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 is a very easy read (listen). Narration was clear and with emotion. Book was motivational and made me want to train for an ultra marathon.
I have seen some complaints that there was too much on bare foot running, but it fit in with the over all theme of the book, and the author makes a point.
The only thing that I found wanting is that I enjoyed it so much, I wanted an epilogue to tell me what happened to the characters.
Great book from start to finish. Narrator added the icing to this cake! I didn't want the book to end and ended up finding actual pictures of the participants in the race as well as some of the original articles from the author on the web. What an inspirational story.
Great story and very thought provoking. I laughed a lot while listening to this book and it makes me want to run real distance.
I unexpectedly enjoyed this book. I'll listen to just about anything on the topic of running and found myself pleasantly surprised with this title.
I loved the story wrapped up with novel research and ideas. This book has changed the way I run and buy shoes for the better.
I really enjoyed this book and believe it will be responsible for a major resurgence of running again at the end of this decade. Kudos to Christopher McDougall for writing such a splendid tale!
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