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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen Audiobook

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

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Publisher's Summary

Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt?

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (7942 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nathan O'Hara 08-24-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Inspiring and Informative"
    Would you listen to Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen again? Why?

    Yes, I very well might listen again to review the insights and scientific findings on why we run and how to do so efficiently and without injury.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Caballo's final talk before the race. It was right on the mark, and quite moving for me.


    If you could give Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen a new subtitle, what would it be?

    How Long Distance Running Could Change the World


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Kimble Denver, CO 08-22-14
    Jeff Kimble Denver, CO 08-22-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Expected a bit more about running"

    This book took me a bit by surprise. I was expecting a book about the science of these super-athletes, based on where they filed it, but that wasn't the case. The book largely takes you through ultra marathons and common characters competing therein, but only glances on the things that are discovered because of the study. It's a good story yes, but I expected to hear more about how running has evolved and less about a run in Leadville, CO and/or runs that involved the same group of people traveling about.

    Is it still worth a listen? Absolutely. Just make sure you understand what you're going into. I wished I had this piece prior to listening if only to set my own expectations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 07-22-14
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 07-22-14 Member Since 2012

    I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is not literature, and does not pretend to be. This is a a true life account of some remarkable athletes, and the beginnings of a sport that even today is pretty underground. I enjoyed it tremendously. Interspersed with accounts of the primary races, were short bios of the main competitors, and a thorough (if controversial) treatment of the cause of many running injuries. But fundamentally this is an amateur ethnography of a fascinating people in a remote part of the world that many of us will never travel to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As an amateur athlete I am always impressed about people who play a sport for the pure love of the spore; because it gives them joy and enriches their lives. Ultimately this book describes that approach to athletics, although within the confined of a sport I cannot comprehend. To say that ultra-marathoners are a breed apart in an understatement, this books paints that picture perfectly.


    Which character – as performed by Fred Sanders – was your favorite?

    It would be hard no to select Micah True, a hippie philosopher king who dedicated his life to something so obscure that he becomes the hero to many.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Fist off this is not a book on how to run. There are sections that describe the evolution of running shoes and design influences on training. What I got out of the books was to follow your passion, but make sure that passion is not motivated by money or fame. It you follow that path happiness is yours. This was not approached in a heavy handed way in the book, but McDougal painted this picture with humor and great story telling.


    Any additional comments?

    I have ready some criticism of this book and some of it is fair and some not. Sure, the author paints some characters in a Gonzo style that some might find a bit too much. I personally got a kick out of it. Others have said that some characters like Ann Trason were painted in a poor light. I think the author was fair to all, within the confines of a popular book. I came away with the utmost respect for Ann and others in this book, and lets face it, ultra marathoners can be a little quirky. It all made for a great read. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.S. Valdez FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 06-24-14
    M.S. Valdez FORT COLLINS, CO, United States 06-24-14 Member Since 2012

    Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author: Stephen King. Favorite book: Hyperion.

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    "GET THIS BOOK!!!"

    An absolute must-listen. A truly inspiring story that has made me have a new love for running; and certainly convinced me that humans are "born to run". Everyone needs to listen to this book and then take its advice: running and eating healthy. I truly believe it would reduce the obesity and unhealthiness in the American population.
    Very humorous at times, wonderful and interesting characters, a fantastic finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felipe Castillo Vancouver, Canada 06-05-14
    Felipe Castillo Vancouver, Canada 06-05-14 Member Since 2016

    Felipe

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    "Change my life for good"
    Any additional comments?

    I found out about this book after watching some youtube videos about running, since I was having some pain in my hip after running.
    After this book, I had a better understanding of running itself, and why my hip was hurting. I follow its advice and everything got fixed! no pain!
    Besides the content of this book, which is great and inspiring, the performance is great. It gets you involved and connected to the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R.S. Emporia, KS 05-12-14
    R.S. Emporia, KS 05-12-14 Member Since 2016
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    "WONDERFUL!"
    What made the experience of listening to Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen the most enjoyable?

    The reading was wonderful, the story was wonderful!


    Have you listened to any of Fred Sanders’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    WONDERFUL book to listen to whether you are an athlete or not!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amar 04-30-14
    Amar 04-30-14
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    "Inspired me to take up barefoot running"

    This is an entertaining and inspiring book and is helping motivate me into becoming an avid runner and I am experimenting successfully with the barefoot running philosophy. The performance and storyline are well laid out and keep your attention from start to finish. It is filled with entertaining adventures and interesting personalities. I recommend it for everyone especially if you are looking for some added motivation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Surprise, AZ, United States 04-02-14
    Dana Surprise, AZ, United States 04-02-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm a busy mom who loves to listen to books. Mostly I listen on my way to and from work.

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    "AMAZING!!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have and will continue. Not just for running friends either.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen?

    The story of Ann Trayson! I really enjoyed that.


    What does Fred Sanders bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is an excellent narrator. He really did the book justice. Great job!!!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole book moved me but definitely the end when you find out who he is.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent book and I really learned alot. Being a runner it really made me love running even more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EH Fayetteville, AR, United States 03-28-14
    EH Fayetteville, AR, United States 03-28-14 Member Since 2011

    Jeff

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    "Terrific!"
    What made the experience of listening to Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen the most enjoyable?

    I have been running for 9 months and this was well timed. I have heard the hype about this book but was avoiding it because I did not want to be preached to about barefoot running. (Not a fan.) It is not that. This is a great book and entertains as well as informs but from a position to give you something to think about rather than forcing it down your throat.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter United States 03-26-14
    Peter United States 03-26-14
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    "Placing yourself in an adventure of education."
    If you could sum up Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen in three words, what would they be?

    I loved the book. Felt like I was being taken into an adventure while being educated along the way. Great book and being someone with ADD I never found myself spacing out or not paying attention.


    What other book might you compare Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen to and why?

    The Race before us by Bruce Matson.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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