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)
Please feel free to share the best book you've ever listened to... legal analysis, trial advocacy, biographies, self help, psychology, spiritual...
The part where Scott's wife and friend are annoying each other while helping him during the Hardrock 100. And the last race, of course.
Wear sunscreen, not expensive running shoes.
I'm listening to it for the the third time as I just went 2, then 3, then 5,5 miles in the last four days. I'm 6'4" 235 lb guy who played tight end/defensive end in college, I'm in law school now and turning 34 soon. Thanks Chris for reminding the hunter in me he loved to run. - Bobby
Tell us about yourself! I listen to books as I quilt. I enjoy historical fiction and some mystery. Some favorite authors are -- Alexander McCall Smith, Jacqueline Winspear.
Yes, already have 3 times and recommended to others
Very interesting about the healthful benefits of running and how running contributes to our well being.
Humans are born to run -- it completes us..... I'm not a runner although I'm seriously considering becoming one.
Having lived in Chihuahua, Mexico for 3+ years in the '90s, I was thrilled at the depiction of the Copper Canyon region and the Tarahumara way of life, despite the descriptions of the many negative impacts the modern world has inflicted on both.
Many times this book made me laugh out loud.
I am not familiar with Fred Sanders but I would definitely seek him out again - a very strong performance.
I was intrigued by the (semi) scientific aspects of the book and was inspired to a) buy my first (but not my only) pair of barefoot shoes and b) to actually run in them... This is also one of the few books which I also own in a paperback version, as after listening to it I wanted a hard copy to refer to.
It's an OK listen but not a great one. To be great it would have had me anxiously waiting for my next chance to listen but that didn't happen. I learned some interesting things about running, Mexico's Copper Canyon & inhabitants but that's about it.
I run to postpone old age more than I run to get a buzz so this review isn't tainted by a dopamine high. The book is rated very highly but I think that's got to be coming from a readership that's been drinking the Kool-Aid as they say or in this case, maybe Gatorade.
The theory about human evolution; why we are born to run
Hunting for deer
the human foot as a deadly weapon
After reading the book, I went straight to the store and bought a pair of Fivefinger shoes!
I've always got at least one audio book I'm listening to. I generally listen for entertainment and education.
Yes! McDougall writes in a narrative style that it educational and interesting. The characters he develops become real people in my mind. Rather than chasing one narrative thread singularly, he diverges from the book's thesis to add other interesting facts, stories, detours, and side bars in a way that adds a lot of interest and value to the book. Meanwhile, he continues to follow the main story line that leads to barefoot running, chia seeds, and a small tribe in Mexico. Fascinating!
Shadow Divers. While Born to Run has a better reader, they both are epic and almost unbelievable tales about a really specific genre (WWII submarines and deep sea diving, and long distance running - respectively) that I knew little to nothing about but came to appreciate and thoroughly enjoy. While comprehensively researched and written, they both left me wanting more.
An inspiring and hypnotic story of a people that I'd never heard of woven together with compelling information about running shoes, human physiology and history. This book will inspire and challenge runners and non-runners alike, it's really a quite brilliant book that I was sorry to finish, but I'll just listen to it again!
I'm a recreational runner and completly fell for this book. It not only talks about running and its different aspects but has an intriguing story behind about a people to whom running comes as natural as breathing and about a race that celebrates just that. It even made me think about changing my running style and discovering bare foot or minimalistic running.
Realizing the logic of the premise
Another silly question
???The best way people can honor (Micah True -the hero of Born to Run as "Caballo Blanco") is to donate to his charity, which benefits the Raramuri Indians (AKA Tarahumara) as did the race Micah founded. The Raramuri are barely surviving the worst drought in Mexican history".
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