Born to Run

by Paolo Lim

A couple of very nice lines from Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.

  • A wanderer who’d go anywhere but fit in nowhere, must live inside his own head and rarely hear his own voice.
  • 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.
  • To the Tarahumara, asking direct questions is a show of force, a demand for a possession inside their head.
  • Make friends with pain, and you will never be alone. -Ken Chlouber
  • You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.
  • Ultrarunners had no reason to cheat, because they had nothing to gain: no fame, no wealth, no medals. No one knew who they were, or cared who won their strange rambles through the woods. They didn’t even get prize money; all you get for winning an ultra is the same belt buckle as the guy who comes in last.
  • That was the real secret of the Tarahumara: they’d never forgotten what it felt like to love running. They remembered that running was mankind’s first fine art, our original act of inspired creation. Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain.
  • No wonder so many people hated running; if you thought it was only a means to an end – an investment in becoming faster, skinnier, richer – then why stick with it if you weren’t getting enough quo for your quid?
  • Ask nothing from your running, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.
  • Living on the edge wasn’t about danger, he realized. It was about curiosity; audacious curiosity.
  • If you’re going to try, go all the way.
  • Nothing works out according to plan, but it always works out.


Paolo Granada Lim is a programmer and runner based in Cebu City, Philippines. He currently works at He writes about life, work, music, books and travel, among others, at


  1. 10 Books: On Running, Adventure, Endurance Sports, & Others | Running stories in Cebu and around Philippines - Runroo - 7 October, 2014

    […] sports-related books, that “I read and like” so this is very subjective. 1. “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougal. This book can be judged as hyped and overrated. But it’s probably the book about running […]

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