Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Born to Run

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 ...

Details Born to Run

TitleBorn to Run
Release DateMay 5th, 2009
GenreNonfiction, Sports and Games, Sports, Health, Fitness, Adventure

Reviews Born to Run

  • Lena
    Let me begin this review by saying that I am not, and never have been, a runner. Despite that fact, I was surprisingly fascinated by Chrisopher McDougall's account of how his desire to run without pain started him on a quest that led him both deep into Mexico's remote Copper Canyons and human evolutionary past.Born to Run begins as an adventure story. While trying to figure out how to get his own foot to stop hurting, he saw an article about a tr...
  • Lea
    So I picked this book up, thinking it would be a cool story about this lost tribe of distance runners -- which it was -- but I got soooo much more than I bargained for.Yes, I did learn about the Tarahumara tribe, but I also learned about the biomechanics of running and how shoe manufacturers disregard runner safety in preference of turning a profit, ultramarathons and the hardcore runners who participate in them, the lawless culture of Copper Can...
  • Dougal
    I realise I'm in minority here but I really didn't enjoy this book at all. As a result of all the rave reviews I bought a copy for both myself and a friend - we were both hugely disappointed.The author, Christopher McDougall, is an American magazine correspondent and this perhaps goes someway to explain a lot of what I didn't like about the book. To begin with, it is written in a totally 'omniscient' manner, ie McDougall can see inside everyone's...
  • Aaron
    With its excessive hyperbole, convenient omissions, misleading statistics, logical inconsistencies and plain old errors, I stopped thinking about this book as actual journalism after fifty pages. Trying to read it as a novel wasn't that satisfying either because the book reads like several magazine pieces glued together rather than one continuous work. The personality profiles of Jenn and Billy and the screed against running shoes felt particular...
  • Books Ring Mah Bell
    Truly, I cannot recall the last time I read a book that I loved as much as this.Should you think this book is for serious runners alone, please think again. I am not by any means a runner. I ran track in high school, but the runs I did were short, sweet, sprints. After high school, I had a difficult time finding 200 yard dashes to race in, so I did a few 5k's... I didn't love them much at all. There was no way I was going to win a 5k, not ever. T...
  • Jeanette
    Painful as it was, I stayed with this until slightly past the halfway mark. I kept hoping I might learn more about the Tarahumara people, but it was not to be. There's very little about the Tarahumara, and almost everything about a bunch of self-absorbed, obsessive long-distance runners. I have no patience with extreme athletes. They need to strive for some balance in their lives. The sport is not everything. I also got tired of the "gee golly wo...
  • Diane
    You don't stop running because you get old; you get old because you stop running.After hearing my running friends rave about this book for years, I finally got around to reading it. And now I owe them an apology, because I had gotten so sick of being preached at about chia seeds and running barefoot and vegetarianism and ultramarathons that I have been quietly rolling my eyes whenever anyone mentioned this friggin book. But once I got into the st...
  • Nicholas Sparks
    This has to be one of my favorite books of the last few years. It's non-fiction, but it reads like a thrilling adventure, complete with a high-octane conclusion, all with a bit of science thrown in. It's a fantastic look at the sport of ultra-distance running, but trust me when I say that once you start reading, it's impossible to put down.
  • David
    While I am not a runner, I found this book to be quite engaging. I can recommend it to anyone interested in running, indigenous peoples, or wacky characters!This book is about long-distance races over rugged, desert terrain. It is about a hidden tribe, the Tarahumara, who live in the Copper Canyone area of the Sierra Madre, a remote, desert region in Mexico. The tribe is very wary of strangers. They speak their own native language. They live in a...
  • Megan Baxter
    Born To Run was okay. It's not great, it's not stellar, it's not maddening. It's okay. The writing is serviceable. The research is a little spotty, but okay for the type of book this is. It made me want to try running, just a little. That's definitely saying something. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read...
  • Dan
    A compelling read, brilliant story and fascinating subject matter, but somehow falls short of being a great book.I'm not sure where it goes wrong exactly, but for me it might have been the number of characters which I struggled to keep track of, the slightly preachy tone of the anti-shoe chapters (persuasive though they are) or the negative coverage of apparently less worthy ultra runners who dared to accept sponsorship or promote their own books...
  • Suanne Laqueur
    I am not a runner. I hate to run. I would rather die than run. I have zero interest in ever becoming a runner. Yet I've read this book three times. It's about so much more than running. It's interesting as hell, funny as fuck, engrossing, fascinating... I will read it again. You could say I will go running back to it. Many times.
  • Kwesi 章英狮
    I'm not born to be a runner, but God given us something to run. Since elementary or let me say since the day I was born, I'm not really into running. I'm weak physically but I can do things simple and I can play table tennis, more than that, I'm like a weakling of our generation. I always ask myself, what does it feels to be running in a field or grass and flowers or in a place where orange sand, cactus and animals that spits poison can be found?...
  • La Petite Américaine
    "Just move your legs. Because if you don't think you were born to run, you're not only denying history. You're denying who you are." --Born to Run. This book is really, really simple. If you're not a runner, the book will entertain you like the best of any of Krakauer's stories. If you do run, it will change your life. Actually, if you don't run and this book doesn't change your life, something is wrong with you. The "I can't run because of my kn...
  • George K.
    Τα τελευταία έξι χρόνια (ουσιαστικά από τότε που τελείωσα το Λύκειο δηλαδή) τρέχω σε σταθερή βάση, τουλάχιστον τέσσερις φορές την εβδομάδα. Και όταν λέω τρέχω, δεν εννοώ το χαλαρό τζόκινγκ, αλλά κανονικό τρέξιμο, δεκάδες χιλιόμετρα τη εβδομάδα, με ...
