"Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall is a book about discovering why some people or tribes are natural long-distance runners while most of us end up with injuries from merely jogging a few miles a week.
The book chronicles Christopher's search for the elusive Tarahumara Indians who can run extreme distances with no apparent ill effects. He also tracks down the mysterious Caballo Blanco, a tall, skinny American who lives among the Tarahumara and has learned some of their endurance secrets.
McDougall investigates the ins and outs of the running industry in America and why technological advances in running shoes doesn't seem to be reducing injuries, while the Tarahumara run barefooted or with primitive hand-made sandals and are injury free.
The climax of the book is a race through the Copper Canyons of Mexico run by a mixture of Americans and Tarahumara, and the camaraderie shared by all as they run a truly amazing race.
rpc reviewed Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I started Born to Run a bit cautious about whether I would like it or not, as I'm not a big runner and didn't know anything about the sport of ultramarathons. About twenty pages in, I was hooked and the rest of the book was a joy to read. McDougall interweaves several storylines to create a well-rounded view of long-distance running, the Tarahumara, and the evolution of humans as runners. The characters in the book were fascinating, and the science was presented clearly and from varying perspectives. I've already recommended this book to many friends, and once it comes out in paperback, I'm buying my own copy and doing a reread!
A very interesting story for runners and non-runners alike! If this book can't motivate you to get up and running, nothing will. A well-written, well paced book. This book manages to put into words the joy that running brings. Since reading this book, I've found myself committed to running in a way that I never was before. This book really illustrates how much the mental can overcome the physical when it comes to running. Heading out for a run with a positive attitude and a smile of anticipation can transform a "normal" run into pure bliss. This book entertains and teaches.
Chris McDougall, a self-proclaimed mid-pack runner, has the time of his life running an ultramarathon through the Copper Canyon in Mexico, with the Tarahumara Indians. Who know a description of setting up a seriously small, seriously crazy road race could be so spellbinding? Along the way, we are treated to digressions about the clannish world of ultramarathoners, and the secrets of why running in shoes is perhaps the worst thing we could do to our feet. If you are a runner, this book should be required reading, even if your idea of an ultramarathon is twice around the block.
This best-seller from 2009 is still a great story. In addition to just the story of Caballo Blanco, which was the subject of Mr. McDougalls previously published articles, the book also explores topics of evolution and physiology as they relate to running, and incorporates the back-stories of a number of other ultra-runners, to further round out the story and make for a very interesting book. At first I was put off by the way the author inserted himself into the story. I typically HATE when authors insert themselves into the book, to me, it comes across as filler because the topic they set out to write about wasnt that interesting and/or didnt provide enough material for a book. However, because of Mr. McDougalls personal relationships with Caballo Blanco, the Tarahumara and the running community, his interaction with them really did advance the story and make for an interesting conclusion to the book. The book does, however need an afterward. For that, you can click here (spoiler alert): http://tinyurl.com/7sp2mv3