Friday, January 29, 2010

What We're Reading: Born to Run

There are some books you know you'll love from the very first perfect sentence. That is Born to Run for me, when author Christopher McDougall opens with the simple but mysterious statement: "For days, I'd been searching Mexico's Sierra Madre for the phantom known as Caballo Blanco - the White Horse." From then on, he never fails to disappoint in a narrative that is captivating and writing that is masterful and stripped down to its essence. It is the tale of ultrarunners, who are often unique characters and passionate about their sport. It's also about the reclusive and peaceful tribe, the Tarahumara, that live and run within the inhospitable Copper Canyons - a dangerous and lawless region where death awaits at the hands of nature herself or the Mexican drug lords who dwell in the nearby towns. Finally, it is the science of running - why we pour hundreds of dollars into shoes that may be our worst enemy when pounding the pavement, and why we may in fact be made to run. I love books that can take a topic that I would normally find dull or unpleasant, like running, and make it into something exciting and pleasurable. It's definitely one of my favorite books of 2009, if not all time.

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