Welcome to Wednesday Word, a weekly linkup for everyone, not just health and fitness bloggers. Each Wednesday you will have a single word prompt to write about. Let your imagination run free and share with your readers your interpretation of that word, or simply use it as inspiration for your post. Today’s word is heritage….. I’d love to have you link up, and if you do, please remember to follow my six simple rules.
Heritage – The traditions, achievements, beliefs, etc.,
that are part of the history of a group or nation
Upon seeing that the word heritage fell on the same week as the summer Olympics, I immediately thought of the many nationalities of those competing and how their heritage might affect their performances.
Being a fan of the book Born To Run (affiliate link), I wondered if the Mexican marathon contingency had any Tarahumara Indians within its ranks. It seems the heritage of the Tarahumara Indians would tend to make them a shoo-in for doing well in the Olympic marathon; however, I’ve found no evidence that either of the two marathoners representing Mexico have any links to this illustrious group of runners.
Mexican marathoner, Daniel Vargas, will be donning green, white, and red for the second time as he represents Mexico in the marathon on Sunday, August 21st. He finished 39th in the 2012 Olympics with a time of 2:18:26. The other Mexican marathoner, Ricardo Ramos, qualified for the team in April with a time of 2:14:58, and it appears that this will be his first time running in the Olympics.
While researching, I learned that Tarahumara Indians, Arnulfo Quimare and Irma Chavez, both ran in the 2016 Boston Marathon in huarache sandals and traditional tribal clothing. Arnulfo completed the race in 3:38:11 and Irma ran it in 5:57:44. Although the Boston Marathon might have been too short of a distance to let these two runners truly shine, it’s worth noting what in the Tarahumara Indians’ heritage aids in them being such good ultra runners.
Located high in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in northwestern Mexico, these Indians have been running their entire lives. In addition to running for sport, they run to survive. When hunting for food, the Tarahumara can literally run down their prey with endurance that can keep them running until the animal in chase collapses from exhaustion. They run either barefoot or in minimal huarache sandals which it appears allows them to have a much more efficient, injury-resistant gate.
And running for sport? These amazing endurance athletes work running into many of their favorite pastimes. In addition to footraces of fifty miles or more, one of their favorite games is rarajipari, a game that is often played against a neighboring village and involves kicking a ball for thirty to forty miles.
No Tarahumara Indians may be participating in the 2016 Olympics, but should an ultra marathon be added one day as an event, they just might be a shoo-in!
What is your heritage and how has it played a role in who you are?
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Next Wednesday’s Word: Physical
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