[She] insisted, running was romantic; and no, of course her friends didn’t get it because they’d never broken through. For them, running was a miserable two miles motivated solely by size 6 jeans: get on the scale, get depressed, get your headphones on, and get it over with. But you can’t muscle through a five-hour run that way; you have to relax into it, like easing your body into a hot bath, until it no longer resists the shock and begins to enjoy it.
—  "Born to Run" Christopher McDougall

In the Copper Canyons of Mexico there is a tribe of Native Americans called the Tarahumara Indians who are renown for their athletic abilities, especially in long distance running.

This hidden tribe of superathletes have developed a tradition of long distance running up to 200 miles (320km) in one session. There are reports of Tarahumara runners who ran 696km in one stretch.

In 1993, the Leadville Trail 100 ultramarathon organisers brought in five Tarahumara runners to compete with the world’s best endurance athletes. The winner was 52 year old Tarahumaran named Victoriano. He beat the first non-Tarahumaran finisher by a full hour.

Experts agree that the human body is a machine built to run, and that this amazing super tribe represents the hunter gatherer instinct in us.

Read more about the Tarahumara Indians here.

Born to Run

A few weeks ago up in Maine, myself and PT’s family went into a used book store where I found the book Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall. I read about it in Runner’s World and No Meat Athlete's blog, and decided to pick it up. 

I started reading it this past weekend and am about half way through so far. The main storyline follows the peaceful Tarahumara tribes in rural Mexico down in the Copper Canyons. Why? Because they are superathletes. They run hundreds of miles at a time. They have races among each other that last for well over 24 hours and span the deadly canyons. The catch? These runners run in sandals. This book dives into why these people are such amazing runners and why so many of us can’t quite keep up. Fascinating book so far. Definitely recommend it for runners and non-runners alike. If anything it’s a good anthropological read of some pretty amazing people. 


(Own photo)

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.