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)
After listening, I immediately listened to the whole book a second time. It is a life-changing experience. It teaches you about endurance, life and the simple enjoyment of it all. Technically it's changed the way I exercise and eat. It should be required reading for our overeating, out of shape generation.
I spend an hour a day plodding and listening to books. Listening to McDougall's book inspired and enthused me. In the two weeks since I've told everyone I meet, even a couple of strangers about it. Quite exciting and very interesting, it is filled with theories and facts to which even a plodder can relate.
I listened to this book for one hour and loved it so much I saved it to listen to while I ran the Lake City 50 Ultra in Colorado. I couldn't have related more to a book and recommended it to all my running friends. I am also having my husband and parents read it so they can understand how wonderfull it is to be a runner.
Loved this book...Very inspiring. It makes you realize what we are capable of doing if we have the will and desire to do something.
Taste is subjective and reviews vary, but I was surprised to find this a boring read, since I usually am enthralled by this genre -- the novelistic, self-helpish fitness book mixing advice, philosophy, and narration. In this case, I tired of the focus on the wild-n-crazy cast of running rebels, etc., and wished there were more reflective passages, or broader discussions of running in history and physiology. Also, I wanted more on the Tarahumara's history and worldview. The closely narrated description of the many races in the novel bored me.
I wanted some inspiration and was impressed by all the positive reviews but it's a weird story and does nothing to inspire. I'm pretty sure everyone who reviewed this audiobook must have either been paid or are family members. Isn't a cadaver a dead body? WTF?
I like running and in reading this book, I thought I was going to find out about how to run better or at least I thought that I was going to read a good story about a hidden tribe. None of this matterialised. The book drifts on and on with no focus and no real story to tell. I didn't finish it. Quite boring after a while, even though it was exciting for the first 2-3 hours... Pity!
I am not a "runner", walking and jogging are enough for me, but I really enjoyed this book and learned a few things about running.
This book had great potential but really gets off track, especially two thirds in. Most of the story is third-hand and does not spend enough time on the actual purported subject of the book.
Super athletes is perhaps to far of an adjective...but every one is entitled to his/her opinion
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