Book review of “Born to Run”

Running. You either love it or hate it. I personally fall into the “I love how it makes me afterwards but I hate every second of it” camp. A friend recommended that I check out a book called “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall because “it’s the best book ever!”

I was skeptical at first. A book about running? How amazing can it really be? I decided to give it a try anyways and I’m glad I did! My outlook on running has completely changed thanks to McDougall’s unique and creative writing style. Here’s the 411, the scoop, the low down, about all things “Born to Run.”

McDougall embarked on this journey because of one question: “How come my foot hurts?” Cortisone shots, custom-made orthotics, motion-control running shoes, nothing seemed to cure the sudden onset of pain in his foot when running. After one of the top sports-medicine specialists recommended “stop running,” McDougall decided to research the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico. The Tarahumara reside in the Copper Canyons, a treacherous place in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. They are superathletes who can run extreme distances, up to 50-miles a day! The Tarahumara live on pinola, chia seeds and grain alcohol. They run practically barefoot, in sandals with straps tied around the ankle but they rarely suffer running injuries. These superathletes boggle the minds of American’s who struggle to run three miles in custom made orthotics and high-tech sneakers. McDougall probes the question: Do we really need all of that “stuff?” When it comes to running, less may be more. The Tarahumara have simple but effective running mechanics. They run in an upright position, with their heels flicking behind. “Born to Run” describes the history and physiology behind running, with many stories entangled within the book. McDougall is relatable, as the injury-prone runner who refuses to give up on his dreams. His research of the Tarahumara takes him deep into the Copper Canyons, where he meets an extraordinary character named “Caballo Blanco,” the White Horse. Together, they create one of the most mind-blowing ultramarathon races ever. The book builds up to this moment (I won’t spoil it for you!) and intertwines several other equally mind-blowing races like the Leadville Trail 100 ultramarathon.

If you are looking for inspiration, I highly recommended this book! After finishing “Born to Run,” I ran three miles and actually ENJOYED it! It’s amazing how reading something can change your entire perspective.