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)
...but I still enjoyed this book. Surprisingly he goes deep into a lot of the physiology around our feet, running, etc. McDougal is largely searching for answers as to why so many seemingly healthy modern runners suffer so many feet and leg related injuries. He ultimately answers his own question by piecing together other people’s research and years of observations; some of which goes back to the dawn of mankind.
Ive listened to this book several times and I find Fred Sanders narration to be excellent.
This book brings out all that is good about running, camaraderie, compassion, commitment and weaves in a great story as well. It even inspired me to add some miles to weekly running schedule, so its all good.
Listen and Enjoy !
I've lost track of how many times I've listened to this book. I use it to motivate me to get off the couch, I fall asleep to it at night. It helps me eat healthier, but I still haven't found any Pinole where I live. Maybe some day it will even help me to run a marathon....or beat a horse in a hundred mile race...well alright it might not be that good. I don't think it's normal to listen to it as many times as I have but it's a crazy good read.
Very, very informative and entertaining listen. I play squash and have always purchased cheap running shoes. Not sure I do this for the right reasons, but glad that I do.
I have never written a review before, but I had to for this book- and I still have just 14 minutes left of it. It is an incredibly well written story that is able to include fascinating accounts of history, anthropology, science, humor, nutrition, philosophy... all woven throughout the excitingly suspenseful plot of the race. This is easily one of my favorite books of all time- it changes the way you look at many things in life. And he does a good job of making you laugh out loud- even while you're running!
It is an interesting insite into the unltramarathon runner's world. The story kept my attention the entire time and I learned new information about the "Hidden Tribe". I wonder if the man who showed up a Mt. Whitney in shorts and sandals and ran to the top and back in a very short time was one of these Indian runners. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone, runner or not, for it is informative, a good story and I came away knowing more than I did before listening to it.
I had read this book before and wanted to listen to it as I went on long runs. Fred Sanders did a wonderful job narrating the book. He pronounced the Spanish words perfectly (I am a Spanish teacher, so that was pleasing)! He had an excellent voice to listen to. And, of course, Christopher McDougall is a wonderful author and this is one of my favorite books. A MUST-READ! Too valuable of information not to learn. I highly recommend this audiobook! You will not regret it, especially if you are a runner or are considering becoming one.
I read this book first and liked it so much that I decided to download it and listen to it while I did my long runs training for a marathon, and it definitely changed the way I feel about long runs forever! The runners in the book are so fascinating that I actually had to google them all to make sure they are "real people" and not just some very entertaining fictional characters. It has great background information, leading up to the ultimate, final race at the end that I never wanted to be over. I could have read about their races forever. But the best part is probably their journey to even get to that race in one piece to begin with. A great read, incredibly entertainning while being informational.
If you're hungry for simplicity, purity and a healthy path, this book may turn out to be more than entertainment! After discovering Michael Pollan, Dr. Mark Hyman & barefoot running, this book provided as much blueprint as story. While few will be tempted to jump off the edge of the world and live in paleolithic purity, the picture McDougall draws is compelling, as more and more elements of our modern world turn out to be false or unsustainably destructive. Besides, this book is a hell of a fun ride!
Very exciting! I couldn't wait to get back to this book everytime I had to quit. This was very well written and would easily engage a non-runner. Stories throughout make this book very interesting as well as when the book starts touching on the science of running, which is again backed up by more stories. I will be listening to this one again shortly.
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