Born to Run

Born to Run

A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Book - 2009
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Quotes (17)

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j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

Sample of quotes collected:
Some said Caballo Blanco was a fugitive; others heard he was a boxer who’d run off to punish himself after beating a man to death in the ring. No one knew his name, or age, or where he was from. He was like some Old West gunslinger whose only traces were tall tales and a whiff of cigarillo smoke.
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I’d be startled to discover that the ancient saying of the Tao Te Ching—“ The best runner leaves no tracks” ... in January 2001 I asked my doctor this: “How come my foot hurts?”
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Up to eight out of every ten runners are hurt every year. It doesn’t matter if you’re heavy or thin, speedy or slow, a marathon champ or a weekend huffer, you’re just as likely as the other guy to savage your knees, shins, hamstrings, hips, or heels. Next time you line up for a Turkey Trot, look at the runners on your right and left: statistically, only one of you will be back for the Jingle Bell Jog.

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jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up,” Bannister said. “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 a lion or a gazelle— when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
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In terms of stress relief and sensual pleasure, running is what you have in your life before you have sex. The equipment and desire come factory installed; all you have to do is let ’er rip and hang on for the ride.
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Running seemed to be the fitness version of drunk driving: you could get away with it for a while, you might even have some fun, but catastrophe was waiting right around the corner.
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You know what kind of nerves are in your feet? The same ones that network into your genitals. Your feet are like a minnow bucket full of sensory neurons, all of them wriggling around in search of sensation.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

... the Copper Canyon Express, a luxury vintage train that makes whistle-stops along the rim of the Barrancas and allows tourists in air-conditioned railcars to be served by bow-tied waiters while peering at the savage country below.
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Good guys were even deadlier than the villains. Jesuit missionaries showed up with Bibles in their hands and influenza in their lungs, promising eternal life but spreading instant death. The Tarahumara had no antibodies to combat the disease, so Spanish flu spread like wildfire, wiping out entire villages in days.
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Ghosts were evil phantoms who traveled by night and galloped around on all fours, killing sheep and spitting in people’s faces. Souls of the dead, on the other hand, meant no harm and were just tidying up loose ends.
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... listening to him was like watching an art-house film in fast forward; traumas, jokes, fantasies, flashbacks, grudges, guilt over grudges, tantalizing fragments of ancient wisdom

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jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

Make friends with pain, and you will never be alone. —KEN CHLOUBER, Colorado miner and creator of the Leadville Trail 100
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Ed Williams … his favorite was one of the scariest: the notorious Leadville Trail 100, a hundred-mile ultra-marathon held in Colorado, which he’d finished twelve times and was still running at age seventy.
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So instead of a marathon, Ken created a monster. To get a sense of what he came up with, try running the Boston Marathon two times in a row with a sock stuffed in your mouth and then hike to the top of Pikes Peak. Done? Great. Now do it all again, this time with your eyes closed.
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Leadville Trail 100 boils down to: nearly four full marathons, half of them in the dark, with twin twenty-six-hundred-foot climbs smack in the middle. Leadville’s starting line is twice as high as the altitude where planes pressurize their cabins, and from there you only go up.

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jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

With Olympic running? As a sport, most track coaches ranked ultras somewhere between competitive eating and recreational S&M.
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Dean Karnazes, the self-styled Ultramarathon Man, couldn’t finish it the first two times he tried; after watching him drop out twice, the Leadville folks gave him their own nickname: “Ofer” (“O fer one, O fer two …”).
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“My friends would tell me I’m not addicted to crack, I’m addicted to endorphins,” Trason would say, and her comeback didn’t much put their minds at ease: she liked to tell them that running huge miles in the mountains was “very romantic.” Gotcha. Grueling, grimy, muddy, bloody, lonely trail-running equals moonlight and champagne.
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Ann went on to become the female champion of the Western States 100— the Super Bowl of trail-running— fourteen times, a record that spans three decades and makes Lance Armstrong, with his piddlin’ little seven Tour de France wins, look like a flash in the pan.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

