Day 71 update + photos: 500 mile runners arrive at Sogorea Te

Runners on Glen Cove Road, with Wounded Knee DeOcampo and John Malloy in the lead

On Thursday evening, more than 60 runners
ranging in age from 4 to 84 years arrived at Sogorea Te, as the final destination of the 33rd annual 500 Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon. The marathon had begun with ceremonies on June 19th (Sunday) in Pit River territory. On Thursday morning, the runners departed from Clear Lake, bound for Vallejo, CA.

Arriving at Sogorea Te

A dozen participants in the prayer vigil at Sogorea Te joined the runners for the final leg of the marathon, which was led by Wounded Knee DeOcampo (Miwok), one of the original 1978 500-mile runners. As the procession of runners swiftly approached Sogorea Te, two long lines of supporters welcomed them, creating a tunnel with their arms that they passed through before circling around the sacred fire and placing prayer offerings upon it.  

Nathan Potts (Pit River)

Carlos Castro

John Malloy, coordinator of the Marathon, warmly addressed the circle of about 150 people, thanking and honoring all of the runners, elders, children and supporters who together made the run possible. He explained that the runners had been training together for much of the past year, and that it has been an honor to work with such a dedicated group of people.

John Malloy then called people forward to honor them and ask them to share some words. First, he asked the half-dozen Pit River runners to step forward, and Nathan Potts (Madesi Band, Pit River), Warren Quinn (Atwamsini Band, Pit River) and Santana Sanchez (Achumawi Band, Pit River) addressed the group, sharing some of what the run means to them. Other speakers in the circle who shared stories, reflections and thanks included Carlos Castro, Pablo Diego Viramontes (Nha Nhu-Otomi), Allan Yeager (of the Jericho Project), Morning Star Gali (Achumawi Band, Pit River), and Wounded Knee DeOcampo.

Singers from the ongoing prayer vigil at Sogorea Te then picked up their clapper sticks and shared a series of Rumsen Ohlone songs. Afterwards, the runners were asked to line up, and Fred Short (Ojibwa) and Connie Short presented each of them with a special certificate. After a prayer, dinner was served and the hum of many spirited conversations filled the air.

As the sun set and runners bid one another farewell, the sound of the drum and many voices singing the “Sogorea Te” song echoed across the land. The unified prayers of so many dignified people could be almost tangibly felt.

Recent articles/media:

Some photos from the day:

The 500 Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon’s main purpose is “to carry the message of the sacredness of all life, our relationship to all living species, and of the need to maintain the delicate balance that exists between humankind and our Mother Earth.”

John Malloy, Marathon coordinator and trainer.

Nathan Potts (Madesi band, Pit River) addressing the group.

Morning Star Gali (Achumawi band, Pit River) expressing thanks to all the runners.

Fred Short presenting a certificate to a young 500 mile runner.

“As the sun set and many of the runners bid one another farewell, the sound of the drum and many voices singing the “Sogorea Te” song echoed across the land.”

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6 Responses to Day 71 update + photos: 500 mile runners arrive at Sogorea Te

  1. danita quinn says:

    very good write up. warren quinn of the atwamsini band of pit rivers and santana sanchez of the ajumawi band of pit rivers. thank you.

  2. Sinnie Santo says:

    Continued Prayers And Blessings To Our Brothers And Sisters Taking A Stand, For What Is Right!! True Warriors In My Book!! And Special Thanks To The 500 Mile American Inian Spiritual Marathon Runners For Spreading The Sacred Message, For Our People, From a Native Pima Sister In Salt River, Arizona, Aho

  3. I am touched by all this beauty . This is a wonderful initiative , I never heard of it before .
    I see that good things are very much alive and Native Armericans are still spreading the message of peace , unity and harmony with all !
    Thanks to all of you , you are wonderful !!!!!!!
    Rosita ( Belgium)

  4. Ingrid Everaert says:

    Please leave the Native Americans their heritage and way of living its so beautiful living close to nature. Let them have their culture it is so good in times of stress and all that is happening in the world. Its a way that would be good for all people to life by there thoughts and spirit!!!
    Ingrid Everaert (Belgium)

  5. Consuela M Vargas Pit River Tribe (Hammawi Band) Alternate Council Rep says:

    I will always keep you in my prayer so be safe and keep strong out there and Ay thank you all so much for helping in the fight to protection of our sacred sites/lands here in 2011. I thank you and to all my Pit River people/family for helping and spreading the word with the 500 Mile American Indian Spiritual Marathon Runners and for all the years even going back to the gold rush days, 47 cents, land claims fights, and treaties never being ratified fight. Just look what we as a people have been through and we are still here! You are still here that’s power! You, me, and others standing together with one another to help each other that’s what it’s all about. All of you no matter what tribe you are from, you are still my sisters and brothers in the circle. May creator bless you all, and I know we as a tribe are thankful and hope we can see you soon okay be safe out there my people. We will keep you in our prayers at the Medicine Lake Gathering if you don’t make it back up Pit Rivers.

  6. Yair says:

    Let the city of Valejo make amends and give glen cove back to the people it belongs to.
    Let them take out any thing they put in, roads, buildings, power lines and let the people who took such good care of this land show them how it is done in respect.

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