BN.com Gift Guide

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

( 925 )

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Hardcover
$19.15
BN.com price
(Save 23%)$24.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (84) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $13.59   
  • Used (78) from $1.99   
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99
BN.com price

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less
  • Christopher McDougall
    Christopher McDougall  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Some runners get injured frequently; others, seemingly never. It was this question and the throbbing pain of his foot that inspired Christopher McDougall to track down Mexico's Tarahumara, a group of long distance runners who had earned an enviable reputation of excelling without injury. His trip to the Copper Canyons to learn from them and run with them reads like both an instruction process and a runner's pilgrimage. Indeed, the lessons that these sturdy Native Americans teach him possess almost a spiritual quality. A gentle guide for serious runners; now in trade paperback and NOOK Book. Editor's recommendation.

Dan Zak
The scenario is a writer's dream. McDougall found a large cast of crazy characters, an exotic setting for drama and discovery, and a tailor-made showdown with which to cap the book. By and large it's a thrilling read, even for someone who couldn't care less about proper stride and split times and energy gels. McDougall's prose, while at times straining to be gonzo and overly clever, is engaging and buddy-buddy, as if he's an enthusiastic friend tripping over himself to tell a great story.
—The Washington Post
Kirkus Reviews
A journalist's adventures in a secluded Mexican community of the best endurance athletes in the world. On an unrelated assignment, Men's Health contributing editor McDougall (Girl Trouble: The True Saga of Superstar Gloria Trevi, Her Svengali, and the Secret Teenage Sex Cult that Stunned the World, 2004) uncovered the legend of the Tarahumara Indians, a tribe of astonishingly fit runners concealed deep within the Copper Canyons of Mexico. Determined to learn their secrets, McDougall braved uncharted territory and encounters with lethal drug-smugglers in search of Caballo Blanco, one of the only outsiders to befriend the bashful natives. The colorful Caballo recounts an enthralling story involving the arduous Leadville ultra marathon and Rick Fisher, a greedy, hotheaded opportunist who bribed the Tarahumara out of hiding to compete. The exploited tribesmen participated in the grueling event three times before they disappeared back to their villages for good. An inspired Caballo followed the Tarahumara back to Mexico, where he ran the local trails and lived peacefully in isolation. His dream was to draw the top American contenders to this remote locale to lock horns with the clan in the ultimate endurance exhibition, and he wanted McDougall's help to make it happen. The author returned to the Copper Canyons with a handful of prominent distance champions, including Scott Jurek and Jenn Shelton, and the story culminates in a final 50-mile showdown. McDougall's background as a magazine writer is readily apparent-his prose is light and airy, informative without being pretentious. Most passages are short and engaging with extra doses of drama and exclamatory phrases thrown in to great effect.McDougall wisely grounds the narrative in his own struggle to engage in the concluding race-he was frustrated with his tendency to get injured-and he offers insightful sidebars on a variety of topics, from the development of the modern running shoe to an evolutionary argument that humans are literally "born to run."A terrific ride, recommended for any athlete. First printing of 75,000. Author tour to Boston, Boulder, Colo., Denver, New York, Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City, San Francisco. Agent: Larry Weissman/Larry Weissman Literary
From the Publisher

"A tale so mind-blowing as to be the stuff of legend." —The Denver Post

"McDougall's book reminded me of why I love to run." —Bill Rodgers, San Francisco Chronicle

"Fascinating. . . . Thrilling. . . . An operatic ode to the joys of running." —The Washington Post
 
“It’s a great book. . . . A really gripping read. . . .Unbelievable story . . . a really phenomenal book.” —Jon Stewart on The Daily Show

"One of the most entertaining running books ever." —Amby Burfoot, Runnersworld.com
 
“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
 
“McDougall recounts his quest to understand near superhuman ultra-runners with adrenaline pumped writing, humor and a distinct voice...he never lets go from his impassioned mantra that humans were born to run.” —NPR
 
Born to Run is a fascinating and inspiring true adventure story, based on humans pushing themselves to the limits. It’s destined to become a classic.”–Sir Ranulph Fiennes, author of Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know
 
“Equal parts hilarity, explanation and earnestness—whisks the reader along on a compelling dash to the end, and along the way captures the sheer joy that a brisk run brings.” —Science News
 
