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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 5 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1st Edition edition (May 5 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307266303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307266309
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 2.8 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Compelling. . . . Entertaining. . . . [McDougall] uses an extended portrait of one of the world's least known cultures, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyons, to put modern American running under an exacting magnifying glass.”–San Francisco Chronicle

“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.

“An enthralling story. . . . McDougall’s background as a magazine writer is readily apparent–his prose is light and airy, informative without being pretentious. Most passages are short and engaging with extra doses of drama and exclamatory phrases thrown in to great effect. McDougall wisely grounds the narrative in his own struggle to engage in the concluding race–he was frustrated with his tendency to get injured–and he offers insightful sidebars on a variety of topics, from the development of the modern running shoe to an evolutionary argument that humans are literally born to run. . . . A terrific ride, recommended for any athlete.”–Kirkus, starred review

"A wildly fascinating story, perfectly told. Born to Run is an instant classic." –Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code

"Born to Run is hilariously funny, weird, and nonstop fun to read. Runners can sink their teeth into it."–Bill Rodgers, Four time winner of the Boston Marathon

“Driven by an intense yet subtle curiosity, Christopher McDougall gamely treads across the continent to pierce the soul and science of long-distance running. McDougall's ambitious search leads him deep into the ragged folds of Mexico's Copper Canyon, where he somehow manages the impossible: He plumbs the mystic secrets of the fleet-footed Tarahumara Indians while never losing his deep enchantment for the majesty of their culture.”–Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers

"Christopher McDougall writes like a world-class ultramarathoner, with so much ease and heart and gusto that I couldn't stop reading this thrilling, fascinating book. As soon as I finished, all I wanted to do was head out for a run."–Benjamin Wallace, author of The Billionaire’s Vinegar

“I love Christopher McDougall's Born To Run! The book is wonderful. It's funny, insightful, captivating, and a great and beautiful discovery. There are lessons here that translate to realms beyond running. The book inspires anyone who those seeks to live more fully or to run faster.”–Lynne Cox, author of Swimming to Antarctica

“Galloping along through a multi-faceted landscape that is by turns exhilarating, funny and weirdly absorbing, Born to Run is a breathless read, but sheer endorphinous pleasure.”–John Gimlette, author of Panther Soup

"Quite simply the best book you’ll ever read about running. . . . Brilliant, and brilliantly life-affirming."–Lloyd Bradley, author of The Rough Guide to Running

Born to Run is a fascinating and inspiring true adventure story, based on humans pushing themselves to the limits. A brilliantly written account of extraordinary endurance, far from home–that also explains how anyone can run better–it’s destined to become a classic.”–Sir Ranulph Fiennes, author of Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know

About the Author

Christopher McDougall is a former war correspondent for the Associated Press and is now a contributing editor for Men’s Health. A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, he has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Men’s Journal, and New York. He does his own running among the Amish farms around his home in rural Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bruce W. Klimpke on Aug. 31 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you have ever thought about running, currently running, having foot problems, or just want a refreshing look at how running could affect your everyday life this book is a must. I find any great book is hard to put down once I start reading it. This was one of them. The mixture of humorous moments, the flow of the storyline, and the scientific bits are mixed in a manner that never lets the book get boring. The varied characters in the book mix well with the story line so there are a lot if interesting twists and turns. I especially found the latter half of the book very engaging once the plot was set.

Bruce Klimpke
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Coach C TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 13 2009
Format: Hardcover
Without doubt, "Born to Run" is a book that will entertain you, teach you a thing or two that you didn't know before, and get you thinking about joining the next marathon near you. The book is divided into two parts: one part narrative on ultra-runners, the Tarahumara people, and the incredible long distance race you've never heard of; the second part is an anthropological and scientific analysis of human evolution.

There is no doubting McDougall's writing, he knows a good story when he sees one. The stories about Barefoot Ted, Jenn and Billy, descriptions of the Copper Canyon in Mexico, are all highly engaging. However, McDougall's exploration of the scientific part is incomplete at best. For every study and report that shows that barefoot running is better for you and that persistence hunting was the reason for modern human development, there are peer-reviewed academic studies and reports by scientists that refute the claims made in the book, none of which McDougall includes.

Overall, I found this a very interesting and quick read and I gather most readers will as well. My only caution is to take McDougall's claims with a grain of salt and to seek more complete information if the topic so interests you.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 13 2009
Format: Hardcover
"If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?" -- Jeremiah 12:5

Born to Run is an exceptional book -- intriguing, surprising, and continually compelling. The writing exceeds what most of the best fiction thriller and suspense writers ever achieve. Run, don't walk, to get your copy!

From little things, large things sometimes emerge. Author Christopher McDougall couldn't find out why his feet hurt after running. His search for the answer took him way beyond the doctor's office and the usual cortisone shots into a world of people who run for days at a time in dangerous conditions without injury. I won't spoil the story by telling you what he learned, but he's a master storyteller who will keep you spellbound by his stories about running, runners, and those who train and "help" them.

I didn't know what to expect when I started this book, but I was satisfied more then ten times over with what I received. I had been an avid runner as a teenager but hadn't done much in a long time due to shin splints. Recently, I discovered that soft ground and spongy tracks allowed me to run again without shin-splint pain. I was quite surprised to see that after over 40 years without running I was running as well or better than I ever had. What was that all about? This book contained the answer . . . one that may surprise you.

If you love great stories about the indomitable spirit that lives in some people, enjoy dreaming about doing the seemingly impossible, or just want to be thrilled by mind-blowing accomplishment, this book is for you. If speculating about anthropology and evolution fascinate you, you have a treat here as well.

And don't be surprised if you develop an urge to run . . . without stopping.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Setter on Feb. 1 2014
Format: Audio CD
I loved this book for its story and research. Christopher McDougall was one of the regular washed up run-for-health kind of people looking for a better way to run. He risks, falling off a cliff, snake bites, drug dealers, dehydration and a slew of set backs to learn the secrets of running better and farther. He discovers the super human Mexican tribe, the Tarahumara runners and world class coaches and runners to undergo a crazy 100 mile plus race through treacherous bad lands. I liked the explanations that McDugall gave to people's natural ability to run and how running barefoot and in worn out runners is healthier and more beneficial than the high end running shoes we have all been duped into wearing.

This book really inspired me to continue and improve my own running. Runners and fitness enthusiasts will love it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Warren Saari on June 11 2009
Format: Hardcover
I heard the author of this book being interviewed on CBC radio and was so intrigued by what he was saying about proper stride and foot techniques vs. the new technology in current running shoe offerings, his studying the of the art by the masters in Mexico etc., that I had to order the book in, even though I am not a long distance runner.

The book was fantastic! Not only could I not stop reading it, I couldn't stop talking about it with friends, family and co-workers. I can't wait to study the stride now and get out running, because I now understand that I was Born to Run.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Longazel on April 26 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm glad this book was recommended to me. There was a thrill and feeling of personal adventure that went along with reading about the feats of endurance undertaken with the ultra-distance races described. It made me want to run and although I think that I'll always plod along at short distances the book is an inspiration at keeping me out there pounding the pavement. Dream along with other readers and runners as the author delves deep into the mystique and history of distance running. Learn about shoes, injuries, and the personalities behind some of the greatest races ever performed. Even if you are not a runner you will probably find the book interesting and a page turner.
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