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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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loved it

a fascinating story as interesting as it is inspiring offering a glimpse into a world few of us will understand

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Classic by master story teller

Having only a passing interest in ultra-marathons, I am amazed at how much I loved this book. McDougall has a terrific prose style, and knows how to make a race unfold while milking it for as much suspense as possible. The race descriptions are interrupted at key points for biographical sketches of the participants, most of whom are fascinating characters. Also, there is a wealth of information on related subjects, such as the role of running in human evolution, the Indians who are natural ultra-marathoners, and barefoot running. This book was really tough to put down!

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Bad ass, i loved it

Anyone who cares about thier body should read/hear this book... Any one who works out should read it twice

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Great story, not helpful for learning to run

I loved the story and the performance. It was really a joy to learn about Christopher's journey to see the world's best runners, and many of the characters are quite funny. However, if you're looking to learn how to run, this book won't really tell you anything technical. It is, however, a great starting point to learning about a different way to run so you can search how to do it later on your own.

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  • Thomas
  • McKinney, TX
  • 08-15-15

Pretty good

It's a pretty good book with great narration. I preferred the book Eat and Run but this book is a must have for runners as well.

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  • Carroll
  • Hilo, HI, United States
  • 08-06-15

Amazing tales of Ultra Runners

Well researched & written to entertain as well as inform.... a great explanation of human long distance running & I learned a few tricks as well!

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Amazing read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely, I am a little more than 3/4 of the way through this book and if it ended now it would be one the best reads I've had in a long time. I can't wait to read the rest.

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

No

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Several times I had to change my clothes and listen on the run as the story compelled me to go out and enjoy a few miles.

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a great story inspirational

for a wannabe runner this Tori will hopefully get you off the couch I believe is going to work for me

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Great read!

The book does a great job at capturing the evolution of running. I'm a barefoot runner by nature but it was interesting to hear about how running has changed throughout the years.

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One of my top 3 reads of all time

I have been captivated by the storytelling in this book... I loved the characters, loved the stories and I am so inspired by the whole thing!

What a magical read!