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Top five Best Books About Running, Runner's World Magazine Top three Best Books About Running, readers of Runner's World Magazine (December 2009) A phenomenal portrait of courage and desire that will do for college cross-country what John Feinstein's A Season on the Brink did Top five Best Books About Running, Runner's World Magazine Top three Best Books About Running, readers of Runner's World Magazine (December 2009) A phenomenal portrait of courage and desire that will do for college cross-country what John Feinstein's A Season on the Brink did for college basketball.


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Top five Best Books About Running, Runner's World Magazine Top three Best Books About Running, readers of Runner's World Magazine (December 2009) A phenomenal portrait of courage and desire that will do for college cross-country what John Feinstein's A Season on the Brink did Top five Best Books About Running, Runner's World Magazine Top three Best Books About Running, readers of Runner's World Magazine (December 2009) A phenomenal portrait of courage and desire that will do for college cross-country what John Feinstein's A Season on the Brink did for college basketball.

30 review for Running with the Buffaloes: A Season Inside with Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher, and the University of Colorado Men's Cross-Country Team

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dan Darragh

    If I were a high school cross country coach, I'd gather my perspective team in the spring and tell them to read this book over the summer before practice begins. Come fall, few would accuse the coach of pushing them too hard. A non-runner probably won't appreciate this book at all, but a competitive runner -- one who's competed at the high school or college level, or even in local races -- gets the message loud and clear: If you're going to win, you're going to have to work -- hard. Mark Wetmore' If I were a high school cross country coach, I'd gather my perspective team in the spring and tell them to read this book over the summer before practice begins. Come fall, few would accuse the coach of pushing them too hard. A non-runner probably won't appreciate this book at all, but a competitive runner -- one who's competed at the high school or college level, or even in local races -- gets the message loud and clear: If you're going to win, you're going to have to work -- hard. Mark Wetmore's tactics involving heavy mileage will be disputed by many coaches, but his Colorado Buffaloes have often been ranked nationally and he has coached many individual champions. Chris Lear spent a season with the team in 1998, when the team's top runner, Adam Goucher, won the NCAA national championship. This isn't a book for the average reader, but coaches and runners will love it and marvel at the dedication it takes to truly strive to be No. 1.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Jacobs

    This book was actually not very good. There were a number of typos and grammatical errors in the book. The chapters were short and choppy, and in many cases the chapter titles were quite juvenile. Also, the layout was strange: there were black and white photos dispersed throughout the book, rather than one section of colored photos in the middle. The actual story is that of the 1998 University of Colorado Cross Country team, of which a friend of mine was a member. The first thing that I can say This book was actually not very good. There were a number of typos and grammatical errors in the book. The chapters were short and choppy, and in many cases the chapter titles were quite juvenile. Also, the layout was strange: there were black and white photos dispersed throughout the book, rather than one section of colored photos in the middle. The actual story is that of the 1998 University of Colorado Cross Country team, of which a friend of mine was a member. The first thing that I can say is that now that I've taken up running, I have a much greater appreciation for how hard the team worked. That being said, though, the team was plagued by injuries, and there's only so much complaining about being tired and hurt that I can read about when the men are running 80-100 miles a week. Part of me sort of went, y'think?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Terzah

