Molly'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
Sep 23, 2012

it was amazing
Read in September, 2012

I kid you not-- one of the best books I have ever read. McDougall begins with the Tarahumara Indians, a tribe in Mexico that is known to run extremely long distances (50-100+ miles) with very few injuries. He then spends the majority of the book leading up to a race between the Tarahumara and a group of elite United States Ultrarunners (an ultramamarathon is any race longer than a marathon, typically also 50-100 miles), interspersing the story of the build-up to the race with information such as the history of the running shoe; the benefits of barefoot running; and biological/genetic information that strongly makes the case that humans not only *can* run long distances, but that we are BIOLOGICALLY WIRED to do so. In fact, the human race only survived because our ancestors were able to spend hours running down prey who could run faster, but not as far: "If you don't believe humans are born to run, you're not just denying history. You're denying who you are."

It's all incredibly inspiring. As a runner, I get a lot of support from some friends; however, I also hear a lot from critics who believe that running is harder on your body than it is beneficial, and who caution the wisdom of running longer distances. It was great to read that distance running is, in fact, what we are all supposed to be doing. I read this with other book club members, and even those who don't run said they found it inspiring; they may not run, but it encouraged them to try their hardest at whatever they are interested in and to take chances.

I thought it was amazing and would highly recommend it.

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