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Reexamining the Mythology of the Tarahumara Runners

You recall the Tarahumara, appropriate? They are, as Christopher McDougall memorably described them in Born to Operate back in 2009, the “near-mythical tribe of Stone Age superathletes” who stay in the canyons of northwestern Mexico and operate astounding distances about vertiginous terrain without having even breaking a sweat.

Born to Operate also introduced the broader entire world to a Harvard anthropologist and evolutionary biologist named Daniel Lieberman, whose study on the evolutionary origins of jogging led him to hypothesize that even fashionable people would be much better off jogging either barefoot or with minimally supportive footwear. Colorful tales of the Tarahumara mixed with Lieberman’s scientific cred manufactured for a potent mixture, and interest in barefoot and minimalist jogging exploded just after the publication of McDougall’s book.

In the a long time since, there have been critical reappraisals of the scenario for minimalist jogging. Now, in an posting in the journal

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