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

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  4,608 ratings  ·  247 reviews

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
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Lyons Press (first published June 7th 2000)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  4,608 ratings  ·  247 reviews

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Start your review of Running with the Buffaloes: A Season Inside with Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher, and the University of Colorado Men's Cross-Country Team
Dan Darragh
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dan by: My daughter, a former coach
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'
May 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running-books
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
Virginia Jacobs
Aug 03, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Tim O'Hearn
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Mar 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I wonder how you would feel if you read this book while running for your college team.

Chris Lear is able to perfectly translate the motivation Wetmore is able to infringe to his team. Mark Wetmore is more than a coach to his athletes, he is a true source of inspiration and leads by example in regards to commitment to the job.

Wonderful read to get you fired up for your next runs and makes you value the incredible bond that surges from sharing pain, tears and joy with your team!
James Johnson
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Brittany Stedtler
Mar 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Maddy Evans
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved it, but definitely different from what I typically read. Favorite parts were Batliner’s journal entries.
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
John Brugge
Aug 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running
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
Ingrid Hughes
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Interesting story about running, though on a 4th grade reading level.
Jabali Sawicki
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Adam Kennedy
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: top-sports-books
Writing is iffy, but that’s not the point. Can’t help but get motivated to run after reading!
Sujata Neidig
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jon Nguyen
May 31, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
This book has a pretty narrow purpose: it describes, in detail, the training of a collegiate cross country team. I could only see it appealing to people who are specifically interested in that subject. For a general running audience, however, there isn’t a lot here. I was surprised by this, because the book does show up in a fair number of “best books on running” type of lists.

The author doesn’t really add a lot of extra color to make it more interesting. There isn’t much about CU or Boulder. T
Taylor Sawyer
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: running
2.4/5. It was ok.
Daniel Dao
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5 due to the uncomfortable sexism and racism throughout the book.
Ellie Crawford
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
May 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
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
Jeremy Costello
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 26, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
It's a quick read and I'm a running nerd, but Chris Lear's slobbering worship of the team was a little gross. ...more
Jun 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Excellently inspiring running book
Nolan Getchell
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Morgan Barnard
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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