In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world's greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.
Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence.
With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a 50-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder.
With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons.
Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
©2009 Knopf; (P)2009 Random House
"Equal parts quest, physiology treatise, and running history....[McDougall] seeks to learn the secrets of the Tarahumara the old-fashioned way: He tracks them down....The climactic race reads like a sprint....It simply makes you want to run." (Outside Magazine)
"Hugely entertaining. . . . One of the most joyful and engaging books about running to appear for many years." (The Irish Times)
A terrific ride, recommended for any athlete." (Kirkus)
This book tells the tale of a man on a search for the perfect run... it's amusing, inspiring and motivating. I really enjoyed it. I also think it would be a great book for a non-runner looking for motivation and an amusing tale.
One problem, though. The author really thinks himself a WRITER, complete with overuse of metaphors. It became a little annoying, but I'm willing to blame that on me being much too picky.
I like stories about non-mainstream people and thinking and this is certainly one. Particularly in the early days of ultra marathoning, ideas and notions about what was possible seemed to be just forming. I appreciated the references to barefoot running - such as the idea that running team's injuries increased with "better" shoes. And the stories about the tribes and what factors contributed to making them great runners and how changes in their culture affected this.
I never read the print. N/A
A couple parts. The race a Leadville was very suspensful, but I would say Chapter 21 when McDougal gets into the history of the running shoe and the anatomy of the foot really drove message home for me.
Very expressive in portraying multiple characters as well as the humor in some of the delivery. He seemed very capable of conveying the authors thoughts and intentions.
It made me change the way I run. It made me think.
This book started a movement but it's more than just a passing fad. Learning what your body is capable of and how, for the most part, we've been duped into buying foot casts for the better part of 40 years, is mind boggling. Through first hand accounts and scientific data, Christopher MCDougal weaves a tremendous story of our natural and human desire to run. This desire has been drained from us by shoe companies promising a comfortable ride. In the end we have become a nation of injuries waiting to happen. It's time to get back to our roots and run the way we we've evolved to run. I recommend this book to everyone.
Classics, productivity, travel, beach culture, family, languages, learning,sports
Yes, great story and well read.
What a fantastic thirst for life these people have.
Fred is awesome. Probably the best narrarator I have heard so far.
Just couldnt wait for my commute to begin.
I think this book could spark profound changes with people who need that little push to do something spectacular.
A 30 Year old male with interests in Media, Digital Art, online businesses and running
the description of the characters is amazing, you like the characters without meeting them.
I think the reader brings a lot of passion into the reading of this book. his tone of voice helps set the mood right for the scenes depicted in this book
It made me change my perception of human limits, I run 5 Km daily after reading this book I decided to increase my runs to 10 Km daily. and was able to do it. Got me to start exploring barefoot running.
Well written and insperational...........................
Narrative put you into the story and was very beliveable........
How to always keep going.........................
Great book, Learned a lot of new things about running. Have a lot of motivation thanks to this book, Thank you
It is hard to say what I loved best. It is full of useful and even life changing information if it turns out to be correct. Even if it doesn't the book was hilariously funny, super motivating and just plain fun.
I laughed out loud while running every single day I listened to this book. People on the trail kept looking at me and smiling.
this book is adventurous, exciting, moving, and educational. I would recommend it to anyone that loves running and listening to the offbeat stories of those that live outside the box.
This is one of my favorite books: it is a brilliant blend of history, intrigue, wacky characters, and superathletes. After reading this book, I just want to get outside for a run. I have listened to it several times (and read the print version too), and plan to do so again in the future. Also, Fred Sanders has a likeable and easy-to-listen-to voice that lends itself nicely to the story.
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