Helen Hatzis
Helen Hatzis
May 29, 2017 ·  1 min read

Indigenous Woman Wins 50 Kilometer Ultra-Marathon in Sandals

High quality running equipment and gear might be the deciding factor for winning a marathon. However, an indigenous woman from Mexico beat all odds, winning an ultra-marathon in a pair of sandals made from recycled tire rubber.


Photo courtesy of Mexico New Daily

María Lorena Ramírez, a 22-year-old indigenous woman, came in first place in the female category in the Ultra Trail Cerro Rojo in Puebla, central Mexico. She defeated 500 runners from 12 countries while wearing a skirt, sandals and a handkerchief around her neck. Moreover, Lorena finished the ultra-marathon in seven hours and three minutes while carrying a bottle of water.


Copper Canyon, Sierra Madre Occidental

Ramírez is from the Tarahumara indigenous community, also known as the Rarámuri. The indigenous community resides in the hills of Copper Canyon in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. In the Tarahumara language, Rarámuri translates to “runners on foot” or “those who run fast.” Therefore, it is no coincidence that the Tarahumara are well-known for their great physical condition and super rapid runners.

Wondering what the secret is to the Tarahumara’s uber-fast running skills?

1. Nutrition

They consume “tesgüino, an alcoholic beverage made from corn that is high in carbohydrates, and chia seeds. This, therefore explains their unbelievable physical endurance.

2. Training

According to the BBC, Lorena’s daily activities consist of herding goats and cattle where she needs to walk 10-15km daily. The Tarahumara travel great distances because they live in such a vast area of land.

3. Footwear

The Tarahumara construct their own pairs of “running shoes” made from recycled tire rubber. These sandals can compare to high-quality shoes as it endures through staggering distances.