McDougall, Christopher. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
Reason read: A trip to Mexico deserves a book about something that takes place in Mexico.
Ann Trason. The Tarahumara runners. Caballo Blanco. Scott Jurek. These names spark my running imagination. Then there is Mexico and the allure of a different country’s culture. Christopher McDougall writes as if he has stepped beside you in the middle of a twenty mile run and launches into telling you of his adventures in the jungles of Mexico chasing the mythology of Gordy Ainsleigh. His tone is casual, conversational, and warm. The reporting reporter has been left behind for the moment, but he has an ulterior motive. Yes, he will tell you about a race you have probably never heard of, and he’ll talk about people you are vaguely familiar with, but what he really wants to do is tell you about barefoot running. As a long-distance runner he was always injured. He learned of the Tarahumara runners and how they ran with only thin sandals, but they never knew a single injury.
As an aside, I was taken aback by the information in Chapter 25: expensive, high-tech running shoes do not save runners from injuries; in fact, they may be the cause of them. Is there truth to the theory that foot control is king, so the thinner the sole, the better? That would make sense if your foot strike changes with every shoe. It’s the reason why I rotate four pair of shoes.
As an aside, I have always been curious about the Leadville 100 so it was nice to learn a little of the history behind this historic race.
On a personal note, I could relate to Christopher when Dr. Torg told him to take up cycling instead of running. Dr. John told me to take up swimming instead of running when I hurt my knee.
Author fact: McDougall has his own website here. You can find videos about Born to Run.
Book trivia: There is a Born to Run 2 book out there somewhere. I think it supposed to be a training guide.
Playlist: the Beatles, Valentin Elizalde, Zayda Pena of “Zayda y Los Cupables”, “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”, Christina Aguilera, Charlie Parker, and “Strangelove”,
Nancy said: Pearl said Born to Run is a must-read for runners.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go on the chapter called “Postcards From Mexico” (p 184).