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Christoper McDougall, Running With Sherman: The Donkey with a Heart of a Hero

Saturday, November 9   |   11:00 am

“From the first page to the last, Running with Sherman is a delight, full of heart and hijinks and humor. I quickly fell in love with Sherman and the colorful cast of two- and four-legged characters that surrounded him. Christopher McDougall is a gifted storyteller who gets to the heart of the human-animal connection.” –John Grogan, author of Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog

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.

Christopher McDougall covered wars in Rwanda and Angola as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press before writing his best-selling book Born to Run. His fascination with the limits of human potential led him to create the Outside magazine web series, “Art of the Hero.” He currently lives with his wife, two daughters, and a farmyard menagerie in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.