    This book is a Boulder classic. I tweeted that I was reading it, and unlike most of my tweets, which go out into a great black hole of no response, this one got an enthusiastic reply. And today, while shopping at our new Alfalfa's grocery store, the cashier noticed it tucked under my arm. "Great book," he said. "I read it years ago." The book details (and I mean details!) every day in the life of the 1998 University of Colorado men's cross-country team. It starts in the hot summer months, when it This book is a Boulder classic. I tweeted that I was reading it, and unlike most of my tweets, which go out into a great black hole of no response, this one got an enthusiastic reply. And today, while shopping at our new Alfalfa's grocery store, the cashier noticed it tucked under my arm. "Great book," he said. "I read it years ago." The book details (and I mean details!) every day in the life of the 1998 University of Colorado men's cross-country team. It starts in the hot summer months, when it wasn't clear who the season's ultimate stars would be, and culminates with the team's third-place finish at the NCAA championships, a race that CU's star runner, Adam Goucher, won in spectacular fashion after long years of striving. The testosterone is so thick at times you can almost smell it--these aren't the gentlemen athletes of Chariots of Fire. The reader goes along on tough runs ranging from lung-burning long ones at 8,000 feet to puke-inducing track intervals, and also on all the team's meets. You meet Mark Wetmore, the program's idolized coach, getting his impressions and worries as the season unfolds. And you're there when a beloved senior team member dies in a biking accident, plunging the team into grief. The book reads like the author's journal. This is good at times, because it all feels immediate and intense, but also bad, because anyone's personal journal could use an editor. A steady editor here would have excised or explained jargon, cleaned up sentences and smoothed out transitions. I love good narrative non-fiction and would have liked more narrative flow here. Also, to me as a woman and a decidedly average runner, Wetmore's fretting about his runners "getting fat" and his disparaging remarks about average folks who come out each year to run the big local race, the Bolder Boulder, were disheartening (I hope he doesn't talk about his female runners' weight like that). But overall, I enjoyed this unique book and learned a lot from it about competitive running, about the town I live in and about young and talented athletes. They are, as one team member put it toward the end of the book, "incredible people with the incredible and audacious agenda to discover their own talents," who "run our asses off and do what we do so well that we defeat all kinds of people that are supposed to be better than us." Hopefully Wetmore won't begrudge some of us average folks (who may also be a little fat!) adopting just a smidge of that attitude, toward running and life.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tim O'Hearn

    One of the better books I've read about running. Has twists, turns, a lot of dirt paths, and tragedy but stops short of being enveloping. Like most running books, or, by nature, anything dealing with running, it's not going to appeal to those who haven't participated in the sport at a semi-serious level. It's easy to rip through the pages of this book like sheets of one of those daily calendars. Character development is attempted valiantly but its hard to differentiate the team members when any One of the better books I've read about running. Has twists, turns, a lot of dirt paths, and tragedy but stops short of being enveloping. Like most running books, or, by nature, anything dealing with running, it's not going to appeal to those who haven't participated in the sport at a semi-serious level. It's easy to rip through the pages of this book like sheets of one of those daily calendars. Character development is attempted valiantly but its hard to differentiate the team members when any serious runner will already have the mental image of his own team which probably was a lot slower but acted just as weird and had shadows that looked the same. The book could be used to study incidences of overtraining among runners and different coaching philosophies. I have heard that collegiate runners tend to have the most distressed mental states of any college athletes. I don't know how true that is. Just imagine participating in a non-contact sport for tens of hours every week and frequently developing season-ending injuries. Cruel and unyielding! -- It turns out that Mark Wetmore and I both fell in love with reading after encountering Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. I found it amusing, in a nerdy way, that Chris Lear highlighted this but then failed to pick up on Wetmore's usage of the phrase "The Right Stuff" probably stemmed from Tom Wolfe's novel of the same name.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Douglas

    The author Chris Lear very effectively captures and conveys the unique milieu of the competitive runners' world. From the pre-season workouts through the NCAA finals, Mr. Lear experienced an entire season with the University of Colorado men's cross country team. Enjoying boundless access, he attended practices, team meetings, meets; listened in on telephone calls; read the runners' personal journals; and interviewed the coaches and team members on a regular basis. Mr. Lear presents the story of The author Chris Lear very effectively captures and conveys the unique milieu of the competitive runners' world. From the pre-season workouts through the NCAA finals, Mr. Lear experienced an entire season with the University of Colorado men's cross country team. Enjoying boundless access, he attended practices, team meetings, meets; listened in on telephone calls; read the runners' personal journals; and interviewed the coaches and team members on a regular basis. Mr. Lear presents the story of this team like a diary. The reader comes away from this book with a deepened respect for the competitive runner --- who perseveres despite pain and isolation, competes with injuries the average person would find debilitating, engages in daily workouts of herculean proportions, sacrifices personal comfort and pleasures--- all for a sport that garners little publicity or interest. These runners amaze the reader with their unwavering devotion, courage and toughness. I recommend this to anyone interested in the triumph of the human spirit.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    In Running with the Buffaloes, Chris Lear follows the University of Colorado's Men's Cross-Country during their 1998 season. I pecked at the first third of this account months ago before picking it up again yesterday and reading through to the end. There is something exhaustive about the repetitive workouts and worries and times, though no account of the season would make sense if it didn't feel like a grind. By the time I'd got to the finish, I was most struck by how odd our relationship with o In Running with the Buffaloes, Chris Lear follows the University of Colorado's Men's Cross-Country during their 1998 season. I pecked at the first third of this account months ago before picking it up again yesterday and reading through to the end. There is something exhaustive about the repetitive workouts and worries and times, though no account of the season would make sense if it didn't feel like a grind. By the time I'd got to the finish, I was most struck by how odd our relationship with our body is. The runners constantly worry over their energy level. Even when they put up amazing times, they complain that they didn't feel great while doing it. They are forever attempting to interpret the aches and pains their body communicates, though at times it feels palm reading might be more accurate.

