(as of Sep 17,2021 20:16:14 UTC – Details)
From the best-selling author of Born to Run, a heartwarming story about training a rescue donkey to run one of the most challenging races in America.
When Chris McDougall agreed to take in a donkey from an animal hoarder, he thought it would be no harder than the rest of the adjustments he and his family had made after moving from Philadelphia to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. But when he arrived, Sherman was in such bad shape he could barely move, and his hair was coming out in clumps. Chris decided to undertake a radical rehabilitation program designed not only to heal Sherman’s body but to heal his mind as well. It turns out the best way to soothe a donkey is to give it a job, and so Chris decided to teach Sherman how to run. He’d heard about burro racing–a unique type of race where humans and donkeys run together in a call-back to mining days–and decided he and Sherman would enter the World Championship in Colorado.
Easier said than done. In the course of Sherman’s training, Chris would have to recruit several other runners, both human and equine, and call upon the wisdom of burro racers, goat farmers, Amish running club members, and a group of irrepressible female long-haul truckers. Along the way, he shows us the life-changing power of animals, nature, and community.
An Amazon Best Book of October 2019: Readers—and runners—will recognize Christopher McDougall’s name as the author of the best-seller Born to Run, and his latest, Running with Sherman, is part animal love story, part adventure book, part feminist running manifesto, and part scientific exploration into healing. What it lacks in the cutting edge scientific research that helped make Born to Run a hit, it makes up for with heart and…fuzzy animals. Journalist McDougall lives on a farm in Amish Country (PA), and one day his neighbor alerts him to a donkey that has been neglected by its hoarder owner. McDougall adopts the donkey—Sherman—sight unseen and receives a traumatized, unhealthy animal who can barely walk due to his neglected hooves. While nursing Sherman back to health with the help of an equine expert, McDougall learns that donkeys thrive from having a job, and he remembers that ambitious athletes like himself race burros once a year in Colorado. Thus kicks off McDougall and Sherman’s training for the aforementioned annual burro race. Along the way they pick up a wacky cast of characters: two additional donkey running pals; a young man recovering from depression and a suicide attempt; McDougall’s incredibly patient, former hula-dancer wife turned trail runner and donkey whisperer; an Amish running club; two women who drive McDougall and donkeys across the country…you get the idea. McDougall is a fantastic storyteller and a witty writer: “The Amish have a better retention rate than Netflix: roughly 90 percent of young Amish adults choose to stick with the faith and join the church for life.” A fascinating and inspiring hybrid nonfiction salve to the problems of our day, Running with Sherman achieves the running equivalent of a hole-in-one. –Sarah Gelman, Amazon Book Review