The World’s Greatest Runners

first_img center_img Arnulfo Quimare Last weekend, I had the honor of running with the world’s greatest endurance athletes: the Raramuri, an indigenous tribe living in the deepest canyons on the continent.The Raramuri (also known as the Tarahumara) scratch a living out of rocky, steep soil in the Copper Canyons of the Sierra Madre Mountains in northwestern Mexico. They are subsistence farmers who grow corn and beans and who live in caves or tiny huts scattered throughout four monstrous chasms—each deeper than the Grand Canyon.The Raramuri make their own clothes—including their sandals, which are just used tire tread wrapped to their feet with leather straps. Through deep snow and blistering heat, rocky canyon trails and thorny sagebrush, the Rarmauri travel virtually barefoot, the soles of their feet thick with calluses.The Raramuri are great runners because running is part of their everyday life. They don’t run for glory or competition—although they have entered a few races and defeated some of the world’s greatest athletes. They run to get somewhere—to visit family, to sell produce in town, to gather food, or even to hunt deer. With only primitive weapons, the Raramuri have hunted deer by literally running them to exhaustion.A few gringos have lured Raramuri to top endurance races, including the Leadville 100 Miler back in 1993 and 1994. Raramuri runners won the event both years and set a course record—wearing their hand-made tire tread sandals. But the Raramuri shy away from the glitz of American competitions. They prefer to run in their canyon homelands, often in traditional running ceremonies that involve hundreds of miles and last for days.Once a year, though, the Raramuri wander down from their caves and cliffside huts to run the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon, a 47-Mile footrace that has attracted not only the top Raramuri runners, but also the best athletes from around the world. Ultra legend and seven-time Western States 100 Mile champ Scott Jurek ran the Copper Canyon Ultra in 2006–and lost to Arnulfo Quimare, a 27-year-old goat herder wearing hand-made sandals.I ventured down to the Copper Canyons last week to join 225 other Raramuri runners and a dozen international running celebrities, including Hiroki Ishikura, Japan’s top trail runner. The day before the race, I tried on a pair of Raramuri sandals: I could barely make it 100 yards before my feet were screaming—the leather straps blistered the skin between my toes, and jagged rocks seemed to pierce the thin tire tread with every stride. After stepping inside in their shoes, my admiration for the Raramuri’s toughness was further magnified.Sharing the trail with the Raramuri was the most powerful running experience of my life. I learned a lot from observing their graceful stride and smooth running form, but I gained even more from seeing the pure joy on their normally stoic faces. The Raramuri understand something about running that has taken me a lifetime to learn: running is not a chore one endures to lose weight or look good; it is instead a joyful expression of the human spirit. For the Raramuri, running is a spiritual act that deepens their connection to the divine.Once again in 2009, Arnulfo was the first Raramuri to finish, covering the steep, rugged course with four river crossings in around seven hours. He wore a loincloth and worn-out sandals for 47 miles and ate only cornmeal mixed with water. Just a few days before the race, Arnulfo had trekked 40 miles across two canyons to get to the race (not exactly a taper), and the day after the ultra, he walked 40 miles back home to tend to his goats.The Raramuri run ultramarathons every day, and they do it with a pure spirit and a joyful heart—even as more logging roads rip apart their ancestral canyons and druglords murder their leaders. They are the ultimate endurance athletes.To learn more about the Raramuri, watch this 10-minute video I produced: Running for Their Lives. For more information about the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon, including photos and race reports, click here.last_img read more


Someone’s got to tell Trump he lost, but Republicans are loath to raise their hands.

first_imgThirty-one former Republican members of Congress — many of them outspoken critics of the president — on Monday denounced Mr. Trump’s allegations in an open letter that called on him to accept the election results. “Every legal challenge must be heard,” Mr. McCarthy said. “Then and only then does America decide who won the race.”- Advertisement – President Trump’s iron grip on his party has inspired love for him among some Republican lawmakers and fear among others. Neither group will tell him it is time to concede his loss — or at the very least, to stop spreading claims about the integrity of the nation’s elections that are contrary to considerable evidence.The dynamic helps explain why, days after Joseph R. Biden Jr. was declared the winner of the election, even Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, was unwilling to recognize the result. Instead, senators have tiptoed around — or in some cases blindly run past — the reality of Mr. Trump’s loss, and the lack of evidence to suggest widespread election fraud or improprieties that could reverse that result.- Advertisement – By Monday evening, only a few Republican senators known for their distaste for Mr. Trump — Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — had acknowledged Mr. Biden’s victory.The Republican House leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, insisted that Mr. Trump was right to contest the results of the election. – Advertisement –last_img read more