  7. 5 out of 5

    James Johnson

    Running with the Buffaloes is an honest and authentic account of college cross country runners. It is simple, and didnt need to be anything more. I enjoyed learning about some of the theory behind running, and the delicate balance between drive and injury

  8. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    This book was awesome. Told in a style that reminds me of my xc coaches post race emails, this book took us through a crazy season with the CU xc team. Since most of the workouts and races were at altitude, the pack times were eerily similar to my own during my freshman xc season. And the amount of adversity these guys pushed through was frankly incredible. I am however taking a star off for the strange way the women's team is treated in this book. They are tangentially mentioned many times, but This book was awesome. Told in a style that reminds me of my xc coaches post race emails, this book took us through a crazy season with the CU xc team. Since most of the workouts and races were at altitude, the pack times were eerily similar to my own during my freshman xc season. And the amount of adversity these guys pushed through was frankly incredible. I am however taking a star off for the strange way the women's team is treated in this book. They are tangentially mentioned many times, but never really talked about. I found this kind of weird/sexist and would have much rather they weren't talked about at all.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Stedtler

    I run on a college team. I am far from good, but I think that's what makes this book better for me. It's a great look into one of the best teams, and it allows the normal runner, like me, a glimpse into what makes an amazing runner. It allows the reader to connect with the team and see that national class athletes aren't really different then us regular people. For someone with an interest in cross country the book is interesting, exciting, sad and inspiring.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Audra

    Interesting story about running, though on a 4th grade reading level.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sujata Neidig

    My rating is based on being a runner myself and as someone who has recently become more interested in following the sport. If you're not either, then this book is probably not good for you. Chris Lear gets Coach Westmore to agree to letting him live at CU and follow the cross country team over a few months in their pursuit of a national title for the team and one for Adam Goucher. There are quite a few characters so that is a bit confusing, I should have written out a list of who's who to help. My rating is based on being a runner myself and as someone who has recently become more interested in following the sport. If you're not either, then this book is probably not good for you. Chris Lear gets Coach Westmore to agree to letting him live at CU and follow the cross country team over a few months in their pursuit of a national title for the team and one for Adam Goucher. There are quite a few characters so that is a bit confusing, I should have written out a list of who's who to help. And, there's quite a bit of training lingo. But, I enjoyed the book because it gives good insight into who each of these athletes are, what drives each of them and how they have ups and downs in their training and lives. And, what it takes to be at that caliber. I knew the overall outcome of the National Championship but didn't know the details on getting there so that kept me really engaged. On the other hand, there are grammar errors (extra words) which annoyed me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Sawyer

    The book flows through the fall cross season on daily accounts, making it easier to track the training and pick up on the patterns of Wetmore’s dense training. While most of the training concepts are revealed early in the book, the latter half of the book still provides many insights and an inspiring journey. Would recommend even to my non-runner friends.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jabali Sawicki

    Loved playing basketball and soccer in college. If I could go back and do it again, I also would have run cross-country. Making up for it late in life. Great read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aurelian

    2.4/5. It was ok.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Dao

    More like 3.5 due to the uncomfortable sexism and racism throughout the book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maddy Evans

    Loved it, but definitely different from what I typically read. Favorite parts were Batliner’s journal entries.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Crawford

