It’s taken me entirely too long to finish this book. It’s not for lack of interest, believe me, but rather from lack of time (work reading trumps pleasure reading every time). Back in May, I attended Chris McDougall’s event for Born to Run with Cowboy Hazel–you will all remember I was still pretty freaking injured and not running at all. This is what Chris wrote in my copy of the book:
To TK and her flying pigtails–
With this book may your hamstring troubles disappear. “Running is magic.”
Well, look at that. Chris’s book kept me company through Recovery #1 and Recovery #2. Just this week I decided I was okay enough to go through with my first endurance event since February. I like that timing.
Now, I didn’t read this story looking for training or performance advice. I know a bunch of folks have come away from this book feeling like McDougall is a barefot running evangelist (he is, but I doubt he’d insist it’s the only way). What I liked best about Born to Run was the people he presented–the ultrarunners, the Tarahumara, el Caballo Blanco, the scientists, the doctors, and himself. Like any talented journalist Chris drew out and then captured on the page each character that played a part in his own quest to learn how to run effortlessly and without injury. By the end of his book, I wanted to be a part of his band of Mas Locos. Also appealing to me were the notions that running is the basis for our humanity; running is free, freedom, and freeing; running is about connection and escape; running makes us better people. Sure it’s all a little bit romantic, sure it’s all a little bit crunchy–but Chris is writing about ultrarunners here, not your standard track stars. And, as a professional in the book publishing industry who notices these sorts of things, I must add that Chris’s acknowledgements are a lot of fun, too.
I also posted a separate review on Goodreads. And, many other bloggers and podcasters have reviewed Born to Run, here are the links:
- Dump Runners Club (ep 136)
- Brandon’s Marathon (ep 50)
- Run Westchester
- Adventures of Cowboy Hazel
- Run Ansky Run
- Barefoot Ted (one of the characters in Chris’s book)
- A Trail Runner’s Blog
- Cool Adventure Girls (PF: I’m adventurous in a different sort of way)