Ann wasn’t smiling; she glared at Martimano as if she were a black belt and he was a stack of bricks.
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He’d wanted to learn why Russian sprinters are forbidden to run a single step in training until they can jump off a twenty-foot ladder in their bare feet, and how sixty-year-old goatherds at Machu Picchu can possibly scale the Andes on a starvation diet of yogurt and herbs, and how Japanese runners trained by Suzuki-san and Koide-san could mysteriously alchemize slow walking into fast marathons.
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an ultra is a binary equation made up of hundreds of yes/ no questions: Eat now or wait? Bomb down this hill, or throttle back and save the quads for the flats? Find out what is itching in your sock, or push on? Extreme distance magnifies every problem (a blister becomes a blood-soaked sock, a declined PowerBar becomes a woozy inability to follow trail markers), so all it takes is one wrong answer to ruin a race.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

Who’s more committed to winning, after all: predator or prey? The lion can lose and come back to hunt another day, but the antelope gets only one mistake.
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popping a blood blister between her butt cheeks with your fingernails;
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Slice the top off a ’70s running shoe, and you had a sandal: the old Adidas and Onitsuka Tigers were just a flat sole and laces, with no motion control, no arch support, no heel pad. The guys in the ’70s didn’t know enough to worry about “pronation” and “supination”; that fancy running-store jargon hadn’t even been invented yet.
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Mark Twain used to say. Zatopek found a way to run so that when he won, even other teams were delighted.
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was Zatopek a great man who happened to run, or a great man because he ran?
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“For inspiration,” the article noted, “he repeats a saying of the Tarahumara Indians: ‘When you run on the earth and run with the earth, you can run forever.’ ”

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

His nutrition strategy for an Olympic marathon hopeful was this: “Eat as though you were a poor person.”
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Caballo had gotten his Web site up, but swapping messages with him was like waiting for a note in a bottle to drift up on the beach. To check e-mail, Caballo had to run more than thirty miles over a mountain and wade through a river to the tiny town of Urique, ... its single dial-up line.
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Kerouac wrote. “Trails are like that: you’re floating along in a Shakespearean Arden paradise and expect to see nymphs and fluteboys, then suddenly you’re struggling in a hot broiling sun of hell in dust and nettles and poison oak … just like life.”
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Barefoot Ken Bob begins: Shoes block pain, not impact! Pain teaches us to run comfortably!
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“Barefoot running really appealed to my artistic eye,” Ted was saying. “This concept of bricolage— that less is more, the best solution is the most elegant. Why add something if you’re born with everything you need?”

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

“Pronation has become this very bad word, but it’s just the natural movement of the foot. The foot is supposed to pronate.”
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“Vin, what’s up with the barefooting?” they called to Stanford head coach Vin Lananna. “Didn’t we send you enough shoes?” Coach Lananna walked over to explain. “I can’t prove this,” he explained, “but I believe when my runners train barefoot, they run faster and suffer fewer injuries.”
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Make friends with pain, and you will never be alone. —KEN CHLOUBER, Colorado miner and creator of the Leadville Trail 100
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Every year, anywhere from 65 to 80 percent of all runners suffer an injury.
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PAINFUL TRUTH No. 1: The Best Shoes Are the Worst RUNNERS wearing top-of-the-line shoes are 123 percent more likely to get injured than runners in cheap shoes, according to a study led by Bernard Marti, M.D.,
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What a cruel joke: for double the price, you get double the pain.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

PAINFUL TRUTH No. 2: Feet Like a Good Beating AS FAR back as 1988, Dr. Barry Bates, the head of the University of Oregon’s Biomechanics/ Sports Medicine Laboratory, gathered data that suggested that beat-up running shoes are safer than newer ones.
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The puzzling conclusion: the more cushioned the shoe, the less protection it provides.
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FINAL PAINFUL TRUTH: Even Alan Webb Says “Human Beings Are Designed to Run Without Shoes” BEFORE Alan Webb became America’s greatest miler, he was a flat-footed frosh with awful form.
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“I was a size twelve and flat-footed, and now I’m a nine or ten. As the muscles in my feet got stronger, my arch got higher.”
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Hunkered in a valley two miles up in the Colorado Rockies, Leadville is the highest city in North America and, many days, the coldest (the fire company couldn’t ring its bell come winter, afraid it would shatter).