    I am really enjoying this book so far. It shows the importance of trainging in order to become a good runner through one of the main characters, Adam Goucher. It is really interesting to read Wetmore's philosophy on running and connect it to my cross country coaches philosophy. The chapters in this book are really interesting because some are long, packed with information, while others are short and anecdotal. I am really excited to read deeper into this book and see how far the Colorado team go I am really enjoying this book so far. It shows the importance of trainging in order to become a good runner through one of the main characters, Adam Goucher. It is really interesting to read Wetmore's philosophy on running and connect it to my cross country coaches philosophy. The chapters in this book are really interesting because some are long, packed with information, while others are short and anecdotal. I am really excited to read deeper into this book and see how far the Colorado team goes in nationals. I am now about halfway done with the book. There are many characters that have developed throughout the story, but one of the main characters is Adam Goucher. He is the best runner on the team and is portrayed with having a lot of dedication towards the sport. He leads the team in every workout and is the captain of the team. Many of the other runners look up to him and his 100 miles a week stamina. I am interested to see if any of the other characters will reach his height of ability. I am now at the part in the book where the Colorado team has ran a few races and are delving into the beginning of their season. So far, all of the varsity runners have shown a huge improvement compared to last year. They are already ahead of where they were at the end of last year. There have been a couple unexpected injuries that have changed the order of line-up for the runners. It will be interesting to see if some of these minor injuries will develop into larger hastles that will disable the runner from their best abilities, or if they are just annoying little problems that will go away on their own. The boys team have been successful thus far, I can only imagine their ability will sharpen and they will continue to progress throughout the season due to Wetmore's philosophy. There are multiple conflicts plaqueing the University of Colorado's cross country team. The most significant is the unexpected death of one of the team members. It is hard for the team to get through this and continue their season, but they agree it would be exactly what Severy would have wanted. They want to finish in memory of Severy. Other minor conflicts are with injuries occuring to multiple important members to the team. So many injuries are occuring that Wetmore is starting to think about next season and the newly signed upcoming twins that are coming to the University of Colorado. I wonder if the members of the team will be able to recover and succeed at the national meet.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    Back in the mid-aughts, one of Facebook's primary features was to provide a space in which to list out your favorite books, movies, and other various interests. When I was an undergraduate, this book was the popular book equivalent of the movies, Fight Club and Boondock Saints. Of course, my college friend group at the time being comprised mostly of collegiate and recent high school runners, there was probably some skewing in the sample. Still, its prominence on the Facebook “book charts” at the Back in the mid-aughts, one of Facebook's primary features was to provide a space in which to list out your favorite books, movies, and other various interests. When I was an undergraduate, this book was the popular book equivalent of the movies, Fight Club and Boondock Saints. Of course, my college friend group at the time being comprised mostly of collegiate and recent high school runners, there was probably some skewing in the sample. Still, its prominence on the Facebook “book charts” at the time still made such an impression on me that I remember it well over a decade later despite not one person ever personally recommending it to me until this year. Since both a fellow coach and an athlete’s parent gave enthusiastic endorsements of this book, I figured it was time I finally opened it up and what everyone seemed to enjoy about it a decade and half ago. During my brief time as a college athlete, there’s no way I could have known that this book would chronicle the happenings of a team that lived in the backyard of my future home. There’s a level of personal connection that comes with such an enthralling tale in which there exist actual landmarks that you’ve casually visited. The poetic descriptions of Boulder’s Flatirons and the offhanded mentioning of Denver North High School adds a level of tangibility that’s difficult to create. I found myself taken back to the distinctive lifestyle of a collegiate cross country athlete and the experiences, eccentric personalities, and weekly rituals therein. I wrestled with connecting with their dedication and simultaneously asking about the significance of their time-consuming training. I wondered if I could have been as good as them if I had really given it everything but also wondered why so little of the story seemed to include their life outside of the team. How did they balance their lives or didn’t they? Ultimately, it’s a compelling story of a singular team in a singular year, one that is likely more compelling if you’ve run collegiate cross country.

