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 was an amazing book that I originally chanced upon in Barnes and Noble a few months before I joined audible. I was enthralled at the bookstore, but didn't have the cash to buy so I had to walk away and by the time I returned it was not there anymore. Luckily I chanced upon it in audible while book hunting and immediately bought it. Even still, I had a hard time getting into it originally because I had read enough and had already attributed "voices" to the characters. I was going to put it down, so to speak, but by then my gf had started listening to it and said that it was really good so I gave it another shot. Sure enough as soon as I got past the point I had originally stopped at on paperback I became fascinated by the story. It was beautifully written with stories within stories that unfolded magnificently into a real life suggestion to improving how one lives. I didn't expect it to be that kind of book and was pleased to find that how the author wrote the book wasn't preachy or quick fixes, but simply a lesson learned that was turned into a story. Everything was supported by facts and testimonials and all of this was so well embedded into the story that seemed to be more of sparkling embellishment then the actual point itself. Give it a listen.
Caballo Blanco of course!! The narrator captured this character the best.
all of the stories within the book had some truly moving point. That is what made it so good.
I started listening to this while training for a half marathon. I was sick of my standard playlist and wanted something new.
This book does not disappoint. It is motivational and makes you want to get up and start running!
I had a really tough time getting in to this. It kind of droned on without going anywhere. I have read some good reviews on this but it was not for me.
It passionately goes through the style of running and details many of the important issues in a clear manner. As well as going through an amazing story.
The descripitions of early human running = D Fascinating
If you want a book that makes you want to finish the chapter then run further than you ever have. Here it is.
Say something about yourself!
It did inspire me to get back outside and run. I have also started running barefoot. We'll see how that works out. :)
This is one of the BEST books I've ever read/listened to. I feel so informed and it was such a pleasure - both the thoroughly engaging story, and the excellent narration: enthusiastic without being overly energetic or annoying. As if the narrator is as enthralled as the listener - just excellent.
You won't be disappointed - even if you are not athletic!
Excellent performance and tale based in truth.
The emphasis on how our actions can bring joy, especially those that are rooted in love.
The comments about the Mexican race seem to put them up on a pedestal. I am certain they too have their faults, being human, though viewing them in a positive light was inspiring.
First of all, let me say that it is nearly impossible to listen to this book and not be motivated to buy a pair of less cushioned running shoes and set out for a 100 mile trail run. As was my experience, you probably won't get very far, but the motivation factor with every minute of audio crescendos constantly.
Highly educational and amazing to learn that a super-athlete tribe such as the Hara Kumara (sp) could have been overlooked and gone under the radar for so long. This audiobook also provides great insights into the world of ultra-running in general.. the pains, rewards, and excruciatingly arduous time and effort required.
I am a horrible book reader but audible has changed my life. I now feel like I have access to what the "smart people" know. I also have a new level of confidence based on my new knowledge.
If you haven't seen the TED presentation by Chris McD, this might be a good book.
Have more interesting content around running barefoot. In His TED presentation, I was glued to my computer. In the book, he spoke about people who I never really connected with. I almost felt like I was being forced to care.
I kept listening because I thought he was going to get to more of the interesting running unknowns. However, this book never reveals anything more than what was in his TED presentation.
Caballo blanco, Jen, bone head. A chapter dedicated to Jen background never became interesting and I never felt connected. He did a good job of making the white horse mysterious but I lost interest in him and when more humanizing aspects of him were revealed, I didn't care and didn't connect.
I hated to give your book a 1 star. Your TED presentation was so great that I told everyone I knew about it. I wanted more, so I bought your book. My advice is that you have figured out to make an extremely compelling case for running barefoot, now figure out how to make a compelling case to care about your characters.
This was groundbreaking work and you have undoubtedly make $millions. I wish I had known about this when I competitively ran.
While I have not run out and joined ultra-marathoning like most people who've read this book, I can confirm I have tried on some "barefoot" running shoes and am contemplating dipping my toes in the water and drinking the "barefoot running" Kool-Aid. I love non-fiction. I love good story-telling. I love science. This book was the trifecta of all three.
Report Inappropriate Content