Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

A great book!

This is an extremely well written book. I bought this while travelling in Dublin and was impressed with every line. This is a must read for anyone who is serious about running or understanding runners. This is the sort of book that readily inspires young and old alike t...
This is an extremely well written book. I bought this while travelling in Dublin and was impressed with every line. This is a must read for anyone who is serious about running or understanding runners. This is the sort of book that readily inspires young and old alike to rethink everything they have been taught and to just "get out there and run for the joy of the running". What a novel concept.

posted by richd484 on May 3, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

18 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

Born to Run by Cristopher McDougall

Although I am 71 and NOT a runner, I couldn't put this book down and have already given it as a gift. Having talked to many young runners about it, I have the feeling it has become a "bible" to them. The Indian tribe in the Copper Canyon that inspired the author and o...
Although I am 71 and NOT a runner, I couldn't put this book down and have already given it as a gift. Having talked to many young runners about it, I have the feeling it has become a "bible" to them. The Indian tribe in the Copper Canyon that inspired the author and others run barefooted and win all their races. It was SO inspiring that I almost felt like putting on my walking shoes and getting out onto a track to actually run. Alas, that was not to be; however, as I read, I could feel the sun beating down on my head, the wind in my hair and my bare feet no longer in pain!
The book also points how how the Running Shoe Industry has conned everyone into buying more and more expensive and complicated shoes in their pursuit of running faster. As a result, feet have suffered. This reminded me of the cigarette industry and how they duped the public.

posted by Gingy on April 17, 2010

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Revolutionize the way you think about running

    A great overall read! McDougall carefully introduces a revolutionary running technique woven through the true stories of runners who prove it works. Both entertaining and inspiring to a wide range of runners and adds sparkle and interest to an otherwise mundane topic. Only disappointment is a few unnecessary f-words sprinkled throughout (which I find even more offensive to read than to hear.)

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2010

    Superb!

    Very well written and inspirational as well as informative. I'd highly recommend to either an athlete looking for inspiration and information as well as someone looking for a good read.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2009

    an inspiring read for non-runners as well as competitive athletes

    I would recommend this book as an intriguing selection for anyone interested in anthropology, running or the quirks of human nature. McDougall's narrative cooks right along and keeps you turning pages to find out how the race turns out. His treatment of the characters is respectful and insightful and creates a desire in the reader to go out and push your body to it's limits just to see what you are capable of. A truly enjoyable story!

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    You don't need to be a runner for this to be fascinating...

    Bleedin' great readin'. I guess the big thing about this book is that it doesn't matter if you run or not--it's still fascinating. I mean, especially if you don't run, you probably never hear of the Leadville 100, a 100-mile race through the mountains in Colorado. It's interesting to know about it, but then you add the characters that participate in it. It's a scream. Literally.

    I missed my subway stops on Chapter 28, which is about the evolutionary science behind long distance running and why some animals do better than others. Now, you may think, how interesting can this be? Try it and see for yourself. The part about training in the Kalahari with the Bushmen had me enthralled.

    I am not a runner, but I wish I was after this. In fact, I may just try it again, especially after knowing I don't have to be able to afford those expensive shoes. I do think there are some among us that are 'built' for running and the rest of us may be built for some other kind of sport, but there usually running can be incorporated into the cross training.

    The final race is a vision: 100 degrees in the shade, 6000 foot peaks, the Tarahumara with their white, embroidered skirts, the "pretty little witch", big-mouth Ted with his green, toed socks, and a Mexican town dressed to party...it's engrossing.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    Amazing

    Fantastic book!!! Interesting with alot of different information I couldn't put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    READ THIS BEFORE YOUR NEXT MARATHON!

    I picked up Born To Run after hearing several people in my tri club talking about the Tarahumara and their epic trail racing lifestyle. I truly was looking for some inspiration prior to running my first trail marathon and from the first page I was not disappointed. Inspiration is where you find it - and Born To Run is a must read before your next race!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2014

    Good story spoiled a bit by clumsy evolutionary explanations and excessive exaggerations

    Solid story about the Tarahumara indians and their ability to run. However, recurring exaggerations start making the reader doubt the full veracity of the tale. His attempted evolutionary explanations are so weak they are painful to read. They are called "just so
    stories" in science because the speculative story is there too make up for the lack of any hard evidence. If he had stuck to the story without giving in to his predisposition to exaggerating so much and leaving the evolutionary story out all together it would be a 5 star book.

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  • Posted December 31, 2013

    Being a runner, I was inclined to read Born to Run and was surpr

    Being a runner, I was inclined to read Born to Run and was surprised at how encompassing the ideas presented in the book were. While everything goes back to the idea of running and its many positive impacts on the human race, anybody and everyone should grab a copy and start reading. From learning about the many ultramarathons in this world, along with those who run them, to how evolution created humans to be the best runners alive, readers pick up on the notion that running is much more than a way to lose weight. McDougall inspires readers to think more about what life can give to us, showing how running is linked to a positive attitude and love of life. For those who need a little pushing to get going, grab this book and a pair of shoes and you’re good to go. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    Very Good book with ineteresting concepts

    It was very good, and insightful about running techniques, but there were a few to many side stories. Overall a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    great read - beware the new dogma though

    .