  19. 5 out of 5

    John Brugge

    Laid out day by day through an entire season, this is a great story that is seen and felt as it unfolds. With an author who is also a runner, the fly-on-the-wall perspective you get is more like a fly on the shoulder of a runner, taking you on the course during workouts and seemingly during the races as well. The runners and coaches don't seem to edit themselves too much for Lear, and when they might, he is be able to read their moods for us. Still, one of the jewels of the book is when he inclu Laid out day by day through an entire season, this is a great story that is seen and felt as it unfolds. With an author who is also a runner, the fly-on-the-wall perspective you get is more like a fly on the shoulder of a runner, taking you on the course during workouts and seemingly during the races as well. The runners and coaches don't seem to edit themselves too much for Lear, and when they might, he is be able to read their moods for us. Still, one of the jewels of the book is when he includes some portions of the journals the runners kept the last week before the national tournament. The writings of their top runner, Adam Goucher, aren't that insightful, other than revealing that some people just aren't into deep writing as a way to prepare for a big event. But the reflections of Adam Batliner, another senior who leads by example, capture the mood of the entire season. At 22, we may not have the broadest perspective on life, but to able to express a perspective bigger than ourselves at that age says a lot. This team knows what it is to be invested in a plan, to be dedicated to a system that simultaneously scares the hell out of you and makes you so excited you can barely hold it in.... These are some of the greatest moments of our lives. We may not see it yet, we may not even know it yet, but I think that we will look back as withered elderly men upon these times as some of the most profound of our lives. And if I don't, that's even better, because it would take a hell of a life to cloud over the shining, glistening days of collegiate cross country.

  20. 5 out of 5

    JoAnna

    After coming recommended on a few "Best Running Books" lists and by a friend who is a coach, I had high expectations for this book. The latter summed it up by saying that after reading, I'd want to train harder than I'd ever trained before. Also billed as an "easy, fast" read, it seemed like a good palate cleanser between some of my heavier reading. I was a bit surprised, then, that it read incredibly slowly. At least for the first half, it seemed to drag on and on. It felt like ages before the a After coming recommended on a few "Best Running Books" lists and by a friend who is a coach, I had high expectations for this book. The latter summed it up by saying that after reading, I'd want to train harder than I'd ever trained before. Also billed as an "easy, fast" read, it seemed like a good palate cleanser between some of my heavier reading. I was a bit surprised, then, that it read incredibly slowly. At least for the first half, it seemed to drag on and on. It felt like ages before the actual racing season began, and even then, it wasn't until Sev's death that the story took on some real pathos. I was reeled in from that point on. If it had merely been a book about running for the national title, it wouldn't have had any legs to stand on. It read too much like a glorified training log, and as someone who had no previous familiarity with the 1998 CU team, the real character of the runners didn't really start to emerge until Sev's crash. Instead of one of the "Best Running Books," I think that Lear's book should instead be re-categorized as a great book for certain types of runners. If you get a thrill out of the minutiae of the daily training grind of collegiate running, then this is the book for you. If, like me, you gravitate more towards running books that capture personal stories and the human spirit of running, like those author by Dean Karnazes and Chris McDougall, then "Running With the Buffaloes" may not be your cup of tea. Rather than leaving me wanting to train harder, this book and its stories of 100+ mile training weeks and "skeleton dreams" just made me tired and hungry.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Costello

    This book was well written for a sports book. It was well done in a day by day, diary type format. I thought the author, Chris Lear, did a good job of alluding to future events and making a story about the team instead of just making it a summary. Even though there were a lot of characters to talk about and it only covered 3 months, Lear gave little anecdotes about all the major players, following them off of the cross-country course to give us insight into who they are as people, not just runne This book was well written for a sports book. It was well done in a day by day, diary type format. I thought the author, Chris Lear, did a good job of alluding to future events and making a story about the team instead of just making it a summary. Even though there were a lot of characters to talk about and it only covered 3 months, Lear gave little anecdotes about all the major players, following them off of the cross-country course to give us insight into who they are as people, not just runners. As a distance runner myself, I appreciated the explanations the book provides to many of the major questions associated with the sport, most importantly, "Why?" I feel it put reason behind running, expressing the need to get faster, compete, and strive to be better than yourself.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    It was too much like a journal and assumed the reader knew things we didn't. It was stilted and didn't paint the pictures of people and emotions as well as I thought it should, but I devoured it. It was a book about running and despite its shortcomings, it was so real and contained so many things that I could identify with and be excited about. I was interested in it from a runner's perspective, from a coach's perspective, and from a fan's perspective. It made me wonder about all the things I mi It was too much like a journal and assumed the reader knew things we didn't. It was stilted and didn't paint the pictures of people and emotions as well as I thought it should, but I devoured it. It was a book about running and despite its shortcomings, it was so real and contained so many things that I could identify with and be excited about. I was interested in it from a runner's perspective, from a coach's perspective, and from a fan's perspective. It made me wonder about all the things I missed by running so little in college. It made me go back and question my decisions. It inspired me to get out and do something (in theory. I haven't done it yet.).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid Hughes

