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  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
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Born To Run - A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen - by Christopher McDougall


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Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen + Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness + Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself
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Born To Run - A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen - by Christopher McDougall is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? Isolated by Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America's best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall's incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.About 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..ISBN - 9780307279187.Author - Christopher McDougall.Publisher - Random House.Pages - 304.Binding - Paper.Year - 2011.

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  • ASIN: B00KZ9J6CE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,286 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Once I started reading this book I could not put it down.
jen72
Overall this is a great book to read and it will inspire you to get into running if you are not already a runner.
T. Stewart
I find this book very well written - very easy to read, and the story is great!
P. Kotland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

797 of 829 people found the following review helpful By T. Sull on May 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Born to Run succeeds at three levels. First, it is a page turner. The build up to a fifty-mile foot race over some of the world's least hospitable terrain drives the narrative forward. Along the way McDougall introduces a cast of characters worthy of Dickens, including an almost superhuman ultramarathoner, Jenn and the Bonehead--a couple who down bottles of booze to warm up for a race, Barefoot Ted, Mexican drug dealers, a ghostly ex-boxer, a heartbroken father, and of course the Tarahumara, arguably the greatest runners in the world.

Born to Run is such a rip-roaring yarn, that it is easy to miss the book's deeper achievements. At a second level, McDougall introduces and explores a powerful thesis--that human beings are literally born to run. Recreational running did not begin with the 1966 publication of "Jogging" by the co-founder of Nike. Instead, McDougall argues, running is at the heart of what it means to be human. In the course of elaborating his thesis, McDougall answers some big questions: Why did our ancestors outlive the stronger, smarter Neanderthals? Why do expensive running shoes increase the odds of injury? The author's modesty keeps him from trumpeting the novelty and importance of this thesis, but it merits attention.

Finally, Born to Run presents a philosophy of exercise. The ethos that pervades recreational and competitive running--"no pain, no gain," is fundamentally flawed, McDougall argues. The essence of running should not be grim determination, but sheer joy. Many of the conventions of modern running--the thick-soled shoes, mechanical treadmills, take no prisoners competition, and heads-down powering through pain dull our appreciation of what running can be--a sociable activity, more game than chore, that can lead to adventure. McDougall's narrative moves the book forward, his thesis provides a solid intellectual support, but this philosophy of joy animates Born to Run. I hope this book finds the wide audience it deserves.
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251 of 267 people found the following review helpful By Traveler on July 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to ditto other readers who said this book changed their life. And that is not hyperbole. Prior to reading this book I viewed myself as a fast short distance runner and I rarely, if ever, ran more than 3 miles at a time. I felt this was just the way things were and that I should accept it.

"Born to Run" completely changed my internal thought process about running. I was already aware of the running shoe issue. I've been slowly using Vibram Five Fingers for over a year and I've been trying to alter my gate from heel strike first to toe strike first. I found that it just takes patience and time to adapt in getting those muscles developed. McDougall is no liar - we've been screwed over by the running shoe companies. The first time I ran with the Vibram's I could barely walk for a week I was in so much pain. Now I can climb mountains in them.

What changed for me after reading this book was just the simple notion that I wasn't limited by some personal flaw or lack of will. I was failing to run longer distances because both my mindset and my running style were flawed. One, we can all run farther than we think. Two, don't get obsessed over speed or time, just run at a pace that feels comfortable. Your body will tell you when you can step it up a notch. In other words, just enjoy the experience.

Before I started the book my max was 3 miles with a hard push on the first two. Five weeks after reading the book I can now do 8 miles or more. I can probably do 10 or more now, but haven't pushed because I'm still working on getting those calve muscles stronger and adapted to the new running style. Don't get me wrong - I'm running slow! But wow, does it feel good. I'm enjoying running more and I feel better than ever before.
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271 of 321 people found the following review helpful By R. George on May 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My wife handed me Born to Run about 24 hours ago and said "you might like this." Having run quite a bit but nursing an achilles tendon injury for about 3 years, I had almost given up on my dreams of getting back into marathon shape. 24 hours (and very little sleep) later, I feel inspired, awed, and enlightened, and I have Christopher's wonderful book to thank.

In a nutshell, I have not been this entralled by a story since Shadow Divers, Seabiscuit and/or Into Thin Air. Christopher's recounting of the forbidding Copper Canyons, the amazing Tarahumara, ultramarathoners young and old, and the greatest race you've never heard of is enough for me to give this a rave review. But like the aforementioned books, there is so much more to this story, not the least of which was Christopher's own quest (and amazing resiliency) to run without pain. Finally, he put to words many of the thoughts and feelings I've had about running but am unable to articulate. And Christopher is a great writer - I laughed out loud many times throughout. He has a style akin to a Timothy Cahill - a great wit that was obviously aided by a wonderfully intriguing cast of characters.

As the sun was coming up this morning I was a bit sad to see this book end, and am already contemplating picking it up again. But only after I strap on the old, beaten up sneaks and get in a quick jog. Thanks so much for writing this book - I hope it changes lives and perspectives in the process.
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69 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Bornman on March 17, 2013
Color Name: Paperback
I have lived among the Tarahumara since 2005. I have real personal relationships with Tarahumara people. When I read this book I didn't see the people I know.

The author's worldview prevents him from being able to see the true condition of the Tarahumara. The New Age/Left Over Hippy crowd believes all things tribal are good. This blinds them to the mind boggling suffering of the Tarahumara. Contrary to what the nuts believe, foot and leg injuries are very common among the Tarahumara, running barefoot or in sandals does not prevent foot and leg injuries. The incidence of diabetes is astonishing, the number of children who die before age 5 is shocking. Rape and sexual abuse of women and children is considered normal, and acceptable here. Oppression and discrimination against the Tarahumara is the norm. I often look around and am amazed by how so much suffering can happen in such a beautiful place. Beautiful people, beautiful mountains and heart breaking suffering.

The author should be ashamed of himself for writing such a misleading book. If you read carefully you will discover that he visited our area a few times and somehow thought this qualified him to write a book.

Truly there is none so blind as those who refuse to see.
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