Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

  • by Christopher McDougall
  • Narrated by Fred Sanders
  • 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt?In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world's greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a 50-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder.With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons. Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.


What the Critics Say

"Equal parts quest, physiology treatise, and running history....[McDougall] seeks to learn the secrets of the Tarahumara the old-fashioned way: He tracks them down....The climactic race reads like a sprint....It simply makes you want to run." (Outside Magazine)
"Hugely entertaining. . . . One of the most joyful and engaging books about running to appear for many years." (The Irish Times)
A terrific ride, recommended for any athlete." (Kirkus)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Superb doesn't even do this book justice

What a great story. Not only great story, our author is major character and protagonist of and within the story. And herein lies the two major themes that make this one of the best books I have ever read.

1) Detailed and inside coverage of the Ultra Running Culture. Mexican (Tarahumara) legendary runners, strange (different/better) Americans. With a story how the two groups got together in the hidden mountains of Mexico for an EPIC race.

2) Detailed debunking of popular myths regarding running (especially useless and debilitating running shoes). As well as technical and deep mental insights of people who run and are addicted to running Ultra races.

Perhaps (I mean why not) I could run a 50 mile ultra. I mean with the help of this book I am now running 20 miles along side the Colorado River (Glenwood Canyon). When I used to groan and moan to run 6.

Finally and again the best story, documentary, training manual, inspiration extended quatrain ever anywhere.
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- Michael

Amazing read - even for non-runners

First, let me say that I hate running. HATE IT.
But after listening to this wonderfully written and masterfully read story I have actually begun the first steps of barefoot running. After listening to Christopher McDougall's adventures/misadventures in the Copper Canyons of Mexico with Caballo Blanco I have both a new-found respect and interest in running. The book itself perfectly entwines great story telling, historic & scientific discoveries, and profound human truths all associated with the "art" of running. I've rarely been so satisfied by any book - I couldn't stop listening and I miss the characters so much I'm listening again. Awesome awesome awesome.
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- Corey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-05-2009
  • Publisher: Random House Audio