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Born to Run (book review)

On Mike Dariano

I remember reading Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken in 2011 and thinking, “This can’t be true, there is no way that this collection of events, characters, and history all coincided.” Two years later no one has amended the story and it stands in a fortress of time, those events never to be repeated. I’ve finally read a book as good as Unbroken.*

Born to Run is about the rise of ultra marathon runners and a secret tribe of people in the Mexican desert who may know more about running than any of them.

The collection of runners that author Christopher McDougall finds are more varied than any reality show casting. There’s Scott Jurek the best American distance runner, winning a mountainous one hundred mile run through the western states seven straight times. There’s barefoot Ted, a man who identifies his spirit animal as, the monkey to a group of Tarahumara, a native American people of northwestern Mexico who seem to have mastered long distance running. There are even more characters like Bone Head Billy and the wonderfully mysterious Caballo Blanco.

The book balances stories and science like a runner moving from one foot to the next. Detailed examination of how animals run to anecdotes about runners listening to beat poetry on their Walkmans. The narrative culminates in a final few chapters that left me laughing out loud and smiling as they drew to a close.


On Sara Alina

In Tijuana, Mexico part of the fence separating the United States and Mexico is the home to makeshift tents where people live, stuck between two countries. The area is far from pleasant; trash surrounds the area, driven there by the sewage that runs through the nearby Tijuana River channel. The smell is overwhelming and makes it tough to breath, and even harder to imagine how any human could live here. Yet, an estimated 4,000 people call this area home, a stretch known as “El Bordo,” or “the border”. The area is inside Mexico, just outside the city limits of Tijuana.

A person residing in the area named Fernando Miranda has nowhere to go and no place to call his own. Miranda was born in Mexico, and 25 years ago he illegally immigrated to the United States, the country where he worked and prospered, where his children were born, educated and given better opportunities. Miranda was sent back to Mexico in 2011, one of 2 million people who have been deported since President Obama took office. Last year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed close to 369,000 undocumented immigrants — most from Mexico and Central America — from the United States.

When they arrive back in Mexico, they have no form of identification, no money, and usually just the clothes on their back. I understand that they came in to this country, but improvements need to be made for immigration reform. We can’t keep breaking up families.

–Love Sara Alina

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