Mexican woman wearing rubber sandals wins 50-km ultramarathon

PUEBLA CITY – María Lorena Ramírez, a native Rarámuri woman from Mexico, has not only managed to finish a 50 km Cerro Rojo Ultramarathon, in Puebla, central Mexico, but actually won it without any professional training or even basic gear.

The 22-year-old María Lorena Ramírez, a sheep herder from Chihuahua, Mexico, showed up at the starting line of a women’s ultramarathon in Puebla, wearing a traditional long skirt and sandals made of recycled tire rubber.

Some 500 other runners from 12 countries around the world also participated in the race on April 29, 2017.

The Rarámuri or Tarahumara natives are famous for being the best runners in Mexico, and Ramírez is considered one of the fastest long-distance runners in her community.

After seven hours and three minutes, the 22-year-old was the first to cross the finish line, taking home both the bragging rights and a 6,000 pesos ($320) cash prize.

“She carried no special accessories,” said race organizer Orlando Jiménez. “She didn’t bring any gel, nor energy sweets, walking stick, glasses or those very expensive running shoes that everyone wears to run in the mountains. Just a bottle of water, her hat and a kerchief.”

María Lorena Ramírez had undergone no professional training for the 50-km race, apart from the 10-15 kilometers she walks each day while herding her sheep.

Interestingly, this is not María’s first notable achievement. Last year she came second in the 100-kilometer category of the Caballo Blanco ultramarathon, in Chihuahua.

The name “Rarámuri” comes from the words “rara”, which means “foot”, and “muri”, which translates as “to run”.

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