Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen Paperback – 15 Apr 2010
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Quite simply the best book you'll ever read about running - it's brilliant, and brilliantly life-affirming. (Lloyd Bradley, author of The Rough Guide to Running)
A classic ... in ultrarunners McDougall uncovers a tribe worthy of the pioneering drifters that fired the American spirit, and in McDougall ultrarunners have found their own Kerouac or Krakauer. (Tim Butcher, author of Blood River)
Reaches the state of bliss that runners very occasionally experience in the midst of an endless run. (Simon Kuper FT)
Fascinating stuff, particularly for anyone who's ever been frustrated by the apparently shoddy mechanics of their own running body. (Victoria Moore Daily Mail 2010-04-30)
A sensation ... a rollicking tale well told (Rick Broadbent The Times 2010-04-23)
Part how-to manual, part scientific treatise but throughout a ripping yarn, this book will inspire everyone who reads it to think on their feet. (Simon Redfern Independent on Sunday 2010-04-25)
If you're a runner, you probably won't reach the end of the first chapter without bolting for the door to get some miles behind you. (Leeds Guide 2010-04-28)
[A] major voice of a new movement. (Bernard Goldberg HBO 2010-05-20)
Good books about running are rare - Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a meditative jog compared to this blistering endurance tester - but this ranks among the strongest. (Julian Fleming Sunday Business Post 2010-05-18)
Utterly unputdownable ... a fascinating peek into the lives of the publicity-shy Tarahumara and the collection of misfits who populate the world of ultra-running ... the final race in Mexico's Copper Canyon will have you turning pages faster than Usain Bolt can run for a bus. (Natasha Young Wanderlust 2010-06-01)
'A fascinating and inspiring true adventure story ... destined to become a classic.' Ranulph Fiennes
A New York Times bestseller and word of mouth sensation.See all Product description
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As a relatively new runner I came to this book via Chris's youtube posts and ted talk. I had no idea what is was about. i can see why it is a bestseller. This is a great mix of yarn spinning and the history of human running. The research and scientific discoveries are presented in a very consumable and entertaining way.
The book just makes you want to ditch the garmin, the £100 trainers and the rest of the kit we as runners consider indispensable nowadays and just get out there wearing nothing but a smile.
If you aren't a runner at all or only an occasional runner I think you'd enjoy the story of the author's journey in Mexico to find this elusive tribe of running people and the organising of an epic 50 mile race (interesting side note, they were actually featured in Joel and Nish v The World on Comedy Central recently, so they can't be that elusive anymore).
The story of many great runners, most of them forgotten, all of them could run very long distances... Ultra-marathons in absolutely horrific terrain and conditions. There is so much good stuff in this book, I will not spoil the details. Apart from ancient tribes mentioned on the cover, there are run aways, challengers, hunters and even world famous scientists discovering how running played critical part in survival of many species, and how homo sapiens are superior in this regard. Running techniques to avoid injuries are broadly discussed in this book as well.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially non-runners. It's an easy read, stories are really absorbing, and you will definitely learn few things from it.
I would be very surprised if anybody didn't start running after reading this book.
Apart from the story itself, the bits on the evolution of humans and the science of running are really interesting. Also, the part on the facts of a foot's anatomy is helpful and informative. He also points out how a mid-foot strike point in stride is the best way to run.
On a personal note, I have always been a relatively short distance runner who constantly suffers from injury. But this book opened up my eyes to a whole new world. It was the start of my education into a new way of running. As a result, I have changed my shoes, gait and how my foot lands on the ground. And I am better for it.
This is a great book for runners and non-runners alike. I would be surprised if it didn't inspire a large percentage of readers into throwing out their trainers and giving a barefoot run a go.