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Micah True, ultra-marathon runner, found dead in Gila National Forest

The 58-year-old race director for the 50-mile Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, Micah True, had been missing since Tuesday.

Marathon nyc 2012 03 31 0Enlarge
Runners in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon in New York on Nov. 6, 2011. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Ultra-marathon runner Micah True was found dead in the Gila National Forest in southwest New Mexico on Saturday evening, Reuters reported. The 58-year-old had been missing since Tuesday, when he left a wilderness lodge for a 12-mile run carrying a water bottle and wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

Police spokesman Robert McDonald said the lodge manager realized True was missing on Wednesday when he went to check on True’s dog, the Associated Press reported. "That's the only reason they knew he was missing – he left his dog behind," McDonald said. "He usually takes his dog but his dog was sore" from a rigorous run the day before.

True, the race director for the 50-mile Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, became a celebrity after appearing as the central character in the best-selling book "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall, Reuters reported.

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Police search teams used three aircraft and crossed 200,000 acres of canyons and shallow rivers in the high desert on horseback and on foot looking for the runner, the AP reported.

True’s body was found by two of his friends near Woody's Corral, one mile southeast of the Gila Cliff Dwellings, Incident Commander Tom Bemis told the Silver City Sun-News. According to Bemis, the cause of death was not immediately obvious. Police said they would remove True’s body from the national forest on Sunday, the Silver City Sun-News reported.

Michael Sandrock, a running columnist for the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper, told the Silver City Sun-News that fame did not change True. "He was truly authentic," Sandrock said. "He never wanted any publicity about himself. He just did it because he loved it.”

According to Reuters, True wrote on his Facebook page in January: "If I were to be remembered for anything at all, I would want that to be that I am/was authentic. No Mas. Run Free!"

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