The tips4running review of Running With The Buffaloes by Chris Lear

Chris Lear, the author of Running with the Buffaloes: A Season Inside with Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher, and the University of Colorado Men's Cross-Country Team highlights all the drama of collegiate running. Although the book started slow, because it is hard to sort out all the runners, it picks up the pace quickly. You’ll get swept up in the action as Coach Wetmore leads his team to the NCAA Cross Country National Championship Meet.

This true account of the 1998 Colorado CC season is loaded with drama. There is suspense, plenty of action (the races), tragedy, and triumph. I am surprised it hasn’t been looked at for a Hollywood Movie. Maybe that is because it has no love story for you romantics.

I don’t want to ruin what happens in the book so I will go over the main plot. There are three different ways that Running With The Buffaloes intrigued me. First, I am an avid reader. Looking at it from this perspective, the author, Chris Lear, weaves a wonderful tale. He fills you in on the background of the main characters seamlessly with the events that are occurring. The book draws you in, and you feel as if you are another runner on the team as they push towards their goals.

Second, I loved this book looking at it as a Cross Country Coach. Head Coach Mark Wetmore has a very regimented training program for his runners. The book shares his coaching philosophy along with the workouts he structured throughout the season. All of his training is designed to produce tremendous results for one event – The National Championship XC Race.

Finally, the book is fantastic for any runner. Adam Goucher is the number one runner for the Buffaloes. He is on a mission to win his first NCAA cross country title in his final year of college athletics. You learn of his past triumphs and tragedies throughout the book. You also see and feel how determined he is to put in all the work for his last chance at a championship. The amount of physical and mental preparation he goes through is inspirational.

The team is also highlighted as they are favorites to win the NCAA XC Race. Some of the other runners that the author focuses on are Adam Batlinger, an All American in Track and XC; Oscar Ponce, a native of Mexico who has overcome tremendous odds; and Chris Severy, an All American in XC in the 1996 season. My favorite runner isn’t focused on that much, but Freshman Steve Slattery offers some comic relief numerous times in the book.

So if you are an avid reader, a running coach, or a runner, pick up Running with the Buffaloes: A Season Inside with Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher, and the University of Colorado Men's Cross-Country Team . Once you get started with the book, you’ll be running through the pages in no time.

- Reviewed by David Tiefenthaler

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