Monday, September 7, 2009

Running Resurgence? "Born to Run" leads the Race

Jason and I were talking about how running seems to be hot again. We've got Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall, a May title that has been on our nonfiction hardcover bestseller list for the past three weeks. It's about the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, perhaps the best endurance athletes in the world, and folks love it. Seems to hit that adventure sweet spot, which is usually reserved for climbers and sailors.

Then there's Danny Dreyer's Chi Running, which while not throwing out bestseller numbers, is selling through regularly. It adapts the philosophy of things like t'ai chi and yoga to running, or something like that.

And we've just gotten in Murakami's What I Talk about When I Talk About Running, now in paperback, the running/writing manual that Schwartz did so well with in hardcover.

It's almost like the golden days of Jim Fixx's Complete Book of Running and George Sheehan's Running and Being.

Which brings me to that recent article in the New York Times about the hottest thing in running, going barefoot. I'd like to give a nod to my late father, who was famous among the New York runners, well at least those at the Eastern Queens YMCA, for running without shoes or socks, even in winter. Of course, he was more like a jogger than a runner (jogging sounds so seventies, doesn't it?), but the idea still holds.

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