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)
A good reason why audiobooks are better than paperbacks. Going through this tome would have been quite a task. But the exciting narrative brought it alive and kept me hooked in. Really sad to reach the end of this fun ride.
I am a fan of both fiction and non-fiction with a recent bias toward fiction, possibly due to my history background. ]
I love this book. I listen to it all the time. Just turn it on in the middle somewhere and it's good listening. Inspirational also. I broke out my running shoes for the first time in 5 or 6 years and went for a nice run with my daughter.
The characters are all interesting and the way the story weaves back and forth is most entertaining. Several times I would arrive at my destination after listening while driving and just sit and listen for a few more minutes because it so good. I've listened to it once and I am working my way through it for the second time. I highly recommend it!
Could not be a better blend of the adventure, history, and science of running! If you want to read a book about running that keeps your interest throughout, look no further!
whether you are a life long runner like me, or just interested in the fascinating story of the evolution of humans into the most efficient runners in the world, this has to rank among the top 10 books I've ever encountered. Christopher McDougal is incredibly talented at taking a subject that could be considered mundane (running) and making it into a story you just can't "put down." Kudos to both the author and the reader.
A good book. Very interesting plot line. Combination of technical, physiological, and entertainment issues. Learned quite a lot about ultra runners.
Awesome, front to back, top to bottom. Narrator was superb. Story was so enthralling by the end I felt like I knew each character on a personal level. Made me want to get out and run! A must listen for any outdoor enthusiast.
If you do not run better, faster, longer, healthier than ever before after reading (listening) to this book, then you are trying too hard. Throw away your running shoes and injuries and run like you were always meant to. It's easy. GREAT BOOK!!!!!
It doesn't matter if you consider the act of running for the sake of running completely asinine, you will want to run by the time you are half-way through. This book reveals how those crazy running-addicted folks actually get themselves to do it everyday. It's about the beauty of running. He also really did his research and pulled together the history of running shoes (and their deleterious effects on running form), the anthropology of running, and a bunch of really great stories! This book will bring alive in you the need to just get out the door and run for the sake of running. I used to listen to music to distract myself from the run. Now I can't stand having music because I miss out on the beauty of it...sounds corny, but it's true. Enjoy!
This book probably doesn't need another review but here goes anyway. I have been a runner for about 10 years now and any book on the subject will catch my eye. This one took me by surprise as it is a mix of runner's lore and a good yarn. You can't help but get a little caught up in the enthusiasm of the whole thing. I have to say I did feel that the Tarahumara tribe was a total fabrication - they sounded way too implausible. I would recommend this book to non-runners. It is by no means a "how to" book and gives a very good insight into the bewildering world of the ultra-runner. One of the few audiobooks I would consider listening to again.
While I do enjoy cycling, I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination, yet I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Perhaps I enjoyed it in part because I had no preconceptions or biases, but I would wager that just about anyone would enjoy this provocative look into a concept that few athletes would dare to dream: barefoot running. Definitely a stimulating and interesting read.
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