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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 ultra runners 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 Christopher McDougall (P)2012 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Hugely entertaining.... One of the most joyful and engaging books about running to appear for many years." (Times)
"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)
A terrific ride, recommended for any athlete." (Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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A romantic book for runners

great book. author tries to play role of a scientific researcher as well which - to a scientific mind - looks very half baked. but nonetheless the story is extremely interesting and keeps you hooked till end. if you are even slightly interested in long distance running, you will love this book.

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inspiring

loved it... want to run... if not as an ultra runner... atleast upto be a usual marthoner

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Superb anthropological run motivational!

excellent narration.Very live at a time philosophical.Real research work on running.Boon to marathoners!
Explained barefoot tradition so well.

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A captivating story

Spellbinding. Brilliantly narrated. Extremely interesting links between evolution, psychology and running. I couldn't stop listening.

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Loved it

Where does Born to Run: rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

At the top

What other book might you compare Born to Run: to and why?

For me its out on its own

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

He portrayed the characters well

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

all of it

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Amazing!

What made the experience of listening to Born to Run: the most enjoyable?

A great read; entertaining, insightful, funny, and factual. I would recommend this book to even non-runners.

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Runners read this!

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book, but I really love running. It is full of interesting theories and facts and really inspiring to get out there and run, just run. It also has some great stories to be told along the way. Highly recommended, especially if you have an interest in running.

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  • Sarah
  • Balwyn, Australia
  • 04-14-14

Great book for runners!

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

Have already done so! It's got lots of great information about running & nutrition!

What did you like best about this story?

I liked it for all the practical tips I got out of it. It had a lot of 'think more about this' stuff in there. Even if you don't choose to take it all for gospel, it's good to have a think about. Also there were so many inspiring stories throughout the book.

Which character – as performed by Fred Sanders – was your favorite?

I liked Jenn Shelton.. due to she was younger, funny and relatable.

If you could give Born to Run: a new subtitle, what would it be?

Why go barefoot?

Any additional comments?

Sometimes I felt it a bit hard to concentrate when the book jumps quickly from story to story. But could have just been me.

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  • Tim
  • Bendigo, Australia
  • 02-15-14

The journey, not just the destination

If you could sum up Born to Run: in three words, what would they be?

Creative, Facts, Options

Who was your favorite character and why?

Barefoot Ted

What does Fred Sanders bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Allows me to be on the move

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

Made me curious

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the creative journey of the book, having just got into long distance running I am digesting a lot at the moment..

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  • Timothy
  • Johanesburg, South Africa
  • 07-29-13

Non Fiction that reads like Fiction

Any additional comments?

Hard to say more than the other reviews. This book changed my view of running, and opened up a new world of ultra running that I never knew existed. Great read for anyone wanting to be inspired to put on those running shoes (or take them off as the case may be ;)

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  • Gilmonkey
  • 05-23-12

Born to Run

The most inspirational book I have read or listened to in a long time. Makes you want to stop everything and go for a run.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian
  • 07-20-12

Great story, well written and read

There's a lot going on here. It's a book about running that weaves a thrilling story of an adventure race in the Copper Canyons in Mexico, the culture, attitude and history of long distance running, the science behind endurance running, the mystery of a hidden culture of Mexican Indian runners and their unlikely US Ambassador and - most importantly - the author's journey into, and successfully out the other side of the world of adventure racing.
McDougal's skill is to make the characters larger than life, make his own story relevant and interesting and keep the narrative from getting to bogged down in history, science, statistics or geography.
It's an adventure story, a travelog, an inspirational tale, an informative journal and a very funny and memorable story. The narration is first class as well, keeping the wit dry and the pace just enough to keep your breath.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • MR
  • 07-04-12

A must-read

a great book for anyone interested in running or training for any run from a 10km to a marathon and beyond (and you will learn all about how far beyond people go!)

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • MsRanPan
  • 12-29-12

Loved it

What can I add, other reviewers knew of or knew the runners here. Comparatively I just read this book. It was interesting, engaging, educational, I really hope this guy did his homework and has really delivered us the truth and I have no reason to doubt this. Its a easy listen but educational, what more can a reader want!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • OnceUponaTime
  • 12-15-12

A great exploration

I read this book because I wanted to improve my own running, I am fascinated by outlying tribes hidden from the world, and I love reading about seemingly super-human abilities.