Born to Run is funny, insightful, captivating, and a great and beautiful discovery.” —Lynne Cox, author of Swimming to Antarctica
 
“A page-turner, taking the reader on an epic journey in search of the world’s greatest distance runners in an effort to uncover the secrets of their endurance.” —The Durango Herald
 
“Driven by an intense yet subtle curiosity, Christopher McDougall gamely treads across the continent to pierce the soul and science of long-distance running.”—Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers

The Barnes & Noble Review
Filled with unforgettable characters who go fully against the cultural grain (a mysterious Mexican tribe of cliff dwellers who run hundreds of miles with ease, a cerebral former prizefighter who's become a hermit in the Mexican hills, a vegan ultra-serene ultramarathoner, two Beat-loving young guns who drink as hard as they run, a hilarious, Kramer-like renegade barefoot runner with logorrhea), Christopher McDougall's first book, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, ostensibly tells the tale of the seriously socially challenged and self-named Caballo Blanco (White Horse) and his attempts to put together a 50-mile running race between the elite members of the dwindling Taruhumara tribe and some of the best American practitioners of ultrarunning, a sport for those who for some reason want to go farther than the standard 26.2-mile marathon distance. But McDougall, a contributing editor for Men's Health and a writer-at-large for Runner's World, as well as an ultrarunner who competes in the eventual race, uses the occasion to convincingly overturn standard running ideas (you don't need those super-expensive, mega-cushioned shoes!), figure out just why our ancestors picked up their hands from the ground and started running upright, and back up the concept that Nike is to blame for every running injury in existence for the past two decades. Along the way, he shares the stories of his characters and the history of ultrarunning in such an entertaining and engaging fashion that at times you want to put the book down, kick off your shoes, head out the door, and just simply run. --Mark J. Miller
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307266309
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 79,150
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher McDougall is a former war correspondent for the Associated Press and is now a contributing editor for Men’s Health. A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, he has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Men’s Journal, and New York. He does his own running among the Amish farms around his home in rural Pennsylvania.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Born to Run

A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
By Christopher McDougall

Knopf

Copyright © 2009 Christopher McDougall
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307266309

To live with ghosts requires solitude.
—Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces


FOR DAYS, I’d been searching Mexico’s Sierra Madre for the phantom known as Caballo Blanco—the White Horse. I’d finally arrived at the end of the trail, in the last place I expected to find him—not deep in the wilderness he was said to haunt, but in the dim lobby of an old hotel on the edge of a dusty desert town. “Sí, El Caballo está,” the desk clerk said, nodding. Yes, the Horse is here.

“For real?” After hearing that I’d just missed him so many times, in so many bizarre locations, I’d begun to suspect that Caballo Blanco was nothing more than a fairy tale, a local Loch Ness mons - truo dreamed up to spook the kids and fool gullible gringos.

“He’s always back by five,” the clerk added. “It’s like a ritual.” I didn’t know whether to hug her in relief or high- five her in triumph. I checked my watch. That meant I’d actually lay eyes on the ghost in less than . . . hang on.

“But it’s already after six.”

The clerk shrugged. “Maybe he’s goneaway.”

I sagged into an ancient sofa. I was filthy, famished, and defeated. I was exhausted, and so were my leads.

Some said Caballo Blanco was a fugitive; others heard he was a boxer who’d run off to punish himself after beating a man to death in the ring. No one knew his name, or age, or where he was from. He was like some Old West gunslinger whose only traces were tall tales
and a whiff of cigarillo smoke. Descriptions and sightings were all over the map; villagers who lived impossible distances apart swore they’d seen him traveling on foot on the same day, and described him on a scale that swung wildly from “funny and simpático” to “freaky
and gigantic.”

But in all versions of the Caballo Blanco legend, certain basic details were always the same: He’d come to Mexico years ago and trekked deep into the wild, impenetrable Barrancas del Cobre—the Copper Canyons—to live among the Tarahumara, a near- mythical tribe of Stone Age superathletes. The Tarahumara (pronounced Spanish- style by swallowing the “h”: Tara- oo- mara) may be the healthiest and most serene people on earth, and the greatest runners of all time.