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

… he’d fallen victim to the most common mistake in science: the Handy Hammer Syndrome, in which the hammer in your hand makes everything look like a nail.
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One Leadville legend is Marshall Ulrich, an affable dog-food tycoon who perked up his times by having his toenails surgically removed. “They kept falling off anyway,” Marshall said.
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Even to one of Nike’s founding partners, it seemed, the words of the social critic Eric Hoffer were ringing true: “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and turns into a racket.”
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“That guy doesn’t know what silence is,” Caballo fumed. “He’s from L.A., man; he thinks you’ve got to fill every space with noise.”
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According to Dr. Robert Weinberg, a professor of cancer research at MIT and discoverer of the first tumor-suppressor gene, one in every seven cancer deaths is caused by excess body fat. The math is stark: cut the fat, and cut your cancer risk.

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Jan 03, 2017

Dr. Ruth … Her endurance increased so dramatically that within one year, she’d progressed from 10ks to marathons to the Ironman. “Even my cholesterol dropped from two hundred thirty to one hundred sixty in twenty-one days,”
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But there are two kinds of great runners: sprinters and marathoners. Maybe human running was about going far, not fast.
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“When quadrupeds run, they get stuck in a one-breath-per-locomotion cycle,” Dr. Bramble said. “But the human runners we tested never went one to one. They could pick from a number of different ratios, and generally preferred two to one.”
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Our brains kept growing until they were seven times larger than the brains of any comparable mammal. They also sucked up an ungodly number of calories; even though our brains account for only 2 percent of our body weight, they demand 20 percent of our energy, compared with just 9 percent for chimps.

j
jimg2000
Jan 03, 2017

He learned to look at piles of zebra dung and distinguish which droppings came from which animal; intestines, he discovered, have ridges and grooves that leave unique patterns on feces. Learn to tell them apart, and you can single out a zebra from an exploding herd and track it for days by its distinctive droppings.
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Even after you learn to read dirt, you ain’t learned nothing; the next level is tracking without tracks, a higher state of reasoning known in the lit as “speculative hunting.” ... Once you learn to think like another creature, you can anticipate what it will do and react before it ever acts.
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“Name any other field of athletic endeavor where sixty-four-year-olds are competing with nineteen-year-olds. Swimming? Boxing? Not even close. There’s something really weird about us humans; we’re not only really good at endurance running, we’re really good at it for a remarkably long time. We’re a machine built to run— and the machine never wears out.”

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Jan 03, 2017

Poetry, music, forests, oceans, solitude— they were what developed enormous spiritual strength. I came to realize that spirit, as much or more than physical conditioning, had to be stored up before a race. —HERB ELLIOTT, Olympic champion and world-record holder in the mile who trained in bare feet, wrote poetry, and retired undefeated
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Arnulfo wasn’t going up against a fast American. He was about to race the world’s only twenty-first-century Tarahumara.
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It was the worst! The worst-tasting urine I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. You could bottle this stuff and sell it to bring people back from the dead. I know you can drink urine, but not if it’s been heated and shaken in your kidneys for forty miles. It was a failed experiment. I wouldn’t drink that urine if it was the last liquid on planet Earth.”

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violet_tiger_224
Jun 25, 2015

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

n
nerg363
Jun 16, 2014

You don't stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.

n
nerg363
Jun 16, 2014

There are two Goddesses in your heart. The Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Wealth. Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come. So they concern themselves with chasing money. But they have it backwards. You have to give your heart to the Goddess of Wisdom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous and, follow you


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