Archive for the ‘hopi running’ Category

Suvokuki day

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Today is Suvoyuki day at Homolovi State Park for the Hopi and anyone joining in for the festivities in Northern Arizona. It is also the the two year anniversary of my first race which is called the Talavai (or morning run). “Suvoyuki” translated in the Hopi language means to accomplish work through at “joint effort.” “Suvoyuki Day” is an open house day at Homolovi Ruins State Park that celebrates the partners who have helped to protect and save Homolovi area archaeological and cultural sites from destruction.

When I ran the Talavai two years ago, it was an amazing experience. I can’t imagine a better way to run in my first race. Calling it a race is really a misnomer as it is non competitive and you just do it for the joy of running (or walking.) The Hopi runners all sang together as they headed up the first sandy mesa, soon they were pretty far ahead of me, but I could hear their singing over the quickly warming cool desert. My childhood friends the Natseway’s were running in the race, well some of them anyway; Diane (my first date!), Danielle, Denise and Mrs. Natseway (walking) all participated. Soon I passed teh short return route and continued on by myself. I spied a runner off in the distance maybe a quarter mile ahead of me with two miles to go. As I cruised over what was now a dirt road, I came up on the banks of the muddy (this time of year no water flowed) banks of the Little Colorado River. Slowly I was gaining on my friend. I think he sensed me nearing him and he picked up his pace. He had gone out to fast with the holder Hopi men and was fading. I was maybe 100 yards behind him when we rounded a small hill and saw the interpretive center and end of the race in the distance. I was in pretty decent shape at that point as I was preparing for the Portland Marathon and I turned on the jets. I passed him with maybe 15 yards to go to the end. I felt a little bad about doing that as it was supposed to be non-competitive, but I figured since I was running my run I could do whatever I wanted or needed to. So I crossed over into the parking lot and was done, but I didn’t realize that wasn’t the end of the race. The real finish line was at the end of the parking lot, so in the spirit of the run my buddy passed me and finished ahead of me. I walked up to him, a boy of about 14 and said “good run” to which he looked at me and nodded. End of run.

They didn’t do it the year I was there, but this year they are doing a sweet corn roast after the run in a traditional corn pit. I would love to see that and eat some corn.

I really wanted to be there this year, my Mom and John will have to walk for me. Hopefully next year I will make it back.