Runningbecomes way of life

TITLE: Born To Run

TITLE: Born To Run

AUTHOR: ChristopherMcDougall

PUBLISHERS: Profile Books

REVIEWER: Don Makatile

"I'D GET up at four-thirty in the morning, run twenty miles, and it would be a beautiful thing.

"Then I'd work all day and want to feel that way again. So I'd go home, drink a beer, eat some beans, and run some more."

You'd think this was the strict regimen of a professional athlete. No, this is a way of life for Micah True, otherwise known as Caballo Blanco - the white horse.

Blanco is a fugitive who chose to live among an ancient tribe called the Tarahumara in the jungles of Mexico.

The Tarahumara, the writer finds, are a lithe-bodied people to whom running vast distances comes naturally. Legend is that they can outrun the cheetah!

But unlike the Kenyans who have made this natural talent into a sporting cash-cow, the Tarahumara think of running as a way of life, not to be milked.

The writer is a runner himself who has contributed to such titles as Men's Health and Esquire, among others.

The quest to find these people is preceded by an injury that leads the writer to the rooms of a sports-medicine specialist who tells him his body wasn't designed to take the sort of punishment he was subjecting it to by running.

On assignment for Runner's World, the writer treks into the belly of the Mexican jungle in search of the Tarahumara, an invisible people "who still live in Cliffside caves reachable only by long climbing poles; once inside, they pull up the poles and vanish into the rock."

Written in good language, the search is fascinating and the discovery aweinspiring.