David's Reviews > An Honorable Run

An Honorable Run by Matt McCue
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's review
Jul 26, 2010

really liked it

Recaps his high school (in Iowa) and college (for U. Colorado) distance running career, with main emphasis being his relationships with the coaches. He was a very good (terrific compared to most, but middle of the pack in his college conference, a non-scholarship walk-on for a national champion cross-country team) runner but small fish in a big pond, and there is some nice material reflecting on how that affected his view of himself in general.

Compared to, say, Chris Lear's book Running with the Buffaloes [focused on same college team a few years earlier:] there is much less detail on workouts, races, teammates. It's more of an extended essay about him and the coaches. Even there, it's a little lopsided -- he clearly respected and appreciated his college coach, but he loved and hero-worshiped his high school coach, as apparently did many others in same small town. End of the book is poignant, as the h.s. coach dies of pancreatic cancer.

Well-written, but in the end it's hard to convey to strangers what makes one teacher/coach so significant in the lives of so many young people. He gave lots of hugs, but so do weird creepy people. He spouted aphorisms ("If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right" comes up a lot), but according to my kids even I do that.

But regardless of whether it adds up to a precise explanation of the effect, it was a pleasure to read about such the author's experience and fond memories.

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