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)
Reader, reviewer, blogger
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book but I'm glad I took the opportunity to listen to it. Lots of interesting data on the way humans run, the history of running shoes, and the people of a remote area of Mexico who make running 100 miles look easy. Fun (and annoying) characters abound. Great narration, too!
An adventure in listening..at first it was mildly interesting then as I warmed up to it, I was hooked. As a long time jogger of 25 years,this book has increased my desire to put in more miles for sure!
Age 70 Air Force Veteran 66-70 (Air Traffic Controller. Avid Bike Rider. Married 45 years, three kids, seven grandkids. Christian:
Not only did I lean about this amazing tribe of runners but how to keep your resolve in life and crank it up many notches. Ideas on how to eat better and pass a lot of this information to runner friends. I just might listen again. Fascinating.
I had purchesed three or four audio books and Chose Born to Run as the one to listen to as I traveled across several states to the Disney Half Marathon and I was glad I did! My driver wasn't as happy for the sheer lack of conversation because the minute he took a breath I was hitting play. McDougall and Sanders are a winning combination! Some books are a one time deal not this one. I would have to say both the race and the book were well worth the time and money.
The only disappointing part of the book was that it had to end.
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