Born to Run started with McDougall asking a simple question, "Why does my foot hurt?". This question lead him on a crazy journey to the Copper Canyons in Mexico, where the Tarahumara Indians live. The Tarahumara are a tribe of super-athletes who have, for hundreds of years, been running hundreds of miles without stopping. They run on some of the roughest terrain on Earth and they do it practically barefoot. In addition, they are incredibly healthy, immune to diseases that spread like wildfire in today's society. Along the way, McDougall meets an eccentric cast of characters, most of whom join him in running a 50 mile ultra in the middle of Tarahumara country. The race puts the tribe against a very unqiue group of Americans; think "surfer", "barefoot running enthusiast", and "ultramarathon star".
While the first few chapters go by a bit slowly, I highly suggest you keep on reading, especially if you are a runner yourself. In addition to the loads of information and facts you'll read, there are plenty of tips to pick up and try out for yourself. There is information about nutrition and proper form as well as great stories and facts about marathons and ultramarathons. McDougall also explains that ultrarunning is the only sport that women can compete toe-to-toe alongside men. In fact, the longer the distance of the race, the more likely a woman will win. Take that men! There is a good amount of information on shoes and how all these fancy fluffy shoes give our feet the problems they have rather than correcting them. As well, great information about barefoot or minimal running as well. I'm not sure I'm ready to dive into minimal running just yet, but maybe soon!
I highly recommend this book for anybody who is a runner or even interested in running. Or maybe you are just a big non-fiction nerd and want to learn more! In the mean time, there is a good interview on Amazon with McDougall which you can read here.