Caballo Blanco’s Last Run - the Micah True Story
Micah True went off alone on a Tuesday morning to run through the rugged trails of the Gila Wilderness, and now it was already Saturday and he had not been seen again.
The search for him, once hopeful, was turning desperate. Weather stoked the fear. The missing man was wearing only shorts, a T-shirt and running shoes. It was late March. Daytimes were warm, but the cold scythed through the spruce forest in the depth of night, the temperatures cutting into the 20s.
For three days, rescue teams had fanned out for 50 yards on each side of the marked trails. Riders on horseback ventured through the gnarly brush, pushing past the felled branches of pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine. An airplane and a helicopter circled in the sky, their pilots squinting above the ridges, woodlands, river canyons and meadows.
Not only did Micah True have loyal friends, but he also had a devoted following. At age 58, he was a mythic figure, known by the nickname Caballo Blanco, or White Horse. He was a famous ultrarunner, competing in races two, three or four times as long as marathons. The day he vanished, he said he was going on a 12-mile jaunt, for him as routine as a lap around a high school track.
I tend to roll my eyes at people who give themselves and others “spirit names” and indulge in extreme sports, but this article draws a good picture of how a human being dealt with being turned into a legend by a not-entirely-true book, and how his friends and fans found his body several days after he died. The comments are pretty good, too.