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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes,…
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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the… (2009)

by Christopher McDougall

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4462002,571 (4.24)107
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.
  1. 50
    ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running by Danny Dreyer (ahstrick)
  2. 30
    Why We Run: A Natural History by Bernd Heinrich (jochenB, Ronoc)
  3. 20
    Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (zhejw)
    zhejw: Both books are stories of outsiders changing the conventional way of approaching a sport. Both authors write compelling narratives that draw the reader into the stories of the individuals who are at the center of this new way of looking at their sport.
  4. 10
    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (bluenotebookonline)
    bluenotebookonline: There are interesting parallels between Caballo Blanco and Chris McCandless (the protagonist in Into the Wild).
  5. 00
    Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves by James Nestor (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Both about a common activity we all do (running/swimming), giving up technology (shoes/scuba gear) and ancient latent ability in us all.
  6. 00
    Runner's World Guide to Road Racing: Run Your First (or Fastest) 5-K, 10-K, Half-Marathon, or Marathon by Katie Mcdonald Neitz (Ronoc)
  7. 00
    Running by Jean Echenoz (Ronoc)
  8. 00
    A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York by Liz Robbins (_Zoe_)
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» See also 107 mentions

English (194)  Spanish (3)  Russian (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (200)
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
The writing style got on my nerves; not sober enough. Some of the anecdotes, stories and scientific hypothesis were quite interesting and original ( )
  AlexejGerstmaier | May 26, 2020 |
Very interesting and reads more like a novel: that's a compliment :) ( )
  AnthonyLib | May 25, 2020 |
This book is a fantastic read - the author is a former war correspondent and now writes for Men's Health - that manages to combine a ripping yarn with inspiration and information.

By drawing together the story of various ultra-runners and running events, recent research about running and its potential place in human evolution, a tribe of 'ultra-runners' hidden in the canyons of Mexico and many other factors besides, McDougall manages to use many tangents to write a paean to the joys of running that will inspire even the most sedentary of writers. And even if you have no interest in running at all, there are still good reasons to pick this book up - the human interest stories, the great character portraits, the science, the overall narrative. But in the end, if you read this book and are not the least inspired to get out there and run, even if just to the end of the block and back, I would be surprised. And that is the real genius of this book - the author manages to make running seem not a chore one does out of an obligation or for fitness alone, but as something that can become a meditation, a joyous pursuit or a reason for being. ( )
  ForrestFamily | Mar 26, 2020 |
A fun, fast, and informative read - focuses mostly on ultras, and makes me want to get out and run an ultra at some point. ( )
  joerocklin | Mar 23, 2020 |
A runner with foot pain is inspired to learn about people who run ludicrously long distances without injury, particularly the reclusive Tarahumara Native Mexican tribe in the Copper Canyons. His experiences are pretty cool and now I totally want to run an ultramarathon, but I confess I am pretty dubious of the magical powers of barefoot running and chia (I'm not dubious of some of their benefits, but I'm not convinced it's the panacea for everybody's feet everywhere). Still, it was fun to get a glimpse inside the lives of people who thoroughly enjoy something I want to love but find terribly unpleasant. But hey, maybe I just need to kick off my shoes! Have some chia! Eat salad for breakfast! ( )
  melydia | Dec 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
“Born to Run” is not the best book on the intricacies of the sport—my pick would be Timothy Noakes’s “Lore of Running”; for a training guide, I’d select Scott Douglas and Pete Pfitzinger’s “Advanced Marathoning”—but it’s certainly the most accessible and the best selling... the real virtue of McDougal’s book is that it reminded readers about our primal connection to running, the purest of sports. It reminded us that there are different ways to run—some of which hurt our bodies more than others. And it gave us new ways of appreciating distance running. It has, in other words, made hundreds of thousands of people look at the sport again
 
"Born to Run" uses every trick of creative nonfiction, a genre in which literary license is an indispensable part of truth-telling. McDougall has arranged and adrenalized his story for maximum narrative impact. Questions crop up about the timing of events and the science behind the drama, but it's best to keep pace with him and trust that -- separate from the narrative drama -- we're actually seeing a glimpse of running's past and how it may apply to the present and the future.
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher McDougallprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sanders, FredNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The best runner leaves no tracks. - Tao Te Ching
Dedication
To John and Jean McDougall, my parents, who gave me everything and keep on giving
First words
For days, I'd been searching Mexicon's Sierra Madre for the phantom known as Caballo Blanco - the White Horse
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Running shoes are bad.
Run long, run easy, run fast.
Run each race for joy.

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