Governor Wolf Applauds Legislative Action, Will Sign Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Bill into Law

first_imgGovernor Wolf Applauds Legislative Action, Will Sign Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Bill into Law SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release,  Public Safety,  Schools That Teach Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf issued the following statement today after the legislature passed Senator Jake Corman’s Timothy J. Piazza Law to combat hazing:“I thank Senator Corman and bipartisan members of the legislature for getting this important bill to my desk,” said Governor Wolf. “Hazing is counter to the experience we want for college students in Pennsylvania. We must give law enforcement the tools to hold people accountable and ensure schools have safeguards to protect students and curb hazing.”The National Study of Student Hazing reports that 55 percent of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing.Senate Bill 1090 will increase penalties for all of those involved in hazing; requires schools to have policies and reporting procedures in place to stop hazing; and informs students and parents of what is happening on campus. It also establishes clear-cut parameters on hazing for organizations such as fraternities and sororities.center_img October 15, 2018last_img read more


Norwegian oil fund sees double-digit property returns as oil revenue slumps

first_imgNorway’s sovereign wealth fund saw double-digit property returns for the second year running, as investments overall grew by 7.6% and the largest European asset owner continued to gradually rebalance holdings away from the Continent.At the end of 2014, the Government Pension Fund Global said assets stood at NOK6.4trn (€706bn), up by NOK1.4trn over the course of the year.However, changes in the value of the kroner accounted for around half of the increase, and investment returns for only NOK544bn, according to the fund’s annual report.Additionally, on the back of a sharp decline in oil prices over the second half of 2014, the fund was only paid NOK151bn in oil revenue. The amount of revenue was significantly down compared with 2013’s transfer of NOK241bn and is the least money paid into the fund by the government since 2004, when a payment of NOK138bn accounted for two-thirds of the year’s revenue.When measured in international currency, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) said the fund returned 7.6% over the course of 2014.The figure increased dramatically when measured in kroner, with asset returns rising to 24.3%.Real estate returns, which stood at 10.4% last year, rose to 27.5% when measured in kroner – the fund’s single-best performance measured in either kroner or international currency in five years – while equities returned 7.9%.The increased kroner volatility came as the fund grew its exposure to emerging markets and their currencies.Compared with five years ago, the fund’s exposure to European equity and fixed income had fallen from more than 52% of assets to just 37.7%.The volatility boosted returns in fixed income, which overall stood at 6.9%.However, its largest single exposure, to US Treasuries, returned 7.3% when measured in international currency, growing to nearly 15% in kroner.According to the report, the fund increased the number of currencies in which it was invested by three to 47 – adding Ghanaian cedi, Mauritian rupee and Nigerian naira to its currency basket after both Ghana and Mauritius were added to the fund’s universe.Slovenia, in which NBIM also only began investing in 2014, accounted for the fund’s largest frontier-market holding by the end of the year, worth NOK4.8bn, while investments in Mauritius and Ghana were valued at NOK82m and NOK15m, respectively.Since the end of 2012, NBIM’s share of investments in Asia grew from 12.9% to 15.5% and exposure to Oceania and the Middle East rose by 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points to 2.3% and 0.3%, respectively.While NBIM’s holdings in Africa remained steady at 0.7% of total assets since 2012, the fund’s overall value increased by NOK2.6trn over the same period.The fund also continued to grow its property portfolio, increasing nearly threefold in size to NOK141bn and now accounting for 2.2% of assets, up from 1%.Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive at NBIM, said: “Never before have we made as many property investments as we did last year, and we will continue to step up these investments in the coming years.”A large part of the asset growth came from acquisitions in the US, which now accounted for 35% of the property portfolio, up from 18.7%.The UK also remained an important country, accounting for 28.4%, up by 1.4 percentage points.The fund transferred ownership of 11 listed real estate holdings from the equity team to the property team over the course of 2014, with the NOK33bn in holdings returning 6%.Read Yngve Slyngstad’s thoughts on NBIM’s approach to investments in a recent issue of IPElast_img read more


