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Chris McDougall’s written a new book – about a donkey

Runner's World UK logo Runner's World UK 20/05/2019 Rick Pearson
a cow looking at the camera: Running with Sherman, out this autumn, is the story of a donkey who survived against the odds – and raced like a champion © Christopher McDougall Running with Sherman, out this autumn, is the story of a donkey who survived against the odds – and raced like a champion

From forefoot running to four-legged running. Chris McDougall’s upcoming book, Running with Sherman, has an unlikely protagonist: a donkey.

McDougall, whose best-selling book Born to Run spearheaded the boom in barefoot running, took in the neglected donkey – Sherman – with the aim of restoring him to full health.

But Sherman is ill-tempered, obstinate and uncooperative. His poor treatment has clearly made him deeply fearful of humans, and he’s a horrible heel-striker (OK, not that last bit).

a close up of a dog: running with sherman © Christopher McDougall running with sherman

McDougall knows that donkeys need a purpose. They are working, pack animals. They are, in short, born to run. So when the author learns about the sport of Burro Racing, or running with donkeys, he sets out to give Sherman something worth living for.

Slowly but surely, Sherman begins to build trust in McDougall and they start to run together. What Sherman gains in confidence and meaning, McDougall argues, is something we all need: a connection with nature, the outdoors and movement. What’s more, McDougall finds that bonding with Sherman has a profoundly positive effect on his physical and mental wellbeing.

Like McDougall’s previous work, Running with Sherman is bound to be another page-turner. Will he and the donkey be ready for the burro racing world champs in Colorado by the end of the book?

Running with Sherman is due for release this October.

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