When it comes to ultradistances, nothing can beat a Tarahumara runner—not a racehorse, not a cheetah, not an Olympic marathoner.
Very few outsiders have ever seen the Tarahumara in action, but amazing stories of their superhuman toughness and tranquillity have drifted out of the canyons for centuries. One explorer swore he saw a Tarahumara catch a deer with his bare hands, chasing the bounding animal until it finally dropped dead from exhaustion, “its hoofs falling off.” Another adventurer spent ten hours climbing up and
over a Copper Canyon mountain by mule; a Tarahumara runner made the same trip in ninety minutes.

“Try this,” a Tarahumara woman once told an exhausted explorer who’d collapsed at the base of a mountain. She handed him a gourd full of a murky liquid. He swallowed a few gulps, and was amazed to feel new energy pulsing in his veins. He got to his feet and scaled the peak like an overcaffeinated Sherpa. The Tarahumara, the explorer would later report, also guarded the recipe to a special energy food
that leaves them trim, powerful, and unstoppable: a few mouthfuls packed enough nutritional punch to let them run all day without rest.

But whatever secrets the Tarahumara are hiding, they’ve hidden them well. To this day, the Tarahumara live in the side of cliffs higher than a hawk’s nest in a land few have ever seen. The Barrancas are a lost world in the most remote wilderness in North America, a sort of a shorebound Bermuda Triangle known for swallowing the misfits and desperadoes who stray inside. Lots of bad things can happen
down there, and probably will; survive the man- eating jaguars, deadly snakes, and blistering heat, and you’ve still got to deal with “canyon fever,” a potentially fatal freak- out brought on by the Barrancas’ desolate eeriness. The deeper you penetrate into the Barrancas, the more it feels like a crypt sliding shut around you. The walls tighten, shadows spread, phantom echoes whisper; every route out seems to end in sheer rock. Lost prospectors would be gripped by such madness and despair, they’d slash their own throats or hurl themselves off cliffs. Little surprise that few strangers have ever seen the Tarahumara’s homeland—let alone the Tarahumara.

But somehow the White Horse had made his way to the depths of the Barrancas. And there, it’s said, he was adopted by the Tarahumara
as a friend and kindred spirit; a ghost among ghosts. He’d certainly mastered two Tarahumara skills—invisibility and extraordinary endurance—because even though he was spotted all over the canyons, no one seemed to know where he lived or when he might
appear next. If anyone could translate the ancient secrets of the Tarahumara, I was told, it was this lone wanderer of the High Sierras.

I’d become so obsessed with finding Caballo Blanco that as I dozed on the hotel sofa, I could even imagine the sound of his voice.
“Probably like Yogi Bear ordering burritos at Taco Bell,” I mused. A guy like that, a wanderer who’d go anywhere but fit in nowhere, must live inside his own head and rarely hear his own voice. He’d make weird jokes and crack himself up. He’d have a booming laugh and atrocious Spanish. He’d be loud and chatty and . . . and . . .

Wait. I was hearing him. My eyes popped open to see a dusty cadaver in a tattered straw hat bantering with the desk clerk. Trail dust streaked his gaunt face like fading war paint, and the shocks of sun- bleached hair sticking out from under the hat could have been trimmed with a hunting knife. He looked like a castaway on a desert island, even to the way he seemed hungry for conversation with the
bored clerk.

“Caballo?” I croaked.

The cadaver turned, smiling, and I felt like an idiot. He didn’t look wary; he looked confused, as any tourist would when confronted by a deranged man on a sofa suddenly hollering “Horse!”

This wasn’t Caballo. There was no Caballo. The whole thing was a hoax, and I’d fallen for it.

Then the cadaver spoke. “You know me?”

“Man!” I exploded, scrambling to my feet. “Am I glad to see you!”

The smile vanished. The cadaver’s eyes darted toward the door, making it clear that in another second, he would as well.


It all began with a simple question that no one in the world could answer.

That five-word puzzle led me to a photo of a very fast man in a very short skirt, and from there it only got stranger. Soon, I was dealing with a murder, drug guerrillas and a one-armed man with a cream-cheese cup strapped to his head. I met a beautiful, blonde forest ranger who slipped out of her clothes and found salvation by running naked in the Idaho forests, and a young surf babe in pigtails who ran straight toward her death in the desert. A talented young runner would die. Two others would barely escape with their lives.

