Searchers on Saturday found the body of renowned long-distance runner Micah True, who vanished four days earlier after heading out from a lodge for a morning run in the rugged wilderness near New Mexico's Gila National Forest, authorities said.
The cause of death was unknown, but there were no signs of trauma, incident commander Tom Bemis said.
The 58-year-old True, whose extreme-distance running prowess is detailed in the book "Born to Run," set out on what - for him - would have been a routine 12-mile run Tuesday from the Wilderness Lodge and Hot Springs, where he was staying. He left his dog at the lodge and never returned.
Lodge co-owner Dean Bruemmer, who helped with the search Saturday, said he last saw his friend at breakfast. He said True gave no indication of a specific route, which made the search more difficult. The lodge is about four miles from the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in western New Mexico.
Though daytime temperatures in the area had been mild, temperatures had dipped into the mid-20s on recent nights. True left for his run wearing only shorts and a T-shirt and carrying a water bottle.
True, who had been friends with Bruemmer for 10 years, would often visit the lodge while traveling between Mexico and his Boulder, Colo., home. As a result, Bruemmer said, True knew the local trails well - which made his disappearance all the more mystifying.
True was the race director of the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, a 50-plus-mile extreme race that took place in Urique, Mexico, on March 4. He was featured in articles in running magazines and was a central character - known by his nickname, "Caballo Blanco" - in Christopher McDougall's nonfiction best-seller "Born to Run."
"He's such an integral part of the fabric of the ultra community," said Michael Sandrock, a columnist who writes about running for the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder. "He's one of the stars. ... The Caballo Blanco, he's a legend."