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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen [Paperback]

Christopher McDougall
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 29 2011 Vintage
An epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt?
 
Isolated by Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his readers from 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 a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall’s incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.

Frequently Bought Together

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen + Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness + Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself
Price For All Three: CDN$ 40.40


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Review

"A tale so mind-blowing as to be the stuff of legend." —The Denver Post

"McDougall's book reminded me of why I love to run." —Bill Rodgers, San Francisco Chronicle

"Fascinating. . . . Thrilling. . . . An operatic ode to the joys of running." —The Washington Post
 
“It’s a great book. . . . A really gripping read. . . .Unbelievable story . . . a really phenomenal book.” —Jon Stewart on The Daily Show

"One of the most entertaining running books ever." —Amby Burfoot, Runnersworld.com
 
“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
 
“McDougall recounts his quest to understand near superhuman ultra-runners with adrenaline pumped writing, humor and a distinct voice...he never lets go from his impassioned mantra that humans were born to run.” —NPR
 
Born to Run is a fascinating and inspiring true adventure story, based on humans pushing themselves to the limits. It’s destined to become a classic.”–Sir Ranulph Fiennes, author of Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know
 
“Equal parts hilarity, explanation and earnestness—whisks the reader along on a compelling dash to the end, and along the way captures the sheer joy that a brisk run brings.” —Science News
 
Born to Run is funny, insightful, captivating, and a great and beautiful discovery.” —Lynne Cox, author of Swimming to Antarctica
 
“A page-turner, taking the reader on an epic journey in search of the world’s greatest distance runners in an effort to uncover the secrets of their endurance.” —The Durango Herald
 
“Driven by an intense yet subtle curiosity, Christopher McDougall gamely treads across the continent to pierce the soul and science of long-distance running.”—Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers

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.

Christopher McDougall is available for select readings and lectures. To inquire about a possible appearance, please contact Random House Speakers Bureau at rhspeakers@randomhouse.com or visit www.rhspeakers.com.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stories, Incomplete Analysis Aug. 13 2009
By Coach C TOP 500 REVIEWER
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 FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where do I learn the stride? 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Read then run 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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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the essential books on modern running Aug. 22 2009
Format:Audio CD
I found Born to Run to be an excellent book, packed with scientific evidence as well as a thoroughly engaging personal story with interesting characters and ideas.

This book will markedly increase the discussion about how and why we run. McDougall presents a compelling hypothesis that humans are designed to be endurance runners and many of the ills of modern society are linked to the fact that so many of us choose not to run. To back this up, he draws from scientists, coaches and ultra-distance runners around the world. It would be interesting though to hear from the running industry (which McDougall thinks is the cause of many running problems) and coaches and runners who don't share his perspective on training and footwear. This isn't in the book but many opinions easily found on the net in this regard.

Overall, I found the book very well written, engaging and thoughtful. It has encouraged me to change how I view running and given me new inspiration for my runs.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent!
Published 24 days ago by Jamil Shariff
3.0 out of 5 stars Still good reading
Liked it, didn't love it. Very different experience though and quite interesting, but it's hard to relate to it as a runner as it's so different...
Published 2 months ago by MR DAVID HACQUARD
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping me reading!
I'm so captivated by this book! I'm usually into more murder mystery books, but this one is just so good I can't put it down!
Published 2 months ago by Ashley Kuczynski
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting book about human spirit.
No need to be a runner or an athlete to thoroughly enjoy this book. Very educational, with anthropological musings. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JanOttawa
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! Very great read
Great read! Very great read!
Published 3 months ago by CoffeeLover
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My dad loves it!
Published 3 months ago by Julie Argall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Très bon livre! Belle histoire, et bons commentaire éducatifs.
Published 3 months ago by Joannie
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for all running enthusiasts!
A very nicely written and inspirational book. In the age of fancy running gears and injuries, it is humbling to read about people who still run just for the fun of it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Panaromix
5.0 out of 5 stars very motivational!
Very motivational and inspiring. Well written, and easily captures and keeps you attention. Also quite informative with bio mechanical info and some interesting recipes. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Read this book in one sitting, unable to put it down! Even if you have no interest in running, it is a well told story that is both captivating and informative. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Del
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