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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seenby Christopher McDougall
Synopses & Reviews
Part adventure, part extreme sports, all inspiration, Born to Run is a riveting story about one journalist's quest to discover the secrets of the world's greatest distance runners — a reclusive Indian tribe living deep in the Copper Canyon of northern Mexico.
Isolated by near-impenetrable terrain, the Tarahumara Indians are one of the most healthy and serene people on the planet and perhaps the greatest runners — able to cover hundreds of miles without rest. With the help of a man called Caballo Blanco — an almost mythical Westerner who lives among the tribe — Christopher McDougall was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but to join them on a fifty-mile trail race through this rugged landscape with an international gathering of ultramarathoners.
In a razor-sharp narrative McDougall describes the growing worldwide popularity of this grueling new sport, takes us through the dizzying preparations for the climactic race with the Tarahumara, and chronicles the truly awesome event itself. It's a story filled with surprise, near-death experiences, crazy prerace drinking sessions, obsessed — some would say mad — runners, and, of course, the Tarahumara themselves, who make it all look easy.
Galvanizing from start to finish, Born to Run will leave you breathless.
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
McDougall reveals the secrets of the world's greatest distance runners--the Tarahumara Indians of Copper Canyon, Mexico--and how he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of super-athletic Americans.
Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.
Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder.
With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons. Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
About the Author
Christopher McDougall is currently a contributing editor for Men's Health and a writer-at-large for Runner's World. He has written for Esquire,The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Outside, Men's Journal, and New York. He lives in Pennsylvania and is an obsessed ultramarathoner.
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History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology