Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Book Review: Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall

Hi Everyone!

It's Jen, Angela's Mom. I just finished reading a wonderful book that I highly recommend. It's called Born To Run, A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. I LOVED this book. It starts out with the authors own quest to answer the question: "Why does my foot hurt?" This question takes him deep into the Copper Canyons in Mexico where the reclusive Tarahumara Indians live. Their hobby? To run hundreds of miles in nothing more than handmade sandals for the sheer joy of it. This superhuman tribe possess uncanny health and serenity and are immune to the diseases and strife that plague our modern existence.

The book portrays a true story but it reads like an Indiana Jones novel, full of wild characters and cliffhanging action. The story climaxes with a 50 mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting Star American ultra marathon runner Scott Jurek against the top Tarahumara runner, Arnulfo Quimare. Who will win? Read and find out!

Not only did I devour this book for the quirky characters and action, but I also loved the scientific aspect. If you are a runner, do you ever get tired of well meaning folks telling you how bad running is for you? Well this book answers, once and for all, why the human body was designed, from a scientific/anthropologic aspect, to run. And not just run, but run lots of miles safely.

The book also makes a strong case for barefoot running. By the way, I am doing great on week two of my barefoot and Vibram Five Fingers hiking. My post surgery knee is progressing quite nicely and I feel my feet getting stronger due to all the stimulation they are getting!

At first I thought that I loved this book so much because I am an ultra marathon runner myself. But then I found out that it has spent many weeks on the New York Times
Best Seller List. When I went into my local bookstore to buy a copy for my running buddy Rico, the clerk told me that everyone was coming in and asking for it!

If you are looking for a great read and some inspiration to get out there and get your body in shape, Born To Run is for you. I give it five stars!

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