    A very cool insider look into one of the best running programs in the country. A distance runner's dream. This team has grit, sass and an unbelievable and at times insane work ethic. Lots of injuries make you wonder about the huge mileage numbers they put in but Wetmore is relentless.

  24. 4 out of 5

    AP

    It's a quick read and I'm a running nerd, but Chris Lear's slobbering worship of the team was a little gross.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Excellently inspiring running book

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nolan Getchell

    What is Running with the Buffaloes? A quick summary: Running with the Buffaloes gives readers a detailed look into the 1998 Colorado Buffaloes cross country season. The novel lays its focus around Adam Goucher, a senior on the team, and the legendary coach Mark Wetmore as they follow a strict training regime. Beginning in August of 1998, the CU team is documented thoroughly as they train at practices and race at competitions. Chris Lear, the author, attends every practice and interviews the runne What is Running with the Buffaloes? A quick summary: Running with the Buffaloes gives readers a detailed look into the 1998 Colorado Buffaloes cross country season. The novel lays its focus around Adam Goucher, a senior on the team, and the legendary coach Mark Wetmore as they follow a strict training regime. Beginning in August of 1998, the CU team is documented thoroughly as they train at practices and race at competitions. Chris Lear, the author, attends every practice and interviews the runners about their perspectives on the program and the team chemistry. Throughout the fall season, the book documents each race and what looks like a possible NCAA title run. Immediate reaction: WOW! I was completely in shock about the amount of the detail the book went into. I felt as if I were on the team. My overall thoughts: Running with the Buffaloes was a fantastic read. Being a runner, I was excited to read a book which would describe a famed college program. I look up to the CU cross country program, and this book explains exactly why. CU trains like animals, and their team is very intense and serious about the sport. Even though they are constantly working hard, the book portrays the team as a fun and goofy bunch. Running with the Buffaloes is unique in the sense that it follows a CU team that had remarkable success while enduring difficult circumstances. What made this book so good?: 1. The first person accounts from the author, Chris Lear. He does a excellent job of interviewing team members and truly getting a feel for the team. As the reader, I was able to experience first hand the kind of workouts and other activities the team does together. After reading the book, I felt like I knew ever single individual mentioned in the piece because it was so detailed. Readers get a great sense of how the team interacts with each other, whether that be at practice or at a team barbecue. Additionally, Lear talks about the location, weather, and time of each practice during the season. The specificity and detail that Lear utilizes is entertaining and intriguing. 2. The success the team had. CU cross country has always been a historically good program, but there was something about the 1998 season that made it better than the rest. Perhaps it was the senior runner Adam Goucher or the star freshman Steve Slattery that made this team so great. This team was made up of superstars and studs alike contributing to their overall success. The great aspects of this team made this book so powerful. Knowing the team was something special forces readers to closely follow their season throughout the novel. How the team ends up doing is your task, but all I can say is that it’s nothing short of phenomenal. 3. How resilient the team was. Despite an overwhelming amount of setbacks that this team endured, the team still was able to perform at a high level. The book illustrates the guts one must have to compete at the NCAA D1 level and the sacrifices one must make. Each and every individual in the book had their own share of problems, whether that be from a quick illness or from an intense injury. Running 12-18 miles a day isn’t always easy or fun, but for some reason the CU cross country team makes it look enjoyable. I am extremely humbled and amazed by the work that this team put in, and I could never imagine the pain these runners went through to be as competitive as they were. 4. Adam Goucher as the main focus. Goucher being a reining all american definitely made this novel more interesting. He is seen as a local Colorado kid who gradually improved from his time at CU. The book does a spectacular job of documenting Goucher’s arduous training schedule and his many 100 mile weeks. Goucher once did a 24 mile long run at an astonishing 5:30 mile pace (at 6,000 feet of altitude). Overall, the book wouldn’t be the same without this star runner as the focus. Goucher is a hardworking and determined individual who I definitely appreciated as a character. Rating: 5/5 stars. The book is very detailed and highly entertaining to read. I read the book within a few days because of how intrigued I was Re-readability: Yes! Of course! Who should read this?: Really anyone who enjoys running at all. The book is, in my opinion, one of the best running novels on the market. In conclusion... This book is very interesting and hard to put down. Although it isn’t the most masterfully written book, the content definitely makes up for it. Readers are able to get an in depth experience into the prized program of the CU Buffaloes. The book demonstrates an athletes need to persevere and push against all of the odds when competing at a high level.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Barnard

