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on August 13, 2009
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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on April 26, 2012
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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on August 31, 2009
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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on February 1, 2014
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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"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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on June 11, 2009
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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on October 12, 2013
For anyone that has 'wanted to want to run' this book is for you. I tried running off and on for years and injured myself almost every time out (shin splints mostly, with an impact fracture of my right leg that ended my experiments ten years ago). This book rekindled my desire to try again, with new data about what I was doing wrong (chunky running shoes, landing on my heels) and why. I've been going strong for months and I owe it all to this book.

Written in a very engaging style, Born to Run is a joy to read.
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on August 25, 2011
As an anthropologist who has lived and done research in rural Mexico and as a moderate runner, I agree with other reviewers that this book is entertaining and very well-written. It has all of the elements of much earlier travelogues -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good is that it is an interesting narrative brought to life through a series of interesting characters. However, what is good is overshadowed by the bad and ugly of such narratives. It is a story of white adventurers making forays into the "wilderness" inhabited by "primitives" who provide "magic," "mysteries," and a "primal naturalness" to ease the physical and psychological aches and pains of civilization. Then the white adventurers return home to make a small fortune writing a book while others open this "wilderness" to tour groups who want to experience "adventure tourism." All you have to do is consult "Caballo Blanco's" website and the smooth marketing of Mc Dougall's book. But what are the Raramuri getting out of this? And most of the "science" in the book is laughable -- generalizing about millions of years of human evolution from limited contemporary ethnographic examples, assuming a uniformity of conditions in early human evolution, exaggerating the role of persistence hunting among contemporary foragers, etc. In reality, the Raramuri and Mc Dougall's other main ethnographic case -- the Kung of the Kalahari Desert -- are the least likely cases to say anything about early human evolution since they were relatively recently forced into extremely harsh environments with scattered food resources, hardly indicative of the varied, and often plentiful, environments that early hominids occupied. I could go on, but enough is enough. This is exploitation that feeds a leisure time activity and business and creates the illusion that runners wearing the latest gimick in footwear are doing something "human" and "natural.'
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on May 9, 2013
This book sat on my bookshelf for about six months. I run 30+ miles per week and am very busy. I was recently sidelined by surgery, so I finally got around to reading it. Without hesitating for a second, I tell you that this book has inspired me like never before. It was an easy and thoughtful read, but it left me knowing that I was truly born to run, and run forever, but even more importantly, it made me want to be a better person!!! Way to go Chris!!!!!!!!!
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on November 13, 2010
This is an inspiring book for people who become more and more sedentary and rely more and more on the new technologies to move around the world. We stupidly spend ginormous amounts of money on exercise machines, cars, etc. while we are getting severely depressed as we don't get enough of fresh air, adrenaline rush of the exercise, self-confidence, and the feeling of accomplishment... We try to come up with some ridiculous excuses for our unwillingness to work hard and overcome the difficulties, read laziness: "My training shoes are not good enough", "I have a knee condition", "I can't run too fast", "I don't have time"... Yet, we conveniently forget that we were born to run. In our futile search for an ideal technological wonder, we forget to look at ourselves and admit that a human being is the most sophisticated technology we know of so far, not the Nike shoe soles or Adidas supinators... "Born to Run" serves the reminder of our roots, the rediscovery of our human physical capacities. I absolutely loved this book.
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