Born to Run

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

Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
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.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307266309
Branch Call Number: 796.4209 M
Characteristics: 287 p. ; 25 cm.


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Mar 28, 2015
  • rswcove rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Running is the most basic form of transportation, and without it we have to fight to be taken seriously as human. What this book argues convincingly, is that most of us haven't a clue as to how fall short we are falling our potential. This book is a wake up call to take back our human potential.

Nov 24, 2014
  • luzeng rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Quick-paced, inspiring read; almost got me off my ass except i decided to read another chapter.

Jun 16, 2014
  • green_tiger_1186 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was cool how it told one main stories, with dozens of other stories along with it. I can't wait to get outside and try some of the things the author mentioned in this compelling story about him and the Tarahumara.

May 26, 2014
  • HereHere rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Interesting storytelling. I didn't find any part really dragged, but I was so eager to try to learn the lessons of the running people. Some good history, for sure. One thing to note is that exercise beyond 40 minutes starts to cause micro-tears in the heart muscle. Caballo Blanco (the key character in this book), died at 58 with what I understand to be a hypertrophic and fibrotic heart. Moderate exercise at a moderate pace is healthier than long-distance, fast pace (below 7 minute miles) or the combination of long length and fast pace. This message does not come clear through the book, but there are an increasing number of scientific studies on the topic.

Mar 21, 2014
  • sissi1 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The beginning drags. The second half is informative and a fun read.

May 07, 2013
  • ltsalvador rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I'm not a sports person but this book totally changed my perspective about sports in general (and running, in particular). Informative, inspiring and funny, too.

Mar 02, 2013
  • SPL_Laura rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I've read a lot of books by runners and triathletes and this book remains a favourite. It changed the way I thought about the mind body connection when I run and gave me the motivation to train for my first full marathon. Read this book!

Feb 12, 2013
  • gopherguts rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

everyone is right! this is a great book! i usually don't read nonfiction, but this grabbed me right away. good writing too. inspiring.

Feb 12, 2013
  • jkrambeck rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great book about running, one of my favorites. Goes in to detail about the history of running and how long-distance running has become popular.

Aug 04, 2012
  • haPPY_FUn_baLL rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A very good read. So many interesting threads: barefoot/minimal running, persistance hunting, travelogue of remote Mexico, sports injury, etc... It leaves an impression on the reader like few books can.

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Dec 13, 2014

red_horse_677 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 15

Jun 16, 2014
  • green_tiger_1186 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

green_tiger_1186 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Feb 12, 2013
  • jkrambeck rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

jkrambeck thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Dec 18, 2009
  • FlowerFarmer rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

FlowerFarmer thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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Sep 19, 2011
  • hweinert rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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

Dec 18, 2009
  • FlowerFarmer rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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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Jun 16, 2014
  • green_tiger_1186 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

You don't stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.

Jun 16, 2014
  • green_tiger_1186 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

There are two Goddesses in your heart. The Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Wealth. Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come. So they concern themselves with chasing money. But they have it backwards. You have to give your heart to the Goddess of Wisdom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous and, follow you


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