Director’s Statement

In 2009 I was 40 years old, divorced and looking for adventure. I knew I would find it riding my motorcycle in Mexico’s Copper Canyon with its remote and challenging dirt roads, spectacular gorges and unique Tarahumara culture. Of course the violence associated with the drug war caused a lot of fear within me, but I made a choice to go, believing that the people I encountered would be friendly and helpful, which they were. And so my mission was formulated: I would ride alone into the heart of Mexico on an adventure in search of a story. The result “Run Free – The True Story of Caballo Blanco” is more than I ever dreamed.

I met Micah True, the man known as Caballo Blanco or the White Horse, in the small town of Urique at the bottom of the deepest canyon. He was organizing the annual 50-mile footrace he started, the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon. Micah invited me to film the race and that’s where I became acquainted his quest to promote and preserve Tarahumara running tradition. As a filmmaker, I knew right away that this was the story I was looking for, a story of determination and hope in a part of the world where these things seem to be in short supply.

Two months after I met Micah, he became famous as Caballo Blanco in a Christopher McDougall’s best-selling book “Born to Run”. I watched his celebrity grow as he shared his message with the world and I followed the race as it become one of Mexico’s most inspiring events of the year. I returned to Mexico in 2012 and spent three weeks with Caballo Blanco, filming, running and practicing korima (sharing) with the Tarahumara and international runners. Three weeks later Micah went for his last run in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. I was deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support from runners around the world and I knew that we had to keep Micah’s message alive through our film.

This is a film that would not have been made without seeking, without facing fears and setting forth into the unknown. Many of these powerful emotional experiences I experienced along the way were gifted to me through the man known as Caballo Blanco and I am deeply in debt to his gratitude and trust. As the mythic Caballo Blanco becomes a legend in the realm of running I will always remember him as a friend of mine.

Sterling Noren
“Run Free – The True Story of Caballo Blanco”

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