Born To Run tells the history of the Tarahumara tribe of super runners in northern Mexico. They are a secretive people who routinely run marathons back to back, before getting wildly drunk, before waking up and doing it all over again. They run because they love it, and I have a feeling that an average Tarahumara man or woman could probably run further and faster than 30 average non-Tarahumara men or women running in relay.



There was nothing in the book about Tarahumara genetic insights, so I am next off to Google to see if anyone has figured out the Tarahumara superhero secrets. There was some mention throughout the book of the Tarahumara diet, and I just purchased some Chia seeds online. I'm very interested in seeing them turn water into gel. How odd.



Born to Run told a captivating story and was very entertaining, and is well worth reading. This book made me want to run more, burn my running shoes, and live in the woods.



"If you don't think you were born to run, you're not only denying history; you're denying who you are."



I also learned that the average human has a longer stride than a horse. The human is a more efficient running machine than a horse, so if both were engines filled with the same amount of fuel, the human would go further. We out-horse the horse!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Gareth
  • 08-14-12

A beautiful book, beautifully read

With the sad loss of Caballo Blanco earlier this year "Born to Run" now takes on an added poignancy.
For a book about a bunch of misfits running in the wilderness it is remarkably gripping and is so well written that I felt I knew all the characters. So much so that when I met, and ran with, Barefoot Ted I spoke to him as if he was an old friend I hadn't seen for years.
I will also add that it is worth buying just for the pronunciations.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sam
  • 12-25-12

Really enjoyable and inspiring listen

I found the book to be easy to listen to and found myself finishing it relatively quickly over a few drives on my way to work.



I do enjoy running but have never attempted a marathon and never even contemplated anything further! The author brings out the fun in running, exploring the motivations that drive people from various walks of life to regularly run distances that few of us "mortals" have ever attempted on foot.



The book inspired me to relax my running style a little and to try some lighter trainers (not quite "barefoot" but a lot less clunky than the normal structures running trainers I've gotten used to).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anna66
  • 04-14-13

Makes you want to run

I just loved this book as after many years of feeling crippled with my ankle I dared to go running again. The narrator has captive and interesting style with a clear voice keeping the tension going throughout the book even when it gets a bit scientific!





4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • KennethO'Rourke
  • 07-20-15

Entertaining but sometimes seemed a bit phony..

I would not recommend this book to a friend. The author seemed to use poetic license to dramatize events which really didn't require embellishment. At times however he captures the spirit of the sport very beautifully. I have since read that some athletes who were characterised in the book later expressed their displeasure with the author's characterisation of them. Anyway, I will be feeling infinitely more guilty about my modern lazy lifestyle, and for that the author is to be commended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 10-25-14

Simply Inspiring!

What made the experience of listening to Born to Run the most enjoyable?

I was hooked and completed it in two days!

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

Fred Sander 's performance was calming and gentle! Christopher McDougall has really inspired me to make the transition to barefoot running!

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

There were moments where I would catch myself laughing along.

Any additional comments?

Really worth the time! If you're interested in running this is the book for you! My next step.. To become an ultra-marathon runner!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Belinda A. Booth
  • 05-01-15

Interesting and v enjoyable

As a runner I found his investigations and findings fascinating, I even tried some of the techniques. Told very well so as not to become boring and an ending that had me on the edge of my seat. Very well narrated too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy
  • 03-13-15

Loved it!

This book exceeded my expectations. Very informative and inspiring. Useful even as a total novice ;) I'll definitely read it again

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-05-17

Will listen again

Best book I've listened to. Great balance of story telling and technique insight. Very inspirational

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  • Rebecca Truong
  • 10-19-17

Mind. Blown.

This is the first audio book I've listened to from start to finish, and I couldn't "put it down"! An entertaining and enlightening book. Both the author and narrator hit the spot for me.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-07-17

Born to run.

Inspiring book on running. For the ages. In lighting. Shows old school the best school.

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  • Psychic76
  • 04-10-17

Well read and written!

When I was listening to this book, I wished I was a runner. Now I might just become one now!

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  • kory
  • 02-02-17

incredible story.

fascinating story and I found myself laughing out loud allot.

even if your not into running it would still be worthwhile.

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  • Anne
  • 11-16-16

Fantastic

I really enjoyed this book was listening every spare moment that I had! I recommend everyone listen to this I am not a runner or a jogger in fact walking is strenuous enough but this book is amazing!

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  • Daniel
  • 11-09-16

inspiring

any book that inspires one to kick off their shoes and go for a run deserves 5 stars

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  • Josh
  • 09-13-16

Great story

One of the best story's. I've read this many times, and the audible offers even more then the book.