This book explores so many issues and somehow wraps them together into a mostly logical account of a race with the best runners of the Tarahumara tribe.
The main thread of the book is the creation of a 50 mile footrace in Mexico’s Copper Canyon in hopes of pitting the best of this running tribe against a few of the best ultrarunners of the US. The real result of the race is a comparison of culture and attitude towards running, which the Tarahumara win, hands down.
The other topics that MacDougall dives into include corruption of the Tarahumara tribe, barefoot running, shoe-related running injuries, the Leadville 100 race and the celeb-gossip accounts of the various characters who show up for this race.
I am not keen on MacDougall’s hyped-up style of writing and his attempt to over-glamorize the sport, but it was refreshing to read about ultrarunning in a non-techinical context.