LightShine’s GO Ultramarathon begins in the far away town of Guachochi, in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
The course begins in darkness in the central plaza, which translates to “Plaza of Hope”. The first runner will quickly leave the town behind, and about an hour later pass the baton to the second runner. The sun begins to peek over the mountainous horizon as the second runner will carry the baton to the rim of the Copper Canyon. The third runner now takes the baton for one of the most dangerous legs of the race. She will be using an ancient path built by the Tarahumaras, scaling down boulders and logs.
After descending one mile in elevation, the path continues in the heart of the canyon towards the Río Verde and then the río Guachochi. The ascent from the canyon begins with 8km of punishing high grade switchbacks in midday with no escape from the Mexico sun. At this point the runners must hug the cliff face as they run on a path only a few feet wide. A slip to the left could mean falling to their death.
Exiting the sheer cliff, the baton is passed to the fourth runner, who will continue the steep ascent from the canyon. Finally, at the rim of the canyon, the baton is passed and the fifth and sixth runners will complete the 65 kilometers to bring the baton back to the Plaza of Hope as the sun begins to set.
Running is a part of life for the Tarahumaras, like eating and sleeping. Tarahumara means means “Light Feet”. Centuries ago they ran from outside encroachment into their lands and culture, and today they’re running from drug cartels and cultural implosion.
In LightShine’s GO Ultramarathon, these young Tarahumaras are running for a better future. Its a fitting analogy for Tarahumaras in the Joshua Program, as young generations are lifting themselves out of destruction and poverty, and then coming back to their own people and extending their hands to lift the next generation.
Each of the 6 runners are running to raise $10,000 for the Joshua Program. Their combined $60,000 will pay for the next academic year of the program, including 5 college scholarships.