Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, or commonly referred to as Born to Run, is a 2009 best-selling ethnography written by the American author and journalist Christopher McDougall. The book has sold over three million copies.
In Born to Run, McDougall tracks down members of the reclusive Tarahumara Native Mexican tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons. After being repeatedly injured as a runner himself, McDougall marvels at the tribe's ability to run ultra distances (over 100 miles) at incredible speeds, without getting the routine injuries of most American runners. The book has received attention in the sporting world for McDougall's description of how he overcame injuries by modeling his running after the Tarahumara. He asserts that modern cushioned running shoes are a major cause of running injury, pointing to the thin sandals worn by Tarahumara runners, and the explosion of running-related injuries since the introduction of modern running shoes in 1972.
Alongside his research into the Tarahumara, McDougall delves into why the human species, unique among other primates, has developed traits for endurance running. He promotes the endurance running hypothesis, arguing that humans left the forests and moved to the savannas by developing the ability to run long distances in order to literally run down prey.
McDougall also has received critical praise for his rich story-telling and the many quirky characters portrayed in the book, including not only the Tarahumara but exceptional Western runners who share the Tarahumara spirit of running for enjoyment and spiritual experience. His action-packed writing style kept the book on the New York Times Best Seller List for more than four months, although it was criticized by book critic Dan Zak of the Washington Post for what he thought were extraneous efforts to be "gonzo and overly clever."
A film adaptation is in the works from LD Entertainment, and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Deb Newmyer. In 2015 it was reported that Matthew McConaughey will be starring and that Matthew Michael Carnahan will write the screenplay.
- Micah True, an ultrarunner who appears in the book under his nickname "Caballo Blanco"
- Scott Jurek
- Jenn Shelton
- Ann Trason
- Persistence hunting
- McDougall, Christopher. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. Knopf. p. 304. ISBN 0-307-26630-3.
- Parker-Pope, Tara. "The Human Body is Built for Distance." Well, The New York Times, October 26, 2009.
- Zak, Dan. "Running, the Natural Way." Washington Post. June 21, 2009.
- Matthew McConaughey born to run in upcoming Native American drama January 29, 2015 The Guardian Retrieved May 5, 2015