I kept looking, and stumbled across the Barefoot Batman ... Naked Guy … Kalahari Bushmen ... the Toenail Amputee... a cult devoted to distance running and sex parties ... the Wild Man of the Blue Ridge Mountains ... and ultimately, the ancient tribe of the Tarahumara and their shadowy disciple, Caballo Blanco.

In the end, I got my answer, but only after I found myself in the middle of the greatest race the world would never see: the Ultimate Fighting Competition of footraces, an underground showdown pitting some of the best ultra-distance runners of our time against the best ultrarunners of all time, in a 50-mile race on hidden trails only Tarahumara feet had ever touched. I’d be startled to discover that the ancient saying of the Tao Te Ching — “The best runner leaves no trace” — wasn’t some gossamer koan, but real, concrete, how-to, training advice.

And all because in January, 2001, I asked my doctor this:

“How come my foot hurts?”


I’d gone to see one of the top sports-medicine specialists in the country because an invisible ice-pick was driving straight up through the sole of my foot. The week before, I’d been out for an easy, three-mile jog on a snowy farm road when I suddenly whinnied in pain, grabbing my right foot and screaming curses as I toppled over in the snow. When I got a grip on myself, I checked to see how badly I was bleeding. I must have impaled my foot on a sharp rock, I figured, or an old nail wedged in the ice. But there wasn’t a drop of blood, or even a hole in my shoe.

“Running is your problem,” Dr. Joe Torg confirmed when I limped into his Philadelphia examining room a few days later. He should know; Dr. Torg had not only helped create the entire field of sports medicine, but he also co-authored The Running Athlete, the definitive radiographic analysis of every conceivable running injury. He ran me through an X-Ray and watched me hobble around, then determined I’d aggravated my cuboid, a cluster of bones parallel to the arch which I hadn’t even known existed until it re-engineered itself into an internal Taser.

“But I’m barely running at all,” I said. “I’m doing, like, two or three miles every other day. And not even on asphalt. Mostly dirt roads.”

Didn’t matter. “The human body is not designed for that kind of abuse,” Dr. Torg replied.

But why? Antelope don’t get shin splints. Wolves don’t ice-pack their knees. I doubt that 80% of all wild mustangs are annually disabled with impact injuries. It reminded me of a proverb attributed to Roger Bannister, who, while simultaneously studying medicine, working as a clinical researcher and minting pithy parables, became the first man to break the 4-minute mile: "Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up,” Bannister said. “It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle - when the sun comes up, you'd better be running."

So why should every other mammal on the planet be able to depend on its legs except us? Come to think of it, how could a guy like Bannister charge out of the lab every day, pound around a hard cinder track in thin leather slippers, and not only get faster, but never get hurt? How come some of us can be out there running all lion-like and Bannister-ish every morning when the sun comes up, while the rest of us need a fistful of Ibuprofen before we can put our feet on the floor?

But maybe there was a path back in time, a way to flip the internal switch that changes us all back into the Natural Born Runners we once were. Not just in history, but in our own lifetimes. Remember? Back when you were a kid and you had to be yelled at to slow down? Every game you played, you played at top-speed, sprinting like crazy as you kicked cans, freed-all and attacked jungle outposts in your neighbors’ backyards. Half the fun of doing anything was doing it at record pace, making it probably the last time in your life you’d ever be hassled for going too fast.

That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they’d never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They remembered that running was mankind’s first fine art, our original act of inspired creation. Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain. And when our ancestors finally did make their first cave paintings, what were the first designs? A downward slash, lightning bolts through the bottom and middle — behold, the Running Man.

Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn’t live to love anything else. And like everything else we love — everything we sentimentally call our “passions” and “desires” — it’s really an encoded ancestral necessity. We were born to run; we were born because we run. We’re all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.
Soon, I was setting off in search of the lost tribe of the Tarahumara and Caballo Blanco -- who, I would discover, had a secret mission of his own.

Continues...

Excerpted from Born to Run by Christopher McDougall Copyright © 2009 by Christopher McDougall. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 925 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(613)

4 Star

(180)

3 Star

(76)

2 Star

(24)

1 Star

(32)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 933 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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.

    21 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    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 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.

    18 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating and enjoyable and I am not a runner!

