Run, movie, drink, repeat. That's January for Christopher McDougall.
On Jan. 31, he's hosting the Run Free Fiesta, which will include a trail run and the screening of the documentary Run Free: the True Story of Caballo Blanco. It's about Micah True a.k.a. Caballo Blanco, a former professional fighter who moved from Colorado to Mexico and became friends with Tarahumara people, who are known for their long distance running ability.
True organized the first Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon in 2003 and was a major focus of McDougall's blockbuster bestseller Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen. True died on a run in 2012.
"Born to Run is really Micah's book," McDougall said. "It's all about him, about a quest for a guy who doesn't like people very much trying to get a lot of people together for a race. How does this guy who doesn't get along with anybody get a bunch of people to get along? "
While McDougall was in the Copper Canyons with True, filmmaker Sterling Noren was there too with a group of adventure motorcyclists, so True suggested he might make a good subject of a documentary. Noren started filming in 2010 and kept going, even flying down to Mexico when he heard True was missing, and was there to film when his body was found.
"With documentaries, you think 'Oh my God, how do they happen to be there with that camera. ' I know now," said McDougall.
The Run Free Fiesta will start with a trail run at noon in Lancaster County Park (groups will be going out to do three mile, five mile, and seven mile runs) followed by a screening of the documentary at the Tellus360, a bar that's also in Lancaster. The cost: $12, $35 if you also want a signed copy of McDougall's latest book, Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance.
Money raised at the event will go to Horizons LCDS, which provides summer enrichment programs for low-income public school children in Lancaster.
McDougall, who is from Philadelphia but now lives in Lancaster, is spearheading this event, but that's not all he's doing in January. He'll also be joining the Fishtown Beer Runners on Jan. 10 at the screening of their documentary Beer Runners. He plans to start at the Ardmore SEPTA train station at 1:30 p.m. and run to Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia, where the movie is being screened, which comes to a 10-mile run.