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 have recommended Born to Run to almost everyone I know who is interested in fitness. Not sure the lengthy dissertations on foot anatomy and the modern "science" of Nike running shoes would appeal to the everyday couch potato. But I'm an active person so I loved it, especially the characterizations of the important players in running and sports medicine. Part history lesson, part science experiment, part sermon, this book was captivating from beginning to end. I've even adopted a new habit that was introduced later in the book - the breakfast salad - that has proved to be nothing short of a nutritional breakthrough for me! It was especially poignant to have read the book with the recent death of Caballo Blanco, and narrator Fred Sanders' Spanish pronunciations added to my listening enjoyment.
Say something about yourself!
I would recommend and have recommended this book to other runners. Its totally inspiring and highly entertaining.
I really liked the section on barefoot running (although I personally run in nike volmeros myself), and the section on the long footrace with the Tarahumara Indians in the second half.
I listened to this book while running and it inspired me to increase my distance and run longer and harder. I have listened to it twice already and plan to listen to it again. Great book!
on a quest to read Audible's entire nonfiction science section...
The only flaw I can find with this audiobook is that it took a bit to get rolling but, once it did, I absolutely fell in love with this one. Great characters, lucid writing and research, engaging story and a motivational message puts this one in my top 20 if not top 10 audiobooks.
The race through the mountains with the Tarahumara and the "bru-ha" was a wonderful lesson and a pivotal part of the point. My persepective of why I run changed at about this point. Do it because you can and because you were born to! Enjoy it!
One Man's Journey to Find Himself and Everyone Else at the Finish Line Together!
RIP Caballo Blanco. You touched my heart and taught me how to run!
This was my forst audio book ever!
What a stroke of luck for me! I loved the book, the narrator and the messages of the book!
You are already ready...... now RUN!
This book made me rething everything from nutrition to exercise..... Thank you!
For anyone who is an athlete at heart.
Fun to listen to as an Oregonian, especially.
The stories about the people
The stories about the people and what changed them.
I really feel this book can be life changing, not only as a runner, but in the ways one approaches life. There were a few parts that I felt were tedious and boring (some of the scientific parts regarding hunting antelopes), and I prefer stories about people, but my husband really enjoyed some of the scientific parts so there's something for everyone! I find myself eating better and trying to make a move towards minimalistic running.
If you haven't heard of the Tarahumara, ultra marathoners, and how running shoes have caused so many injuries, you'll find this very interesting.
Stand-up comedian turned medical school student. I am not much of a non-textbook reader, but audiobooks have replaced TV for me!
It was a very interesting story and got me thinking about running in a way I never had before. It is not simply a book about how great running is, but is a book on the history and culture of running, and tries to explore WHY running is so great.
I am not a runner, and I never have been. The furthest I've ever run is 1.5 miles, and it was slow enough to make me feel guilty about calling it "running." So, I didn't go into this book expecting much. But, overall it was very interesting and entertaining. A few times it gets a bit grandiose about the pleasure and potential of running, but it didn't feel like I was listening to a sermon at the Church of Running.
Maybe after you read it you will get up and go run (which I did, but have since stopped again) and maybe you won't, but either way it was a very fun story.
Im not a runner, but this book inspired me to buy new running shoes. You don't have to be a runner to enjoy this book. It gets a little dry in parts, but fight thru. It's a better than average boom over all.
Very informative and it told an interesting story at the same time.
Even, enjoyable a non factor
Nike is the devil
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