Running with Sherman
How a Rescue Donkey Inspired a Rag-tag Gang of Runners to Enter the Craziest Race in America
From the bestselling author of Born to Run, a heartwarming story about training a rescue donkey to run one of the most challenging races in America, and, in the process, discovering the life-changing power of the human-animal connection.
"A delight, full of heart and hijinks and humor." —John Grogan, author of Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
When Christopher McDougall decided to adopt a donkey in dire straits, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. But with the help of his neighbors, Chris came up with a crazy idea. Burro racing, a unique type of competition in which humans and donkeys run side by side over mountains and through streams, would be exactly the challenge Sherman and Chris needed. In the course of Sherman’s training, Chris would enlist Amish running clubs, high-spirited goats, the service animal community, and two Sarah Palin–loving long-distance female truckers. Sherman’s heartwarming story of overcoming all odds to run one of the most unbelievable races in America shows the healing power of movement and the strength of the human-animal connection.
Look for Christopher McDougall's new book, Born to Run 2, coming in December!
In this tenderhearted memoir, McDougall (Born to Run) tells of his adoption and rehabilitation of Sherman, an ailing rescue donkey. Neglected by an animal hoarder near McDougall's farm in Pennsylvania's Amish country, Sherman is nursed back to health by Tanya, a local veterinary technician: "You need to give this animal a purpose. You need to find him a job," Tanya tells McDougall. So McDougall, an accomplished runner, sets his sights on the annual World Championship Leadville Burro Race in Colorado, an eight-decade-long tradition that includes an uphill run half the height of Mt. Everest. McDougall is a charming, enthusiastic storyteller as he describes how, with less than a year to train, he enlists Tanya; his wife, Mika; and Zeke, a troubled Penn State student who draws strength and purpose from training Sherman. The team, which also includes donkeys Flower and Matilda, wends its way through wooded mazes, creeks, and other obstacles in preparation for the high-altitude race. As the event draws closer, several setbacks challenge the team, including Tanya's horse-training accident, Zeke's broken foot, and McDougall's shattered finger. Despite these setbacks, they arrive in Leadville in 2016 ready to race, and complete the 15-mile "short course," with Sherman finishing 29th out of 52. Runners and animal lovers alike can find inspiration in this story of the ways in which humans and animals connect.
Inspiring on many levels
Entertaining, heartwarming, and real. Running with Sherman is a winner!
I can’t quite explain what makes this story magical but there’s something very special about it.