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Book Review: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

“We were born to run; we were born because we run.”

If you ever decide to read a book on runners, then Born To Run should be the first in your list. Born to Run is a must-read for anyone, no matter in what stage the person is in his/her running journey. In this review, I will give some details around the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

This book changed my perception as it uncovered the fact that all human beings are designed to run. Apart from this, it changed a lot of perceptions that we normally have as runners or non-runners.

Quick Overview

Name of the book – Born to Run: The hidden tribe, the ultra-runners, and the greatest race the world has never seen.

Author – Christopher McDougall.

Number of pages – 287.

Genre – Marathon, Ultra-marathon, Sports.

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About the Author

Christopher McDougal is an American author and journalist who has written for Associated Press(as a war correspondent), Esquire, The New York Times magazine, Outside, New York, Runner’s World and a contributing editor to Men’s Health.


Born to RunWhen I started reading this book, I got instantly connected with this book as the inspiration for both the book and our blog comes from tribes.

In fact, our blog name The Running Monk was inspired by the story of  Japan’s Tendai Buddhist Monks,  popularly known as “Marathon Monks” or “Running Monks”. Equally, this book also talks about a tribe of ultra-runners called the Tarahumara from Mexico.

Quick Fact: 23 May 2017, A 22 year old Tarahumara lady named Maria Ramirez had won 50 km ultra-marathon wearing sandals, defeating 500 other runners from 12 different countries. The thing that caught attention was that she was without a hydration vest, special running shoes, Lycra or compression sleeves and without any of the gadgets used by runners today. She hailed from Tarahumara which is the epicenter of this book.

Rarámuri (meaning the one with light feet) or Tarahumara are a group of indigenous people of the Americas living in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. They are renowned for their long-distance running ability.

This book revolves around an interesting cast of characters, mainly Caballo Blanco, the now late American who moved to Mexico to live among the Tarahumara.

born to runThe author McDougall travels to Mexico to learn more about this mysterious tribe and to help Caballo Blanco organize a 50-mile race featuring some of the toughest ultrarunners in the world.

McDougall discusses on how the human foot is designed to withstand the ground impact while running and how the advent of shoes have actually increased the injury rate.

He also talks about some of the theories around homo sapiens (the first humans) on how they survived and adapted into a stronger species because of their amazing capacity to run after their prey until the animal died of exhaustion.

Final Thoughts

McDougall is an excellent writer and makes this book appealing even for those who would never consider running an ultra. Although after reading this book, your mind might be slightly changed about that subject.

Though you may never want to put yourself through the rigors of running such a long distance, you’ll at least stop thinking people who do are crazy. In fact, you might start to realize that they’re simply doing what we were all born to do.

Review Links

In case you want to refer some more book reviews, we’ve compiled few good ones for you. Check them out:

  1. Washington Post
  2. Amazon
  3. NewYoker
  4. Google Books
  5. LRobbins Hubpages
  6. Birthday Shoes
  7. A Trail Runners Blog
  8. Longevity
  9. Goodreads
  10. Street Articles

Quotes in Book

“You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.”

“We’ve got a motto here-you’re tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.”

“If you don’t have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain’t getting them.”

“Make friends with pain, and you will never be alone.~Ken Chlouber, Colorado miner and creator of the Leadville Trail 100 mile race”

“We run when we’re scared, we run when we’re ecstatic, we run away from our problems and run around for a good time.”

“Running should be free, man.”

“Running is the heart of what it means to be human.”

“Ask nothing from running and you’ll get more than you ever imagined”

“If you can run six miles on a summer day, then you, my friend, are a lethal weapon in the animal kingdom.”

“Human urine is both nutrient-rich and an effective tooth whitener”

“You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.”

Thank You

Thank You for reading it through. I hope I would have managed to grab your attention throughout the post and you are soon going to get a copy of yours. And in case, if you have already read the book, do share your thoughts with us.

Also, if you would like us to review any of your favorite book, don’t forget to mention in the comment section. We would try to brief the same in our next review.

And finally, please don’t forget to show us your love by sharing the post!


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. PoojaH

    Life inspirational story for all runners and non runners I loved reading this book and it also motivated me to RUN.

    I would just say that in our busy schedule we should keep sometime for running too …

    Keep Running Keep Inspiring

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks a lot Pooja. It is nice to know that this post has motivated you to Run. Yes, we should dedicate sometime for Running on a regular basis.

      Keep Running, Keep Inspiring. Cheers!!!

  2. Mitesh

    This post will definitely encourage me to read this book. I have seen people very close to me suffering from heart problems but now completely recovered by adding running in their workout schedule. I liked the line – “You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.”

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks a lot Mitesh. It is very nice to know that the post has encouraged you to read this book. After reading the book, I am sure that you will be motivated to Run.

      Keep Running, Keep Inspiring. Cheers!!!