  • Andy Miller
    My only complaint was that the book was too short, or that it was so interesting and well written that I read it too fast or that I liked the characters so much that I wanted to go out for a run and have a beer with themBook is written by a runner whose legs are beat up and told he shouldn't run anymore. He researchs alternatives and learns about the Tahahumara Indians who live in the remote and inaccessible copper canyon in Mexico.One of my favo...
  • Mike
    Oh man, did this book stink. In the words of Eric Cartman, "Goddamn hippies!" This book was a weird mixup of topics: Mexican-Indian runners, American ultrarunners, humans evolution is based on running, running shoes are bad for you, salad for breakfast is the way to go, Nike is evil, everything in life would be better if we all ran way more, etc... You get the idea. I think I would have liked this book if it had been an history of the Mexican tri...
  • Laura Avellaneda-Cruz
    Written in 2015: I read and wrote the review below in 2012. Since then, I've given it some more thought and had a few years now of running in huaraches (when trail conditions permit). My personal, anecdotal experience is that huaraches do make my recurrent ankle pain way less of a problem, and it just feels good. But I wear trails shoes when the trails have lots of little rocks. Also, I am still --and now, more -- annoyed at how little depth we g...
  • Jason
    Born to Run is one of the most compelling books I've read in the last few years. And without a doubt, chapter 28 is THE most compelling 30 pages of non-fiction I've read in 8 years.I'm not a runner. But reading this book dumped the same endorphins into my veins that marathoners get at mile 24, leaving me with a runner's 'high.' It also left me with a nasty distaste of athletic shoe companies for wielding the biggest scam in the market bonanza of ...
  • Karen
    Interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying. The author writes from a "seller" perspective--he's trying to drum up business for his writing. There were several points in the book where I was completely convinced he was going to tell me to purchase Tahitian Noni drinks, or other nonsense. The story felt very sensationalized and pick-and-choose for the points that will help the book. Yes, he gave us several examples, but many times the examples seemed...
  • Rick
    McDougall is a journalist, a former war correspondent and current feature writer on extreme sports, like ultra-marathons. Born to Run has the virtues and faults of feature magazine writing, particularly when articles are either exploded to book length or several with thematic links are knitted together to comprise a single book. The book is by turns fascinating and aggravating. Part of the problem is McDougall’s tendency to hyperbole, which giv...
  • Heidi The Hippie Reader
    My running club recommended this read and I'm so glad that they did. It was informative, entertaining, and inspirational. Not only did it make me want to be a better runner, Born to Run left me with the feeling that it is mankind's destiny to be runners.Some bits that I want to remember:The author was getting running lessons from a mysterious ultra marathon runner in Mexico: "Think easy, light, smooth, and fast. You start with easy, because if t...
  • Brooke
    This book was so awesome that it almost made me want look at running as something other than torture, and then once I could do that, to start running for fun. Almost.There are a lot of derails (or seeming derails) in this book. So the continuity of the story gets lost semi-regularly. However, the derails are always interesting material, and almost always tie back into the overarching story really well in the end.
  • Steve
    This reminded me of one of those great human interest stories you might have stumbled upon in Sports Illustrated back in its heyday. The personalities were interesting, the pace was good, and the fact that it’s a fringe sport made it all the more fascinating. Hundred mile ultras at altitude are bound to attract an odd cast of characters. To the preternaturally persistent nut cases on the US side add a remote tribe of corn beer-quaffing, peace-l...
  • Todd Johnson
    This book got meh-to-negative reviews from multiple friends of mine. But it also got raves from some people, and it's a phenomenon, and I have Audible credits to burn, so I "read" it.The narrative bits are entertaining. When he as a series of events that he witnessed to recount, McDougall is a second-rate Krakauer and it works just fine. I burned through all 11 hours of the book in a work week, because the stories are compelling. Whenever McDouga...
  • Sofia
    Até há bem pouco tempo, detestava correr. Contudo, há mais ou menos 8 meses, comecei a fazer uns kms e a interessar-me pelo assunto. E foi assim que tomei conhecimento que a Ultra Trail Cerro Rojo, uma ultramaratona de 80 km, em que participaram atletas de 12 países, com as suas sapatilhas xpto e os seus gadgets, foi vencida por uma jovem tarahumara, uma tribo do méxico, que corre de sandálias e que me fazia lembrar o pessoal da terra:Depoi...
  • Annie
    I have reached a point in my life where I can say that I actually like running. Some days, I even LOVE it. This book is filled with colorful characters, races, and topics surrounding this activity. A journalist begins running and is plagued with some running injuries. After being told by two sports medicine doctors that his best option would be to quit, Christopher McDougall stubbornly chooses another path. He tries to find the Tarahumura, a supe...
  • JulesQ
    My four-star rating is actually a 7 on a 10-point scale, which is the composite score from my three ratings of it, my rating as an aspiring runner, its rating as a story, and its rating as journalism/non-fiction.As a runner, I give this book a solid 10. By the end of it I was so inspired about running that I wanted to just go and run 50 miles right out the gate. I'm not even kidding (however, I thought better of that and decided to stick to my 3-...
  • Virgilio Pigliucci
    During my last interview at Goodreads I had the pleasure of meeting Otis via Skype.... and when He asked what my favorite read was I said: Born To Run.This should be enough to explain my enthusiasm for this book but here it comes my review.The very beginning of the book might be a bit confusing, the narrative is pretty scattered and for an avid Triathlete/Runner that I am It did not sound as fun to read.After the first chapters though the book pi...