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)
I read almost exclusively non-fiction; there are so many real stories that are worth knowing, and learning from.
This was a wonderfully insightful account of the author's adventures with the Tarahumara Indians of the Sierra Madres, and one "Cabaio Blanco" with regards to the discipline/sport of running. If you run, exercise, or are interested in remote cultures and history of the southwest, this tale will transport you to challenges you may never deal with, but in hearing the story of how the real-life characters dealt with these situations, you'll be inspired to do your best with your own obstacles. I highly recommend this book!
This book is entertainingly written, but packs a wallop of serious thought provoking information. It ranks in my all time great list with Bones for its ground-breaking anthropological ideas, with You and with How We Decide for its medical and physiological insights, and it is just a great adventure. My view of myself as a human animal is different, because I read this book. I have struggled with running for years, but reading this book has provided me with some strategies that I look forward to testing in the next couple of months as I head out on the open road again. Natural scientists, doctors, runners, and lazy out of shape people with intellectual curiosity will get something out of this book. Have fun!
WOW! What a wonderful book that is part biography as well as incredible history lesson of man and how/why we are born to run.
Phenomenal book. I highly recommend anyone interested in running to read this. It changed my approach to running completely and now I enjoy running more then I ever have.
If you're a runner, you'll find yourself talking about this book to anyone who will listen. Whether or not they want to. :P
This book is not straight forward to describe to people but it is everything that it claims to be and more. I liked it so much that I read (listened) to it again straight away!
I'm not a runner. I hate running... always have. But this book? Wow! What a compelling work. Its tangents upon tangents upon tangents make it more than interesting without being confusing. It might just make me get of my lazy butt and run.
Dianne in Canada
This was a great book. I wish there was some into to tell me if the characters were based on real people. After finishing the book I did look it up and sure enough the characters are based on real people. Makes me want to get in shape so I can be as active as I used to be....and have started indeed!
Narrator was really great and easy to listen to.
I have been running for about two years, and this book motivated me more than ever. The stories are great, and the narrator is easy to listen to. Very good book.
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