Monday, November 2, 2009

Born to Run

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen
By Christopher McDougall
Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. 287 pgs. Nonfiction

Christopher McDougall wanted to know why his feet hurt every time he tried to run any great distance. He stretched and warmed up, trained and purchased the best running shoes. Yet, despite these efforts, he still couldn’t run without pain. So began a search that led him to the Copper Canyons of Mexico and a unique, peaceful tribe of superathletes who can run hundreds of miles without rest or injury and smile every step of the way.

This book will make you want to run barefoot, uphill, over miles of open trail (…or at the least, it will make you want to want to run). McDougall makes the lost art of the long distance run sound extremely appealing. The discoveries he makes and the characters he encounters on his journey are fascinating. I’d recommend Born to Run to anyone interested in running, racing, or the amazing potential we each have in our own legs, feet, and lungs.



Bookgirl said...

Can't say enough about this book. If you have any interest in running you will love it. Even if you don't, you will still enjoy it!

Liz said...

I love this book and highly recommend it! If you're not a runner yet it will inspire you get out there and if you are already a runner you will continue to be enchanted with the amazing things your body is capable of doing. Like the author, I too have had running-induced injuries and these are miserable enough to discourage just about anyone. This book is well researched with the author's field-study approach as an ethnographer, he learns first hand how to run and why injuries happen. By studying and running with this tribe of super athletes McDougall is finally able to run pain free for long distances. If you are remembering when the vibram toe shoes came out with the craze of barefoot running-- it was around the time this book was published.

Breanne said...

I put off reading this book for several years because I wondered if it might be kind of a boring sports book. I was so wrong! McDougall covers a lot of ground: part race history, part anthropological study, part running theory, part memoir. On top of all that, his writing tells a great narrative story with a casual and conversational voice. I suspect this has changed the way many people look at running. Very interesting and inspiring.