learning the secrets of the Tarahumara tribe, some of the best runners in the world. To them, he was Caballo Blanco, the man who entertained their children by snorting and stomping. His mantra was to keep running easy, light and smooth. The fast part, True said, would come on its own.

Again, author Christopher McDougall.

MCDOUGALL: And, to this day, I think about that all the time, whenever I'm doing anything, not just running. But he would say, you know, stop worrying about the finish line. Just focus on easy because that ain't so bad.

CORNISH: Micah True thought running should be fun, no matter how you run or what you wear. In his interview with Runners World, True recalled the man who ran in Army boots.

TRUE: And he had terrible form like Frankenstein on LSD or something, but he ran and he had a big heart and it just shows that running is about - it's a multidimensional task. It involves everything and it involves heart, so...

CORNISH: Micah True died last week doing what he loved most. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.