Born to Run. Unplugged.

You are almost certainly familiar with the Bruce Springsteen hit, “Born to Run.” It’s also the title of the most entertaining book I’ve read all year. Ostensibly, this is Christopher McDougall’s tale of the Tarahumara runners from Mexico. But the story digresses into essays on running biomechanics, running shoe history and the climactic account of an ultramarathon race in which Christopher is one of the competitors. He tells the story with the help of a nutty cast of memorable characters who are so original that I found myself Googling them to make sure they actually exist (they do). It sounds all over the place, and it is, but the narrative is beautifully woven together into a page turning gem. Anyone who has ever laced up a pair of running shoes should consider this a must-read.

Which brings me to the point: Christopher McDougall himself is speaking here in LA on Wednesday night. Take this opportunity to hear a passage read by the author. And pick up a signed copy while you’re at it.

WHAT: Author reading & signing
Refreshments provided.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 14th at 7pm

WHERE: Traveler’s Bookcase
8375 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(limited parking in back)


Grassroots endurance

I had the privilege this weekend to take part in the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race. Not as a participant, but as a crew member for my brother, John. This race has all the qualities of a great endurance event: committed and enthusiastic participants, an infectious spirit of fun, and a hard, hard test of personal fortitude. How about 32 miles on a paddleboard from Catalina to Manhattan Beach? The winner, Tyler Anderson, finished in just over 5 hours. Amazing. But even cooler, for me, was the pre-race competitor’s “meeting,” which was in fact a low key beach barbecue with a cooler full of beer. Most of us slept on our chase boats the night before the race. When all of the competitors paddled into the beach at 5 am before the start, there was a huge bonfire burning to keep everyone warm. At the finish line, a large crowd was cheering on all the paddlers as the exited the water next to the Manhattan Beach Pier. My brother had an impressive race, and all five of us on the chase boat had one of the most enjoyable weekends we could remember.


SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015