The Rarámuri or Tarahumara are an indigenous people of northern Mexico who are renowned for their long-distance running ability. In their language, the term rarámuri refers specifically to the males, females are referred to as muki (individually) or igomele (collectively).
The word for themselves, Rarámuri, means "runners on foot" or "those who run fast" in their native tongue according to some early ethnographers like Norwegian Carl Lumholtz, though this interpretation has not been fully agreed upon. With widely dispersed settlements, these people developed a tradition of long-distance running up to 120 miles (190 km) in one session, over a period of two days through their homeland of rough canyon country, for intervillage communication and transportation as well as to hunt. Before these long distance runs, they consume large quantities of corn beer which is very high in carbohydrate and very low on alcohol. The Tarahumara also use the toe strike method of running which is natural for bare-footed runners. The long-distance running tradition also has ceremonial and competitive aspects. Often, male runners kick wooden balls as they run in "foot throwing" competitions, and females use a stick and hoop. The foot throwing races are relays where the balls are kicked by the runners and relayed to the next runner while teammates run ahead to the next relay point. These races can last anywhere from a few hours for a short race to a couple of days without a break.
Christopher McDougall: Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, (Knopf, 2009. ISBN 0307266303)