His Turn

first_imgGirls in the room drooled a little the first time Tim Lester walked into Barry Brennan’s math class. High cheekbones, tight jawline, brown eyes and all, Lester was about to become their student teacher.“But he was a taskmaster,” Brennan said. “So they were not going to get away with not doing work.”Lester was preparing for the 2000 NFL Combine after a record-setting quarterback career at Western Michigan while student-teaching algebra and geometry at Wheaton Warrenville South (Illinois) High School. He didn’t get drafted. He never played a down at any level higher than the XFL or the Arena Football Leagues.Sternly but patiently, though, he kept teaching and learning. First and briefly, math as a student teacher in actual classrooms. Then on small college football fields around the Midwest.So on Saturday, a man who both dug trenches for a plumber and secretly slipped algebra and geometry students congratulatory jolly ranchers will sit in a booth above the Carrier Dome turf. Lester, 37, will be calling out plays for a Syracuse (2-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) offense he took over from George McDonald a week before facing No. 1 Florida State (5-0, 3-0) at noon on Saturday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“He just needs an opportunity and this is it,” McDonald said.The teaching and the pushing are in him as much as his value of controlling the line of scrimmage. His father was his best friend, but his mother was a physical education teacher who made him field extra grounders after poor defensive games of baseball.Bruising starts are part of his past, too. An 8-year-old Lester came home from his first football practice with black-and-blue arms, upset with the sport. He had begun playing football a year or two later than his teammates and it was a tradition for them to beat up on the new kid. But his parents got him lineman arm pads and Lester immediately became a quarterback.“After that day when he realized it’s just a little bit of hitting and it’s not going to kill you, he really took to the game,” said his mother, Pat Lester.He’ll debut as a Division I offensive coordinator without Brisly Estime and potentially Ashton Broyld. He’ll call plays for a battered offensive line and a set of unproven quarterbacks — including freshman AJ Long and sophomores Austin Wilson and Mitch Kimble — that he’s supposed to both develop and contend with.“You got to game plan differently, you got to understand, you got to communicate with them to figure out what they know and what they don’t know, when they’re lying when they say ‘I got it, Coach,’” Lester said. “… Cause they always say they got it. They never want to say they don’t got it.”The SU quarterbacks need the Orange to run. They need the rushing game that Syracuse has lacked in all but one of its last three games. Lester needs it too. He just knows it better and more harshly than his quarterbacks.In his junior year of college, WMU’s starting running back went down injured. Lester still threw for 3,311 yards, but said he struggled to do it. He took a beating along the way, too, losing 0.7 yards per carry himself.“It’s affected me as a coach ever since,” he said of the experience.When Division II Saint Joseph’s (Indiana) College hired Lester for his first head coaching job in 2004, Ron Tyner was a redshirt freshman, set to start for the first time in his collegiate career.As a lineman, he didn’t trust Lester, “this quarterback guy.”“O-linemen don’t want to go out there and pass block every play so we’re thinking ‘Oh sh*t, here we go, we’ve got a quarterback guy, wants to sling it every down,’” Tyner said. “And he made it very clear that we were going to establish the run and control the line of scrimmage.”Lester also taught Tyner to stop playing cautiously, Tyner said, while also making him hate disappointing the coach.A call to Lester was the second one Tyner made after he found out his wife was pregnant and he’ll be in town visiting Lester on Saturday and watching the game. But to this day, after coaching with and befriending the SU offensive coordinator for five years, he’s never called Lester by his first name.As a coach, Lester speaks publicly almost as freely as he does precisely. Privately, he likes to instruct and mold, simplify and calculate.“Numbers are good and bad because they can get to the truth and they can also be used to totally fool you,” Lester said.Lester revels in the late-night silence of his office. There, he grades offenses and quarterbacks, turning most every decision and action they make or take into a statistic.He keeps his stats on himself, too. Like his record as a head coach in games after days he kicked his team off the practice field. He’s undefeated.“It really makes no sense,” he said.Sometimes football lives don’t either. In high school, Lester lived two doors down from a boy named Ronnie Grego in Wheaton, Illinois. They were best friends, who, by their senior years had each played their way to Division I football.Grego, an all-state linebacker, was set for Northwestern. The quarterback, Lester, was Western Michigan-bound. But encephalitis, a brain-inflaming infection, left Grego disabled. Like Lester, he’s 37 now, but struggles to speak or balance. He can’t drive a car or work and he lives in a group home in Michigan, near where his mother works.But when Lester was the head coach at Elmhurst from 2008–12, he and Brennan would take Grego out for dinner once a month. They’d go to Chili’s — Grego’s favorite — or Joe’s Crabshack. The meals would sometimes take two hours because Grego also struggles to swallow.“Even when Tim got bigger and bigger, he hadn’t forgotten people like Ronnie,” Brennan said. “He hadn’t forgotten where he came from.”Lester shared that hometown with Joe Furco, who Lester eventually started as a true freshman at Elmhurst. Throughout Furco’s career at Elmhurst, Lester also told him that basic execution of a game plan could win football games against any opponents as long as the quarterback kept his offense ticking.He shared stories of his own playing career with Furco, and called a lot of run plays to ease the freshman’s transition.But when Furco overslept his alarm and missed a rehab appointment for his ankle, Lester sent a graduate assistant to yank Furco out of his dorm room and ultimately, into a meeting in Lester’s office.“If you’re going to be a starting quarterback as a freshman, you got to be where you need to be as a leader of the offense,” Furco said Lester told him.Lester is again preparing an inexperienced quarterback to lead his offense. But this time there are three of them.He will switch them out, Lester said, but not by quarter or drive. He doesn’t think that’s fair to the quarterbacks or any good for the team. It forces too much pressure on each play and pushes quarterbacks to hold onto the ball too long, he said.Lester’s been in Long’s position, a true freshman waiting in the wings, knowing he’d only play if the starter was “hurt, hurt.” He admires Wilson’s arm, calling it “special.” Kimble aces every test in the quarterbacks room, but needs to process reads better.And with all of the Orange’s young quarterbacks, heading toward whatever lessons Florida State teaches, Lester thinks back to his own children.“I tell my kids all the time, ‘Don’t touch that, it’s hot, don’t touch that,”’ Lester said. “They touch it every time. And then once they touch it, they never touch it again.”After Tuesday’s practice, Lester said he would go back to his office and cross out about half of his game plan. The Orange didn’t look good enough to run it, he said. As much as he expects the players to simply deal with the decision, he expects them to complain about it.Said Lester: “But they’ll be happy with me on Saturday.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 10, 2014 at 1:39 am Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_last_img read more