Christopher McDougall (born 1962) is an American author and journalist best known for his 2009 best-selling book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.He has also written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Men's Journal, and New York, and was a contributing editor for Men's Health.
In Born to Run, McDougall tracks down members of the reclusive Tarahumara Indian tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons. After being repeatedly injured as a runner himself, McDougall marvels at the tribe's ability to run ultra distances (over 100 miles) at incredible speeds, without getting the routine injuries of most American runners. The book has received attention in the sporting world for McDougall's description of how he overcame injuries by modeling his running after the Tarahumara. He asserts that modern cushioned running shoes are a major cause of running injury, pointing to the thin sandals worn by Tarahumara runners, and the explosion of running-related injuries since the introduction of modern running shoes in 1968.
McDougall also has received critical praise for his rich story-telling and the many quirky characters portrayed in the book, including not only the Tarahumara but exceptional Western runners who share the Tarahumara spirit of running for enjoyment and spiritual experience. His action-packed writing style kept the book on the New York Times Best Seller List for more than four months, although it was criticized by book critic Dan Zak of the Washington Post for what he thought were extraneous efforts to be "gonzo and overly clever."