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2012

    Born to Run is a novel written by a journalist and runner, Chris

    Born to Run is a novel written by a journalist and runner, Christopher McDougall. McDougall proves through his research that indeed, man was born to run. McDougall sets out to study the Tarahumara Indians, a tribe, who lived in Mexico who could run hundreds of miles without resting or getting hurt. McDougall was fascinated by this because he was a runner who sustained many injuries. Mc Dougall wanted to find out what the tribe did to accomplish such a feat.
    McDougall learns a great deal about the Tarahumara Indians. He learns about how their way of life and their basic bare foot running made running long distances the most natural enjoyable thing in the world.
    I liked the book because it dispels the myth that running has to be difficult and requires doing certain exercises and having state of the art equipment, especially sneakers and supplements. By ridding your mind of the materialistic things associated with running , it really frees one to "just do it", "just run." McDougall proves this point in the book by challenging Americas most superior runners against the tribe. It proves that everything I thought i knew about running is wrong. In the book Mc Dougal says he's not built for running and Eric says, " Everyone is built for running." I liked that exchange because it made me think that anyone can run. It doesn't matter how fat, how thin, boy or girl, young or old, able or disabled.
    I learned a great deal from this book. I learned that you do not need expensive equipment or a scientific program to run. You don't need to eat a special diet or be a certain size or build. Running can be a truly enjoyable, natural activity. As a short distance runner and sprinter, it has inspired me to want to run long distances just for the fun of it.
    I would recommend this book to runners like myself who run short distances. Soon they will believe they can run long distances with ease. I would also recommend this book to all athletes that don't read much. I guess I would recommend it to anyone who was born, because we were all " Born to Run."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    An insipration for all of mankind

    One of the most insipiring books I have ever read that teaches each of us that we were all truly born to run.

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  • Posted May 30, 2012

    Great Story!

    Born To Run quenched my thirst for knowledge on runners. I listened to the book while I was working out and I found that pushed myself further knowing that I was in the company of like-minded people.

    I may even revisit the book when I'm in need of that little extra push on the treadmill!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Great Read

    A very good argument for changing the way you run. It is also very entertaining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    AnnaM

    Loved this book, wonderful story that makes you was to get up and move?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Great read for any runner new or seasoned!

    He does ramble a bit, but his descriptions evoke the imagination. As soon as i finished i went out and ran until my legs gave out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2011

    Must Read For Runner's Everywhere

    Runners must read. Well researched and well written.

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  • Posted November 14, 2011

    Must read for runners everywhere!

    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall is a book that tells about his own extraordinary adventure into the Copper Canyons of Mexico. It begins with McDougall asking his doctor the simple question, ¿How come my foot hurts?¿ his doctor then responded with, ¿Running is your problem.¿ Bothered by the one answer every doctor told him, Christopher discovers the mythological Tarahumara tribe of super athletes that can run miles and miles at a time without injury or rest. Along the way he meets with various ultra runners, sport experts, and the shy people of the Copper Canyons. In Creel, Mexico McDougall stumbled upon the fabled Caballo Blanco, or white horse, who made friends with the Tarahumara people and shared their bewildering running capabilities. Through inspiring stories of amazing running competitions and one that pitted some of America¿s greatest ultra runners against the Tarahumara, Christopher McDougall proves that every single one of us, were indeed, born to run. There are many messages portrayed through the book such as: we don¿t need fancy shoes to make us run better. Studies have shown that the more padding and cushioning in your shoe, the more it restricts the foot¿s natural movement and causes strain on the legs and other parts of the body. Also, McDougall tries to answer the question why don¿t we run anymore? He reminds us that when we were little we couldn¿t sit still, running this way and that. All anyone could ever do is run like crazy and not listen to the parents calling our names and telling us to stop. What changed? I liked many things about this book. Since I am a runner myself, I found the most intriguing parts to be the ones in which he discussed the science of running. How to position your back, shorten your strides, swing your arms, and glide over the land. The stories were interesting, too, and inspired me to achieve as much as I can. It was not a difficult read in which scientific names and fluff was thrown into the book, but a simple runner, or not, could pick it up and enjoy the read. What I didn¿t like was the book jumped around a little bit, sometimes not letting you know when the story being told had taken place until McDougall was trying to reel it back in and connect it with the main point. Also, I got confused at spots about what I was reading because some stories were so lengthy and a little bit dry that I had lost sight of what the whole story was supposed to bring about to the topic or how it had originated in the storyline. Anyone and everyone can, and should, read this book. The awe inspiring races, assortment of people who all love running, and research that you would have never guessed, all contribute to this well written piece. To read this book, you don¿t have to LOVE running, you don¿t even have to be a runner, just a person with an open mind. Some other works I would recommend would be Once A Runner: A Novel by John L. Parker that is about the competition of running and the self-devotion it takes to be great or My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon by Bart Yasso, an inspiring book about the rewards and road bumps of running.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting and Inspiring

    Fairly well written and interesting, even though running isn't an exciting subject to begin with. I found it very inspiring...thought about strapping on those rarely used running shoes. If you're even slightly curious about it, just read it.

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    So good it has inspired non-runners to run!

    I've been a hardcore runner for as far back as I can remember, finishing second in the mile run at my middle school. Over the years I've run tens of thousands of miles, countless road races, and a half a dozen marathons from Chicago to New Orleans and Boston. This book is one of the most enjoyable running books I've read. It's right up there with the Perfect Mile and Running with the Buffaloes. Born to Run however covers the world of ultra-endurance athletes both decorated (Scott Jurek) and anonymous (the Tarahumara Indians of the Copper Canyon mountains). I imagine the book has to have also played a large role in the huge success of the Five Fingers line of minimal running shoes from Vibram. Born to Run is an inspiring and awe-inspiring journey.

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