Born to Run
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.
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Born to Run is like those dreams many of us have, which start simply and end in the land of the bizarre. In this case, the simple question of why most American runners suffer injuries despite expensive sneakers brings Christopher McDougall to the unforgiving terrain of Mexico's Copper Canyons, home to an indigenous population of ultra-runners, the Tarahumara Indians. They call themselves the Raramuri, or the 'Running People.' They never suffer illness. Eating a diet of ground corn, mouse meat and homemade alcohol — and sleeping no regular hours — the Tarahumara men and woman somehow pack the endurance to run cliff-side races topping one hundred miles and sometimes lasting two days. Their economic system of bartering and pre-Aztec language are an anthropological mystery, but local legend leaking from the canyons has it that men can chase a deer until exhaustion renders the beast an easy kill. McDougall recounts his quest to understand these near superhuman ultra-runners with adrenaline-pumped writing, humor and a distinct voice. Pulling you with him through sun-crisped canyons, plopping you into the path of sweat-less super athletes, and crushing your faith in Nike, he never lets go from his impassioned mantra that humans were born to run. "Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees," he writes, "we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain." npr science books 2009
One of the best books I've read in a long time. James McDougall's Born to Run is at times, hilariously funny, astounding and inspirational; and some times all three. This book challenges our beliefs as to the limitations of the human spirit and the human body. And.. it might just get you running again.
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A Nature of Things documentary that explores why we are "Born to Run".
A Barefoot Running Debate: BORN TO RUN
In this episode of BOOKD, find out what a podiatrist, an urban caveman, a professor of evolutionary biology, a world record setting masters runner, and author Christopher McDougall have to say about BORN TO RUN and the barefoot running debate.