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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen | [Christopher McDougall]

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.
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Publisher's Summary

Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt?

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

What the Critics Say

"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 Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Lauren Los Angeles, CA, United States 01-10-12
    Lauren Los Angeles, CA, United States 01-10-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Listen to it while you run!"

    This book definitely inspired me to give barefoot running a go. I love the idea of human beings having evolved to run long distances. Having studied anthropology in undergrad, I can guarantee that their are many biological anthropologists out there who would entirely disagree with the author's conclusions, but this is still a very interesting perspective.

    Parts of the book are laid on a bit thick, however. The author makes the claim at one point that the obesity and heart disease epidemic plaguing America can all be traced back to the running shoe companies. He says that the reason Americans don't work out is due to that fact that running shoes put so much stress on the body. I agree that running shoes might not necessarily be the best idea, but I don't think that is why people don't exercise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall Shinn Fort Collins, CO USA 01-09-12
    Randall Shinn Fort Collins, CO USA 01-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Best I have read in a long time."
    What made the experience of listening to Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen the most enjoyable?

    This inspiring book has all of the above but is also filled with many interesting asides. You don't need to be a runner to enjoy it, but the book might turn you into one.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The ending was the best. The unfolding of the community built between racers, and the pulling together of people was very inspiring.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I hope this event never becomes commercialised by a film.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgeann McGarry 01-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Get ready for an adventure!"

    From the very beginning, Born to Run kept me listening and itching to get go back to my car to listen to more! I have recommended it to many friends, runners and non-runners alike. McDougall is a great story teller!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miroslaw Giby, Poland 01-07-12
    Miroslaw Giby, Poland 01-07-12 Member Since 2013

    I +1 Books.

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    "Real Face of Running."

    I will not tell this book is amazing and you should read that. I will tell you something else. In this book you'll find amazing story with some philisophical aspects, history of running and the real passion. Scott Jurek always was my idol. Now I love him :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tricia Honolulu, HI, United States 12-21-11
    Tricia Honolulu, HI, United States 12-21-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Great listen while training for a marathon"

    I listened to this while training for my second marathon after a long injury-induced hiatus from running. I found the book and stories inspiring, and definitely would recommend for anyone looking to improve their attitude towards running.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Beacon, ny, United States 12-14-11
    Anthony Beacon, ny, United States 12-14-11
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    "Fantastic book. Worth a credit for sure"

    This was my first audio book and it spoiled me. Taken, I am a runner...the topic appeals to me. But, overall, this is just a great story for anyone who likes learning about different cultures and sub-cultures. The narration is great...not boring or annoying for one second. The story is engaging. Great for anyone interested in running, adventure, cultures, lifestyles etc. Very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison LINCOLN, NE, United States 12-12-11
    Allison LINCOLN, NE, United States 12-12-11 Member Since 2013

    I have a passion for all things science, music, and outdoors. I am also a "crazy dog lady."

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    "Better than I hoped!"
    What made the experience of listening to Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen the most enjoyable?

    The authors candor.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen?

    The descriptions of all the super-athletes and their unique personalities.


    Have you listened to any of Fred Sanders’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Born to Run


    Any additional comments?

    This book was one of those that I made excuses to listen to and never wanted to turn it off. My husband, who was not interested in the topic and is not a runner, felt the same way and was actually so inspired by this book that he is finally going to start doing some barefoot running with me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luci Healdsburg, CA, United States 12-01-11
    Luci Healdsburg, CA, United States 12-01-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Inspirational for young & old & in-between!"

    I listened to this audiobook with my two children (16 years old and 12 years old) as we drove around to their soccer practices, games, tournaments, etc. We spend a lot of time in the car, and audiobooks are a great way for us to "read" books together like we did when they were younger. There were a few scenes and references that weren't completely appropriate for children, but overall it was a great family book and I would recommend it for teens and older.

    My criticism: sometimes the writing was overly romanticized and hyperbolic, especially about the Tarahumara people. My mom is from Chihuahua (we have been to many of the places where the race took place!), and we have Tarahumara (Raramuri) blood. I think readers need to be able to overlook/understand the perspective in which this was written in order to "buy in" to the narrative. I find myself recommending the book, but with the caveat that though there are insights into the Raramuri, and they are significant in the book, it is all from an outsider's perspective. Wouldn't it be amazing to read their perspectives and hear their stories? But, that would be another book...

    That said, the narrative and information are really engaging, interesting, and motivational! My kids wanted to continue listening in order to follow the narrative of the great race, but by listening to all of it, they are now hooked on running! Needless to say, they are among the throngs of readers/listeners of this book who have been inspired to run. Plus, we all learned a lot and they definitely feel like they are part of a running culture now. There's no downside to that!

    Definitely recommended!



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Huck 11-12-11
    Huck 11-12-11 Listener Since 2009
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    "Great story...a fair amount of offensive language"

    My title says it all...I almost stopped listening several times because of the offensive language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 11-09-11
    Lisa 11-09-11
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    "Fantastic!!! That's all I can say..."

    This is a truely great book - a fantastic story, interesting facts, and performed so very well!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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