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by Christopher Lear. Trafford Publishing, 2000. 257 pp.

A new book is getting rave reviews from runners.  "Running With the Buffaloes" follows the coaches and athletes of the University of Colorado men's cross-country team from the first day of summer practice in Boulder through the 1998 national championship race in Lawrence, Kansas.  The positive buzz is well-deserved.

For me, Lear's book is a vivid and detailed eye-opener on how coaches and high-level athletes approach this sport.  1998 was an especially dramatic year for the Colorado team, as Adam Goucher, 2000 U.S. Olympian at 5,000 meters, came back for a fifth try (he had an injury-redshirt year) at the individual and team titles, both of which had been elusive goals.

  In addition, 1998 brought other personal drama to the team, and there are several compelling individual stories and characters, but I don't want to spoil the book for anyone.

Author Chris Lear is himself a former 4:09 high school miler and collegiate All-American (at Princeton).  Local runners will be interested to know also that erstwhile N.V. Runner Therese Brown worked at a camp where Chris Lear and his twin brother were high school campers.

The publisher's website is www.trafford.com.

Because I ordered early, I received a copy signed by Lear and by Goucher.  I don't know if that's still happening.

-- Mike Dooris, September 2000