    I couldn't put this book down. This surprised me because not only am I not a runner, I rarely am inspired to read a book all the way to the end. After hearing an interview with the author on the radio, I felt that I had to give this book a try. I am glad that I did and I am telling just about everyone I know that they should, too. The main story, the people and their stories , and the theories proposed, were all fascinating. It was an enjoyable read that I wanted to continue after the last page. Satisfying in many ways.

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The joy of running - Rediscovering how we are all Born to Run

    Ever since I first read an article by McDougall in Men's Health about the Tarahumara, I have been fascinated with finding out more about these amazing people. With Born to Run, my appetite for knowledge of their running prowess has been kicked into overdrive.

    In Born to Run, McDougall weaves a Tolstoy-esque cast of characters, from running icons like Bill Bowerman to a virtually unknown and enigmatic gringo named Micah True, aka Caballo Blanco.

    Upon receiving this book, I was a bit wary of the pitfalls that many books of this type can fall into, yet somehow McDougall weaves a story of epic proportions while still filling your mind with the truly simple science behind why barefoot is better. Not only does McDougall come to this realization because of his extensive research, but by putting into practice all the techniques that he learns along the way.

    Every time I put this book down, I couldn't help but want to pick it up again, if only for one more page. The real joy and pleasure of this book, which is exactly the overriding message that lies within, is the joy of running that we have somehow managed to lose. Born to Run, through the wonderful words of Christopher McDougall made me want to put down this masterpiece only to go outside to run, like the Tarahumara, with a smile on my face

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Run, don't walk, to get this book

    This book is great on so many levels: writing style, humor, research, a quest for self-awareness, what makes humans unique, sports, marketing, spiritual, physiology, even anthropology. It's all wrapped in this engaging ball of a ture yarn. The most engaging part is the cast of characters: from the mysterious to the eccentric to college kids gone wild. This book should be on every bestseller's list. Hunter S. Thompson's biographer should be Christopher McDougall. The only thing missing: illustrations of THE race. But even there, the cover entices the imagination and the author paints vivid images of people, races and our past. Even a nonrunner like myself (a contradiction based on the title alone) thinks this should be on everyone's list of must-reads.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Plantar Fasciitis

    Runners who have plantar fasciitis that interferes with their running might also be interested in "The 5-Minute Plantar Fasciitis Solution."

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 30, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    My anesthesiologist recommended this book right before he put me

    My anesthesiologist recommended this book right before he put me out for my knee surgery. I thought it would be another technical read about proper running form (which it kind of is). I picked it up and started to read. I was confused at first because I was being pulled into an interesting story. With my interest peaked i tore through this read, rarely wanting to put the book down.

    Christopher McDougall has crafted an inspirational book that not only imparts good running technique, it makes you want to run! I was training for a triathlon before my injury and running was the part I always dreaded. After reading Born to Run I can't wait till I am out of recovery to get out in the world and run! It has changed my perception of why I am running, not to finish the third leg with blinders on, but for the wonderful experience of being there in the moment, for the shear joy of running!

    It's not just the joy of running but the joy of living life! I have started to employ this same idea to my daily grind, and it's not so much of a grind anymore. Since I have started finding the joy at work it has become infectious, and we are all having a more fun while working.

    Born to Run is also well crafted, drawing you in and keeping a steady pace. It imparts a lot of information, but never in a way that is dull or boring. I was suppressed how much I took away from this book in comparison to the library of other training books I have read.

    I recommend Born to Run to everyone!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Reinforced Life Experience

    I was 14 years old when I first wore shoes for my 8th grade elementary school graduation. Until then I went barefoot or wore flip-flops. Every day after elementary school, I ran home barefoot. (In the mornings, we were bussed to school.)

    "Born to run" does not have technical foot or barefoot running information, rather it has general data about running barefoot. It combines a very interesting story about running barefoot, 100 mile marathons and the Tarahumara indians.

    I don't run barefoot now but I do all my current karate exercises barefoot. "Barefoot Is Better."

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Running Man theory

    Like a few others, I don't know what drew me to read this book. I'm not particularly athletic, and I'm not a runner much less a marathoner so...

