Run With the California Natives

The Tarahumara Indians are purported to be the world’s greatest runners,

Tarahumara runner in Mexico's Copper Canyon
Tarahumara runner in
Mexico’s Copper Canyon

running up and down the rugged canyons of their homeland, in Mexico’s remote Sierra Madre Mountains. The Tarahumara run for transportation and sport, and villages often compete against each other in races which last for several days. The area is commonly known as Copper Canyon, and its unique scenery and cave-dwelling inhabitants make it a favorite destination for active tourists looking to get off the beaten path.

The California Native has been running Copper Canyon tours for more than two decades, but the Tarahumara aren’t the only runners associated with the company. Several members of California Native’s staff are also avid runners.

The company’s founder and president, Lee Klein, began running two weeks before his 61st birthday. He has since competed in eleven marathons and is now training for his 12th.

Lee’s wife, Ellen, who also serves as California Native’s destination scout and researcher, is a race-walker and has completed five marathons, countless half-marathons, 5k and 10k races.

Lori Klein-Del Rosario, Lee’s daughter, who has guided California Native trips for almost twenty years, began running last year and completed her first marathon in June. She is now training for more races and is mentoring new runners.

In addition to running, California Native staff members participate in many other outdoor sports. Laurie Kraft, California Native’s Operations Manager, is an avid swimmer, while Jason Hall, California Native Tour Coordinator, can often be found surfing the waves at Malibu (after all, we are the California Native).

California Native founder, Lee Klein, at Long Beach CA Marathon. California Native scout, Ellen Klein, at Long Beach CA Marathon. California Natives Lori Klein-DelRosario, Ellen Klein, and Lee Klein, at El Segundo CA 5k race.
Lee at Long Beach CA Marathon Ellen at Long Beach CA Marathon Lori, Lee, and Ellen at El Segundo CA 5k race

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