loulamac’s #CBRV review #17: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

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I’m not just a runner, I’m an evangelical proselytising runner. In my world everyone has a marathon in them, running is so great everyone should do it. Turns out I’m right!

Chris MacDougal was plagued with afflictions common to modern runners, and was told by a myriad of orthopaedic surgeons and physiological specialists that running was just bad for him. Not willing to accept his fate and go back to his sofa, MacDougal went on a physical and emotional journey that took in the extreme and eccentric world of ultra-running, meeting runners as varied as surfer chick Jen Shelton and American-gone-native Caballo Blanco, on his quest to run with the legendary Tarahumara Indians of north-western Mexico.

What? You say you’re not a runner? You should still read this book. It’s a fascinating study of the evolution of humans, why the ‘Running Man’ survived when Cro-Magnon  man died out, how humans can out-run any other animal on earth, and why if you don’t have a kind heart you probably won’t ever love running. The stats presented on how fitness has declined in twentieth and twenty-first century America, and how the running shoe industry has helped create endemic plantar fasciitis, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis et al are shocking.

Runner or not, if by the end of this book you’re not itching to put on your shorts, get outside and feel the wind in your hair, there’s something wrong with you.

Katie′s #CBR5 Review #5: Strides by Benjamin Cheever

Title: Strides: Running Through History with an Unlikely Athelete
Author: Benjamin Cheever
Source: library
Rating: 
Fun Fact: There is a marathon through the Médoc region of France where wine is served at the water stops.
Review Summary: A little choppy and light on the history, but still a fun read with both moving and humorous stories about running.

The subtitle of this book is a little misleading. There are some stories about running throughout history, but they’re almost all purely anecdotal. There are a few citations at the back, but they’re fairly sparse, and much of the history is actually myth. I would describe it more as a musing on running, comprising many humorous and touching anecdotes about the author’s experience with the sport. This includes everything from doing a 10-K in Baghdad to participating in the wine-drinking marathon mentioned above.

Read more at Doing Dewey…