    The book tells many stories that weave together into one fun ride (read). You learn of a 'lost' Mexican indian tribe the Tarahumara, or more correctly The Raramuri. Living peacefully in the Copper Canyon area of the Mexican desert they seem to be able to run forever. They don't have the latest running shoes, or coaches or specialized nutrition. But when they run they seem to be just gliding over the ground, with an almost blissful expression on their faces. So why do we, with all the 'advantages' continually get hurt and wind up hating running so much?

    You explore the 'running man' theory, how we humans were put together to run. For food, travel, but most of all survival. What role does nutrition play? Or is running more in our heads, our state of mind? What about running shoes? Helpful? The answers may surprise you. Certainly they seem to run contrary to what we're currently being told. Makes you think!

    We learn about the Tarahumari, who ran a few races here in the USA only to reject our competitive ways, preferring a simpler, more cooperative life of their own. What secrets might they help us uncover and allow us to enjoy running more and become healthier in the process.

    Caballo Blanco (The White Horse) a near mythic figure who forsook modern life to live among the Tarahumari, accepted as family, careful to preserve an almost lost way of living has a dream. What if there was a race on the Tarahumari home turf that included some of the running world's true elite performers along? A race, competitive for sure, but also a communal sharing spirit. Could it ever happen? Would it?

    I was very glad I read this book. I won't go so far as to say it inspired me to start jogging (or at least exercise) but it made me think in some different directions than I expected. You may as well.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 14, 2013

    This is a must-read for anyone who loves running or loves someon

    This is a must-read for anyone who loves running or loves someone that runs.An amazing tale from the 
    first word to the last!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Born to Run, a must read.

    I loved this book and I have already recommended it to others as a must read. It has a fascinating story line with a few dull facts spots but in the long run, it could be a life changing book to read. At 71 I am giving it a shot, building muscle and endurance a little by little. And I really want to do this for the shear exileration of running. It is going well so far. I already feel stronger and straighter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Will be Running through your mind all day! Born to Run is about

    Will be Running through your mind all day!

    Born to Run is about Christopher McDougall’s investigative adventure into the world of running, ultra marathons, the shoe industry, and the Tarahumara Indians; a secret group of "super athletes" known for their running endurance and speed. McDougall’s whole experiment begins with the question, "How come my foot hurts?" and ends with a race between a few elite ultra-runners and the Tarahumara Indians in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. McDougall wants to become a distance runner but struggles to do so because of the countless injuries he obtains through running. He blames his physique and genetics at first but he then realizes he is not the only runner experiencing injuries. He is then inspired to research why 8 out of every 10 runners have an injury every year with what is supposed to be advanced athletic technology like 150$ shoes designed to prevent injuries and how some people like the Tarahumara Indians, run every day of their lives nearly barefoot, with no injuries. The major messages and themes are mostly about the benefits of minimalistic running, but McDougall also ties in the importance of your form, why you should eat more vegetables and less processed food, how to strength train to build non-running specific muscles and increase your resilience, and ways vary your training. “Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn't live to love anything else. And like everything else we love—everything we sentimentally call our "passions" and "desires"—it's really an encoded ancestral necessity. We were born to run; we were born because we run. We're all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.” This passage really sums up the tone and message of the book and was biggest takeaway for me; that every human being was born to run, the design being coded within our DNA. What I liked most about this book was how captivating the stories were; I forgot it was a nonfiction book at some points! It is simultaneously thrilling, historical and informative. It not only recaptures the excitement of past distance running races (like the 1995 Leadville 100), but it also tells the backstories of elite ultra-marathoners and Super Athlete Indians running through Mexico’s trechous mountains, whose stories would otherwise not be told. Being a competitive runner myself, I thought I knew everything there was to know about diet and form, but I learned something new on almost every page of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in running but hasn’t started for whatever reason, to competitive runners, or anyone looking for an informational and exciting read. This book motivated and inspired me to revamp my current distance workouts through eating better and little teqniques that have already improved my form. You may even rethink wearing your supper supportive running shoes and go towards a minimalistic, more natural pair instead.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Born to Run is about Christopher McDougall¿s investigative adven

