Kerry's Reviews > Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
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's review
Jan 25, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: adventure, favorites, health, nonfiction, science

Born to Run is one of the most captivating, informative, and inspirational books I have ever read! It covers a dizzying array of subjects: history, philosophy, anthropology, nutrition, geography, physiology, (the dark side of) business, biographies (of ultrarunning legends), and more. Ultimately, it is a story of adventure, discovery, and way of life.

The highlights include how humans are designed by natural selection to be long distance runners, how modern shoes contribute to running injuries, and how nutrition is important to running. In addition to making science and running tips interesting, the book is full of amazing stories about ultrarunning (e.g., the Leadville 100 Race), and anecdotes of colorful characters, such as Caballo Blanco, the enigmatic fighter-turned-runner; Jenn Shelton, the school teacher/ultrarunner; Barefoot Ted (a bit of a nutcase I think); and of course, the Tarahumara, the “running people”, aka “The Hidden Tribe.”

I have to admit, as interesting/idealistic as the Tarahumaras seem to be, some of their “secrets” sound a bit faddish. Chia is the super energy food? Well, I guess I’d better stock up! Tarahumara beer? Surely available at Whole Foods? I am now as skeptical about nutritional supplements as about running shoes. The whole supplements industry sounds like another giant big scam pushing pills with every far-fetched claim you can imagine, while the placebo effect might work just as well.

Inspired by this book, I am ready to embark on the vegetarian diet (again), and can’t wait for fairer weather to come when I can run outside again (too bad I lost easy access to trails after my move)!
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