9780307279187

Born to Run

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780307279187

  • ISBN10:

    0307279189

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 3/29/2011
  • Publisher: Vintage

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Summary

An epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt?

Isolated by Mexico's deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets.

In the process, he takes his readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe.

McDougall’s incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.

Author Biography

Christopher McDougall is a former war correspondent for the Associated Press and is now a contributing editor for Men’s Health. A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, he has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Men’s Journal, and New York. He does his own running among the Amish farms around his home in rural Pennsylvania.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts

To live with ghosts requires solitude.
—Anne Michaels,Fugitive Pieces


FOR DAYS, I’d been searching Mexico’s Sierra Madre for the phantom known asCaballo Blanco—the White Horse. I’d finally arrived at the end of the trail, in the last place I expected to find him—not deep in the wilderness he was said to haunt, but in the dim lobby of an old hotel on the edge of a dusty desert town. “Sí, El Caballo está,” the desk clerk said, nodding. Yes, the Horse is here.

“For real?” After hearing that I’djustmissed him so many times, in so many bizarre locations, I’d begun to suspect that Caballo Blanco was nothing more than a fairy tale, a local Loch Nessmons - truodreamed up to spook the kids and fool gullible gringos.

“He’s always back by five,” the clerk added. “It’s like a ritual.” I didn’t know whether to hug her in relief or high- five her in triumph. I checked my watch. That meant I’d actually lay eyes on the ghost in less than . . . hang on.

“But it’s already after six.”

The clerk shrugged. “Maybe he’s gone away.”

I sagged into an ancient sofa. I was filthy, famished, and defeated. I was exhausted, and so were my leads.

Some said Caballo Blanco was a fugitive; others heard he was a boxer who’d run off to punish himself after beating a man to death in the ring. No one knew his name, or age, or where he was from. He was like some Old West gunslinger whose only traces were tall tales
and a whiff of cigarillo smoke. Descriptions and sightings were all over the map; villagers who lived impossible distances apart swore they’d seen him traveling on foot on the same day, and described him on a scale that swung wildly from “funny andsimpático” to “freaky
and gigantic.”

But in all versions of the Caballo Blanco legend, certain basic details were always the same: He’d come to Mexico years ago and trekked deep into the wild, impenetrable Barrancas del Cobre—the Copper Canyons—to live among the Tarahumara, a near- mythical tribe of Stone Age superathletes. The Tarahumara (pronounced Spanish- style by swallowing the “h”: Tara- oo- mara) may be the healthiest and most serene people on earth, and the greatest runners of all time.

When it comes to ultradistances, nothing can beat a Tarahumara runner—not a racehorse, not a cheetah, not an Olympic marathoner.
Very few outsiders have ever seen the Tarahumara in action, but amazing stories of their superhuman toughness and tranquillity have drifted out of the canyons for centuries. One explorer swore he saw a Tarahumara catch a deer with his bare hands, chasing the bounding animal until it finally dropped dead from exhaustion, “its hoofs falling off.” Another adventurer spent ten hours climbing up and
over a Copper Canyon mountain by mule; a Tarahumara runner made the same trip in ninety minutes.

“Try this,” a Tarahumara woman once told an exhausted explorer who’d collapsed at the base of a mountain. She handed him a gourd full of a murky liquid. He swallowed a few gulps, and was amazed to feel new energy pulsing in his veins. He got to his feet and scaled the peak like an overcaffeinated Sherpa. The Tarahumara, the explorer would later report, also guarded the recipe to a special energy food
that leaves them trim, powerful, and unstoppable: a few mouthfuls packed enough nutritional punch to let them run all day without rest.

But whatever secrets the Tarahumara are hiding, they’ve hidden them well. To this day, the Tarahumara live in the side of cliffs higher than a hawk’s nest in a land few have ever seen. The Barrancas are a lost world in the most remote wilderness in North America,

Excerpted from Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Fascinating even if you don't run April 17, 2011
by
If you are not a runner, this is just a great read, well crafted and engaging. If you are a runner, it's valuable and wildly entertaining. And if you're a runner who, like me, has suffered from chronic injuries, it's simply indispensable.
The way that McDougall weaves this tapestry of victory and defeat is spellbinding, and the fact that the whole thing reads like one long, fascinating magazine article makes it a real page turner. McDougall's writing style is fantastic, blending poetic insight with irreverent humor. The combination is something nothing short of inspirational. Born to Run is one of the most important textbooks I've read in recent years, and I truly hope its popularity will stimulate greater interest in the most pure and natural of all sports. I highly recommend this cheap textbook, I rate the seller 5 stars and I plan to buy from ecampus again in the future.
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Born to Run: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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