    Born to Run is about Christopher McDougall’s investigative adventure into the world of running, ultra marathons, the shoe industry, and the Tarahumara Indians; a secret group of "super athletes" known for their running endurance and speed. McDougall’s whole experiment begins with the question, "How come my foot hurts?" and ends with a race between a few elite ultra-runners and the Tarahumara Indians in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. McDougall wants to become a distance runner but struggles to do so because of the countless injuries he obtains through running. He blames his physique and genetics at first but he then realizes he is not the only runner experiencing injuries. He is then inspired to research why 8 out of every 10 runners have an injury every year with what is supposed to be advanced athletic technology like 150$ shoes designed to prevent injuries and how some people like the Tarahumara Indians, run every day of their lives nearly barefoot, with no injuries. The major messages and themes are mostly about the benefits of minimalistic running, but McDougall also ties in the importance of your form, why you should eat more vegetables and less processed food, how to strength train to build non-running specific muscles and increase your resilience, and ways vary your training. “Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn't live to love anything else. And like everything else we love—everything we sentimentally call our "passions" and "desires"—it's really an encoded ancestral necessity. We were born to run; we were born because we run. We're all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.” This passage really sums up the tone and message of the book and was biggest takeaway for me; that every human being was born to run, the design being coded within our DNA. What I liked most about this book was how captivating the stories were; I forgot it was a nonfiction book at some points! It is simultaneously thrilling, historical and informative. It not only recaptures the excitement of past distance running races (like the 1995 Leadville 100), but it also tells the backstories of elite ultra-marathoners and Super Athlete Indians running through Mexico’s trechous mountains, whose stories would otherwise not be told. Being a competitive runner myself, I thought I knew everything there was to know about diet and form, but I learned something new on almost every page of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in running but hasn’t started for whatever reason, to competitive runners, or anyone looking for an informational and exciting read. This book motivated and inspired me to revamp my current distance workouts through eating better and little teqniques that have already improved my form. You may even rethink wearing your supper supportive running shoes and go towards a minimalistic, more natural pair instead.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 18, 2013

    Born to Run is about Christopher McDougall¿s investigative adven

    Born to Run is about Christopher McDougall’s investigative adventure into the world of running, ultra marathons, the shoe industry, and the Tarahumara Indians; a secret group of "super athletes" known for their running endurance and speed. McDougall’s whole experiment begins with the question, "How come my foot hurts?" and ends with a race between a few elite ultra-runners and the Tarahumara Indians in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. McDougall wants to become a distance runner but struggles to do so because of the countless injuries he obtains through running. He blames his physique and genetics at first but he then realizes he is not the only runner experiencing injuries. He is then inspired to research why 8 out of every 10 runners have an injury every year with what is supposed to be advanced athletic technology like 150$ shoes designed to prevent injuries and how some people like the Tarahumara Indians, run every day of their lives nearly barefoot, with no injuries. The major messages and themes are mostly about the benefits of minimalistic running, but McDougall also ties in the importance of your form, why you should eat more vegetables and less processed food, how to strength train to build non-running specific muscles and increase your resilience, and ways vary your training. “Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet. You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together. You had to love running, or you wouldn't live to love anything else. And like everything else we love—everything we sentimentally call our "passions" and "desires"—it's really an encoded ancestral necessity. We were born to run; we were born because we run. We're all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.” This passage really sums up the tone and message of the book and was biggest takeaway for me; that every human being was born to run, the design being coded within our DNA. What I liked most about this book was how captivating the stories were; I forgot it was a nonfiction book at some points! It is simultaneously thrilling, historical and informative. It not only recaptures the excitement of past distance running races (like the 1995 Leadville 100), but it also tells the backstories of elite ultra-marathoners and Super Athlete Indians running through Mexico’s trechous mountains, whose stories would otherwise not be told. Being a competitive runner myself, I thought I knew everything there was to know about diet and form, but I learned something new on almost every page of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in running but hasn’t started for whatever reason, to competitive runners, or anyone looking for an informational and exciting read. This book motivated and inspired me to revamp my current distance workouts through eating better and little teqniques that have already improved my form. You may even rethink wearing your supper supportive running shoes and go towards a minimalistic, more natural pair instead.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    A very well told story that injects knowledge without being over

    A very well told story that injects knowledge without being overbearing.  Many folks in the barefoot movement can be quite obnoxious about it, so its nice to see the argument presented differently.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Awesome Reading..

    I loved this book. So much great information. Inspirational for me since I love endurance sports. Highly recommend .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 933 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)