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)
What I loved best was how the author interspersed the stories of the "Running People" with his own personal athletic history, evolution, biology, and the history of modern athletic consumer products. This book was so fascinating to me, I have been driving my husband and friends crazy by repeatedly sharing things I've learned from the book.
I am not an avid runner, but it certainly inspired me to want to take off my shoes and run through the woods.
I have not read the print version of the book, but there are not charts referenced or a lot of statistics to come back to so I don't think the print version would be better or worse than the print version. I found the book so motivational and interesting that I listened to it while running, which would not be possible for me in print version.
The book did a very nice job of mixing in several different stories as well as research information. Informative and entertaining.
The narrator does a good job. He differentiates voices enough so it is easy to differentiate who is speaking and gives them a little extra character.
It's a long enough title already. Doesn't need another one :).
This was a great book. I have been a jogger / marathoner for 5 years and this book has inspired me in a way other articles and books have not to hit the pavement more frequently and feel better about the time I devote to running.
It's up at the top. I haven't listened to a whole lot of audiobooks yet, but I just finished Born To Run yesterday, and today I started it over again. That says something, right? (PS. So far I've given high ratings in my reviews to pretty much everything I'd listened to. The reason behind this is that I spend a lot of time looking for the audiobooks, and if I don't like something I don't even finish it.)
The final race. The narration of the race takes up the last hour of the audiobook. That hour just flew by!
Sanders gave a voice to even the non-talkative Tarahumara. I can't quite explain what I mean by this, you'll just have to hear it for yourself. I would listen to Fred Sanders again, he has a very pleasant voice and does a great job reading throughout the whole book.
It definitely made me laugh. It also made me think about things I've never even considered before. It made me feel nostalgic for something I have never even experienced.
I don't know why I'd waited so long to read this book. Probably because of the subject, as I'm not terribly interested in running or ultramarathons. I do love a good human triumph story, and this fits the bill. I got involved on a level I had not expected.
it's true story.
The most memorable moments is obviously a last part where race began and end. However I also really likes finding about running shoes and scientific analysis of running.
Ted - the bear foot guy.
No initially but once I started yes.
Books like these always remind us that, in life there are more then one dimensions and meanings out there that dose not required money and materials, still give us so much joy.
The characters were my favorite, I fell in love with each of them. They are just regular folks like you or I. Anyone can do great things.
My favorite character would be Jenn Shelton. I love her careless, and beautifully reckless demeanor. I admire her tenacity, I almost remember a younger version of myself that was easily seen in her. She has a fearlessness about her that any mother would want for their own daughter.
This is my first. I think he was entertaining and kept my total attention the entire book.
I read this book while I ran a mountainous trail in my little valley where I reside. I laughed repeatedly, cried on a few occasions...the other runners passing me surely thought I was nuts :)
This book has inspired me, and changed my life. A must read for anyone looking for a simple way to change their outlook on life, and how it can be so simple and easy to improve your life from multiple aspects, just by hearing one mans adventure.
I listened to this book and loved it so much, I went out to buy a hard copy.
The whole book inspired me to not only get out and do something, but to try and live a more simple life.
Listening to the book enabled me to know how to pronounce the names of the people involved and the name of the tribe.
This book changed my life and inspired me to do more than sit around and watch other people live on TV. Knowing that the characters are real people made a huge difference to me.
From start to finish, this book was fascinating to me. It read like a novel and I never for even one second was bored. The narrator is excellent in tone, pace and I couldn't have asked for better. I am almost through listening to it for a second time. There is so much to be learned here, as well as simply a wonderfully told story.
Yes I would. There is so much to learn and be reminded of. It really teaches you a lot about the human race. You learn that there are many ways to live and western civilizations don't do everything correctly. There is a lot more to living than just our daily routines. Listen to the book! It is worth it.
I don't think he is a great novel writer. He writes the book as if it were a lot of newspaper articles. The book jumps around a lot, but at the end of the day what you learn trumps the way it is written. Also, it is still very intriguing.
Yes. It is a good story, but the foul language and sensationalism make recommendations conditional.
Most interesting aspects were the hidden tribe idea and and the whole concept of running such great distances. I had never heard of either of these, and I found it intriguing. Since I live within a couple of hours of one of the annual races, I am thinking seriously of going to the finish line this year.
The budding sport of ultra-marathon running.
McDougall's writing is sensational. He sensationalizes everything in the story, from personalities and food to particular races and theories. More notably, he pictures all ultra-marathon racers as kind of crazy, reports theories like evolution, running bare foot, and human bio-mechanical design like they are hard facts, and describes race courses as nearly impossible. The sensationalizing starts on the first paragraph and continues until the end. To listen, I had to get past it, and I must say I kind of enjoyed it then. The text is full of F bombs and some other obscenities. It detracted from the story as far as I was concerned.
For me, running is an impossibility. What I can do is tell everyone I know that this is a great story. Well written, right on narration. Pretty soon I'll have it memorized!
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