One of our favorite freelance writers, Christopher McDougall, is getting a lot of attention for his new book, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.
McDougall writes about a tribe of amazing distance runners in Mexico—the Tarahumara Indians—and what they know that recreational and competitive runners in the rest of the world could stand to learn.
“For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it,” according to a Random House blurb about the book. “Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence.”
One of their secrets? No running shoes. They just run barefoot.
McDougall has been on the Daily Show to talk about his book with Jon Stewart, and was the subject of a story in yesterday’s Baltimore Sun, to name just two of the many pieces of media attention he’s gotten. The book is No. 7 among hardcover nonfiction releases on this week’s New York Times best-seller list.
Chris was an Associated Press writer some years back and then became a freelancer. He wrote a number of great features for us back in the 1999–2002 range; the one that sticks out most in my mind was the tale of Norina Wolfe Bentzel ’81, an elementary-school principal in York, Pa., who fought off a machete-wielding intruder at her school one day and saved countless children’s lives in the process.
We haven’t tried to assign anything to him in recent years—he’s been busy with book projects and articles for the New York Times and others. But if we had a story that we thought he’d find appealing, I wouldn’t hesitate to give him a call and see if by any chance he’d be available. In the meantime, I’m extremely happy for him and the great success he’s having with his latest book.
Tina Hay, editor