Racing the Antelope
"The human experience is populated by dreams and aspirations. For me, the animal totem of these dreams is the antelope, swift, strong, and elusive. we chase after 'antelope,' and sometimes we catch them. Often we don't. But why do we bother? I think it is because without dream 'antelopes' to chase we become what a lapdog is to a wolf. And we are inherently more like wolves than lapdogs, because the communal chase is part of our biological makeup."
In 1981, Bernd Heinrich, a lifelong runner, decided to test his limits at age forty-one and race in the North American 100-Kilometer Championship race in Chicago. To improve his own preparations as a runner, he wondered what he could learn from other animals--what makes us different and how we are the same--and what new perspective these lessons could shed on human evolution. A biologist and award-winning nature writer, he considered the flight endurance of insects and birds, the antelope's running prowess and limitations, the ultraendurance of the camel, and the remarkable sprinting and jumping skills of frogs. Exploring how biological adaptations have granted these creatures "superhuman" abilities, he looked at how human physiology can or cannot replicate these adaptations. Drawing on his observations and knowledge of animal physiology and behavior, Heinrich ran the race, and the results surprised everyone--himself most of all.
In Racing the Antelope, Heinrich applies his characteristic blend of scientific inquiry and philosophical musing to a deft exploration of the human desire--even need--to run. His rich prose reveals what endurance athletes can learn about the body and the spirit from other athletes in the animal kingdom. He then takes you into the heart of his own grueling 100-kilometer ultramarathon, where he puts into practice all that he has discovered about the physical, spiritual--and primal--drive to win.
At once lyrical and scientific, Racing the Antelope melds a unique blend of biology, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy with Heinrich's passion for running to discover how and why we run.
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The author of numerous bestselling and award-winning books, Bernd Heinrich is a professor of biology at the University of Vermont. He divides his time between Vermont and the forests of western Maine.From Publishers Weekly:
"Movement is the essence of life," writes biologist Heinrich (Bumblebee Economics; Mind of the Raven), a professor at the University of Vermont and winner of Germany's Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award. Indeed, Heinrich has spent much of his life running. As a young child, he and his family fled from advancing Soviet troops into the deep forest in Germany, where they eked out a living by collecting biological specimens for museums. Moving to Maine at age 10, Heinrich became a star cross-country runner for his high school and for the state university he later attended. He went on to become a marathoner and, at age 41, broke the North American record for Chicago's 100k (62.2 mile) race by 13 minutes (he eventually went on to 100-mile and 24-hour races as well). In this thoroughly engrossing account, Heinrich details his motivation and strategy for the Chicago race, based on what he has learned about animals that move far and fast and the peoples who have hunted them on foot. He explains the functions of bipedalism, muscle fiber types, cellular activity and heat regulation, adding, "It was not just our sweat glands that made us premier endurance predators. It was also our minds." Imagination, he insists, is the "pull that allows us to reach into the future" and the factor that differentiates human from animal racers. "Those hunters who had the longest vision," he writes, "persisted longest on the trail" and became our ancestors. As inspiring as it is fascinating, this book should have wide appeal both within and beyond the athletic world. Agent, Sandy Dijkstra.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Ecco, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060199210
Book Description Ecco, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110060199210
Book Description Ecco, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0060199210
Book Description Ecco. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060199210 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0008541