    I put so many post-it notes and handwritten notes and underlines in this book. It was that time of year again when I read a book about running to get myself motivated and hyped for this cross country season. Last year, it was Again to Carthage. This year, I chose this one. I couldn't put it down from the moment I started it. The concept was appealing: a man decides to follow a collegiate cross country team throughout their entire season. He got to observe their training regimen, see how the athl I put so many post-it notes and handwritten notes and underlines in this book. It was that time of year again when I read a book about running to get myself motivated and hyped for this cross country season. Last year, it was Again to Carthage. This year, I chose this one. I couldn't put it down from the moment I started it. The concept was appealing: a man decides to follow a collegiate cross country team throughout their entire season. He got to observe their training regimen, see how the athletes improve throughout the year, and realize how many ups and downs can happen over the course of a few months. The main character, I would say, is their top runner, Adam Goucher, which is to be expected when there is one phenomenal runner on a team, but there are a lot of supporting characters too. One of the main reasons I loved the book was because it was about a team. My team is like my family, and it was so nice to see that love reflected in another team. Another thing I loved was that it showed people can have ups and downs, and it really portrayed the idea that improvement is not just a straight line going up; it's more of a curve. You have to have some downhill before you can climb some more. A lot can happen within one season. A whole team could get injured (as has pretty much happened to me before) or one person could come out of nowhere and improve by seconds or even minutes. I really liked Mark Wetmore because he reminded me of my own coach a lot of the time. The way he was with numbers and analyzing races and workouts, the way he was cautious but still worked his athletes hard, the way he let them decide what they wanted to do but still held them to a strict training regimen, and his jokes and sarcasm with the team. My favorite character, I think, was Batliner. Some of my favorite quotes came from his journal entries because they highlighted my favorite parts of running. Right before their last race, he talks about how much he will miss the team and running with them, because he knows he got to spend a lot of time with a lot of incredible people and he wouldn't trade it for anything. This was probably my favorite passage from him, "This team knows what it is to be invested in a plan, to be dedicated to a system that simultaneously scares the hell out of you and makes you so excited you can barely hold it in. Running...is like getting up every morning and shooting yourself. You know that you are going to put yourself through something really painful, but you also know how much strength and speed are going to come with it. The passion of the runner is to force forgetfulness on that pain and embrace the benefits that will without fail make you a better person." My other favorite was this: "These are some of the greatest moments of our lives. We may not see it yet, we may not even know it, but I think that we will look back as withered elderly men upon these times as some of the most profound of our lives. And if I don't, that's even better, because it would take a hell of a life to cloud over the shining, glistening days of collegiate cross country." This book brought out the best and the worst parts of running. Like the knowledge and fear that one day I won't be able to do what I once did. I won't be as fast, I may not even be able to run anymore. One day soon, I won't be on a team anymore. I dread that feeling, but I know it's coming. I've already written way more than I intended, so I'll leave it with this. The entire last race chapter made me shout and cheer and raise my hands up in the air and jump around (it's true, there was a witness) because there's just something about a race scene like that that gets me so excited and pumped up. It makes me feel like I could sprint out the door and run the best race of my life. There was one quote that summed it up I think, "He shakes a fist at the crowd. And it all starts to pour out--the exultation, the relief, the redemption, the pride, and the grief. Above all, he feels the immense emotional and physical pain. He knows he has done it." The feeling of your legs burning is one of the best in the world, especially when it's at the end of the best race of your life. I hope to never forget that feeling, and--if I'm really lucky--never stop experiencing it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lila

