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135 Born to Run, a Review 2009-10-09

born to Run book Jacket

A few weeks ago a running friend of mine suggested that I read "Born to Run". I was a bit skeptical and put off by his enthusiasm (he told me that I would not be able to put it down); but I purchased the book anyway. After all, how exciting could a book about running be?

It wasn’t hard for me to keep an open mind, because the book was truly captivating. I was able to put it down, but I did look forward to my nightly reading time. Christopher McDougall wove an interesting tale. The book is not necessarily for runners only; but huh, maybe it is.

The cover’s bylines or tags indicate that the book is about "the greatest race the World has ever seen." The author arranges a race between some of the top runners from the USA and runners from the Tarahumara tribe of Copper Canyon, Mexico. The race glues the story together but the book was more than a race. The story is about running and the runners.

By weaving a hypothesis throughout the book, McDougall tries to prove humans are "Born to Run". Not just the Tarahumara tribe, but all humans are born to be runners. We have an achilles tendon which enables us to run. Species of walkers do not have an achilles tendon.

And then there are the runners: the Tarahumara tribe, Caballo Blanco, Scott Jurek, and the author himself are but a few of the colorful characters of the book. The mystical Tarahumara runners were naturally, the most interesting. The tribe has no crime or enemies. They are not fighters, they are runners. I guess if one wanted to fight with a Tarahumara, one would have to chase them down first, which would be highly unlikely.

So my friend was right, "Born to Run" is a must read, that is unless you are a running shoe manufacturer. I changed my mind, the book is for runners only, because I guess we were all born to run.

Happy running trails.


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