Monday, September 17, 2012

Book Review: Born To Run by Christopher McDougall

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

Author: Christopher McDougall

Publisher: Vintage/Knopf

Publication Date: May 2009

Genre: Non Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Synopsis can be found here.

Let's get one thing straight- I don't run. I may lightly jog on occasion or perhaps bolt to catch a passing ice cream truck, but run for fun? May I quote a man at the bar in Back To The Future Pt. III- "Run for Fun? What the hell kinda fun is that?"

Well, my friend, perhaps I was wrong. Because after reading Born To Run, I think of little else to do besides, well. Run.

Born to Run chronicles the adventure of the author, Chris McDougall, when he asked the simple question- Why does my foot hurt? Well, Chris, you've suffered from some very bad running injuries. So bad, in fact, most modern doctors are telling you to stay off it and stop running. But as McDougall goes deeper and deeper into the history of running, and befriending some amazing characters who will eventually compete in an ultra run of 50 miles, McDougall does the impossible. He finds a way to run, long distances, with no pain. Effortlessly.

McDougall's narrative is well done, slowly weaving an incredible story of runners, hidden tribes, Olympic games, and foreign cultures. A few times, I found myself wondering where he was going on this tangent, only to have it loop back round again in the perfect conclusion. The cast is a fun line of eccentric characters, including Scott Jerek, Jenn Shelton, and Barefoot Ted, who seek adventure in the Cooper Canyons, Mexico's remote range of mountains.

The story is so amazing, it's almost hard to believe.
It's an adventure story, a history lesson, an anthropology class and an exciting race all rolled up into one.

I listened to the audiobook in the car. The narrator was excellent. I even got my husband to listen to it! He finished the book in two days, went out to buy new five fingered running shoes, and has since started running long distances. Inspiration.

Maybe you're like me, not a runner. It doesn't matter. You'll love this book anyway.
And you may go out and get a new pair of running shoes. Maybe the five finger kind. Maybe you'll run outside a little bit.
Maybe I'll see you there.

Rating 9 Ridiculously Awesome like Cookies and Ice Cream


  1. i am not a huge non-fiction person but you make this sound so inspiring and exciting. i am not a runner either. unless someone has a chainsaw or is trying to eat my brain, i will stroll, thank you. but perhaps i will take a listen to this to see if i am inspired to move a little. thanks for the review!

  2. Who doesn't love a new pair of shoes? hehehe