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Oct 16, 2019

Why the Author of 'Born to Run' Trains with a Donkey

Chris McDougall and his rescue donkey Sherman (Photo: Matt Roth)
Chris McDougall

No one has had a greater influence on modern recreational running than Christopher McDougall. His 2009 book Born to Run introduced the masses to barefoot running and became a revolutionary bestseller. As a result, the multibillion-dollar running-shoe industry went through a dramatic upheaval, and today runners have a broad range of shoe types to consider, from minimalist slippers to ultra-cushy maximalist fatties. Now McDougall is back with a book that chronicles his work training a sickly donkey to be an endurance athlete (no, seriously). Titled Running with Sherman, it tells the story of an unexpected journey that was really good for the donkey—but also for McDougall. Outside editor Christopher Keyes spoke with McDougall about this surprising turn of events and whether it means the rest of us should be running with animals, too.

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.

Why the Author of 'Born to Run' Trains with a Donkey Podcast