As an injury-prone runner, Christopher McDougall was mystified by the rumors of the Tarahumara Indian tribe in Mexico, whose members were said to be able to run distances of more than 100 miles at incredible speeds. He tracked them down and studied their footwear (thin sandals) and methods, ultimately publishing Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen and concluding that modern cushioned footwear leads to many of today’s running injuries. The book is currently being adapted into a film that will star Matthew McConaughey.

Last year, McDougall also published “Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance,” which explores what makes heroes and the abilities to perform feats of physical fitness. He has also written for Men’s Health, Esquire and Outside, among other leading publications.

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