Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

I quit running years ago when it was apparent that my knees were in serious need of new gaskets, so I wasn't sure why I should read this book, but reviews of it kept popping up, and I tend to like books about "sports," so I figured, what the heck. The author, Christopher McDougall twines a good story about the anthropological, physiological, and capitalistic history of running, set in the context of seemingly unlikely companions, ultramarathoners, and a tribe of Indians indigenous to the Copper Canyon area of Mexico, the Tarahumaras.

McDougall is a fun, funny and entertaining writer, so I found my self not really caring about the authenticity or science of his fantastical stories and flamboyant characters.

There's more to it than this, but what I came away from this read with was,
(1) The sport shoe industry is evil and responsible for all of our running injuries,
(2) If we ran barefoot like our ancestors (as our physiological evolution intended) all of our problems would be solved,
(3) There is a really interesting culture of Indians living in the wilds of Mexico that we know virtually nothing about, except that they like to get drunk and run, for days,
(4) There are actually people all over the world that run hundreds of miles, non-stop, for fun, until they nearly drop dead, or drop dead.

I laughed, I learned, I liked.



  1. I had heard about those people in Mexico who just run and run and think nothing of it. Seems like it is all in your head. My daughters both run. Adrienne is training for a marathon now and has run one successfully before. That amazed me. Kristina is training for a 10K and runs almost every day, the hotter the better. Their Dad was a runner in his younger days and his family is from Northern Mexico so not telling...maybe they have some running relatives in that tribe. They certainly didn't get it from the Dixon side of the family.

  2. Wouldn't it be an amazing coincidence of your daughters were decedents of these Indian runners from Mexico!