Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
On the library shelves: Adult Non-fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Christopher McDougall liked to run, but he kept sustaining injuries. After visits to numerous doctors, he went on a quest of sorts to Mexico where he met the Tarahumara Indians. He was shocked to discover the tribe runs for days on end, for FUN. They are a peace-loving people with incredible stamina who run wearing sandals made from tires.
McDougall went on to research the world of ultramarathoners, learning about the personalities and drive of those who are drawn to the sport. He also investigated the science behind human running and put forward the notion that we evolved to run.
McDougall formed a special bond with an American man known as Caballo Blanco who lived among the Tarahumara. The book culminates with a race Caballo organized between some of the best ultramarathoners and the Tarahumara. Caballo Blanco died recently, making this a timely book to read and consider. Check out this article from the New York Times.
I am not a runner. Reading this book did not make me want to take up running, but I found it fascinating nonetheless. I think the science aspect was a little one-sided and I would have liked the author to have presented more about the alternative points of view. But my book club found lots of topics related to this book to discuss including physical and mental health and consumerism. I personally really enjoyed this book--part science, part memoir, part biography--and came away with lots of interesting things to think about.
Also reviewed by: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer ~ Your link here?
Watch Christopher McDougall speak at TED here:
1 minute ago