    I LOVED this book. Running with the Buffalos takes you through a season with the University of a Colorado Boulder men’s cross country team. Author Chris Lear spent the fall with the team, and this book provides a day-by-day account of the teams training, and a personal look into the bond between the men and general atmosphere of the team. Diehard running and cross country fans will love this book. It not only gives you an in depth look into a prestigious NCAA D1 team, but also provides many tips I LOVED this book. Running with the Buffalos takes you through a season with the University of a Colorado Boulder men’s cross country team. Author Chris Lear spent the fall with the team, and this book provides a day-by-day account of the teams training, and a personal look into the bond between the men and general atmosphere of the team. Diehard running and cross country fans will love this book. It not only gives you an in depth look into a prestigious NCAA D1 team, but also provides many tips on training and structuring a season, not to mention motivation ! Readers who aren’t fans of the sport might find this one a little over their heads, and even slightly boring... unless you understand and appreciate terms like fartlek, AT, singles, and doubles... you might not really get a grip on what the book is talking about at some points. And the amount of detail provided about the day by day training may be monotonous. To a runner, however, this book is a treasure trove of knowledge and motivation. But running fan or not, the season that Lear spends with the Buffalos is full of tragedy, injuries, grit, and champions that will engage anyone. I won’t go into detail, but overall, I will say that this is an amazing read, but runner’s and cross country fans alike will be able to appreciate it the most.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    This book gave a unique insight into the daily training regiments and experiences of the 1998 University of Colorado Men's Cross Country Team. I was amazed by the high mileage that college runners put in during the season, sometimes as many as 100 miles per week. With Colorado being at altitude, those Sunday runs at Magnolia Road described in the book seemed especially challenging. Along with challenges in their training, the team endured troubles outside of running throughout the season, such a This book gave a unique insight into the daily training regiments and experiences of the 1998 University of Colorado Men's Cross Country Team. I was amazed by the high mileage that college runners put in during the season, sometimes as many as 100 miles per week. With Colorado being at altitude, those Sunday runs at Magnolia Road described in the book seemed especially challenging. Along with challenges in their training, the team endured troubles outside of running throughout the season, such as multiple injuries and the death of their teammate Christopher Severy. I was inspired by their relentlessness, considering the fact that they still managed to finish 3rd at NCAA's, with Adam Goucher taking first place overall. As for lessons in my own running, I would say that this book taught me that sometimes it's good to take it out slowly in cross country races and pass people towards the finish. This is like the 6th book I've read in a month, with a couple on running. The pages have really been going by fast for me lately, and I guess I like reading more now than ever before!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Owen

    I've read this book twice and really enjoy it. It is the story of collegiate athletes, a collegiate team, trying to be their best. The struggles and challenges are very entertaining because they are reminiscent of my own experience on a collegiate soccer team. If you are looking for running secrets you will find that the buffaloes train a group of runners hard. Some get hurt, but enough survive to compete as a team and do very well. For recreational runners it is a reminder that if you train ver I've read this book twice and really enjoy it. It is the story of collegiate athletes, a collegiate team, trying to be their best. The struggles and challenges are very entertaining because they are reminiscent of my own experience on a collegiate soccer team. If you are looking for running secrets you will find that the buffaloes train a group of runners hard. Some get hurt, but enough survive to compete as a team and do very well. For recreational runners it is a reminder that if you train very hard in search of excellence you risk injury. I believe for recreational runners it's better to be under trained than overtrained. Better to accept something a little less than the best possible performance, in exchange for a significant reduction in the risk of injury. I listened to an audio copy of the book, and thought it was well read.

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