Micah True Found Dead in New Mexico
From the Silver City Sun-News
Silver City, New Mexico, March 31 -- Micah True was found dead at about 6 p.m. Saturday in the Gila National Forest after four days of searching.
True, a renowned 58-year-old ultra-marathon runner from Boulder, Colo., who was reported as missing in the Gila Wilderness when he failed to return from a run Tuesday morning, was found by searchers near Woody's Corral, just one mile southeast of the Gila Cliff Dwellings, according to Incident Commander Tom Bemis.
Bemis said that two of True's friends found his body and that the cause of death is unknown at this point.
"It's too early to say, there was nothing obvious," he said.
The details of how the searchers found the body are also unclear.
"They were just out on their own, whatever possessed them to walk up that canyon I don't know," Bemis said.
He said that at 7:40 p.m. the medical examiner was on his way to examine the body and that True's body would be removed on this morning.
The body's discovery concluded a four-day search effort that involved more than a dozen search and rescue teams --- including dog teams and teams on horseback --- as well as helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft support and about 20 of True's personal friends, many of whom flew across the country to help.
From the beginning of the search operation, search and rescue teams were fighting an uphill battle with little to no clues as to where True had gone when he set off from where he was staying at The Wilderness Lodge for a 12-mile run on Tuesday morning at about 10 a.m.
"He left his car and dog here and he ran up the road to where the trailheads are," said Dean Brummer, co-owner of The Lodge. "So they don't know which trail he would have taken. He didn't tell anybody where he was going and it's a pretty big wilderness out there.
Throughout the search, a few clues turned up, including two sets of prints, a search dog alert and a pair of sunglasses and a hat, but nothing panned out, according to incident commanders.
"We pounded the area looking for him," Bemis said.
Search and rescue teams involved in Saturday's search included Organ Mountain Technical Rescue Squad, Cibola Search and Rescue, Socorro Search and Rescue, Mesilla Valley Search and Rescue, Sandia Search Dogs, New Mexico Mounted Search and Rescue, Grant County Search and Rescue, Doña Ana County Search and Rescue and N.M. State Police and Civil Air Patrol, which provided the aircraft.
True was the race director of The Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, a 50-plus mile extreme race that took place in Urique, Mexico on March 4 and has been featured in the magazines Running Times and Outside. He is the central character --- known as "Caballo Blanco" --- in the New York Times best-selling non-fiction book "Born to Run," by Christopher McDougall that chronicles True's time in Copper Canyon with the Tarahumara Indians, an isolated tribe known for their long, grueling runs.
Michael Sandrock, a running columnist for the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper, said that the book turned True into a legend in Boulder running circles, but the fame never got to his head.
"He was truly authentic," Sandrock said. "He never wanted any publicity about himself. He just did it because he loved it. For runners, when you think of Boulder, you think of him."
Photo by Luis Escobar/reflectionsphotographystudio.com