After a Book of the Month featuring the new publication of Chasing Twilight by Adam Kimble in October, I decided to feature one of the classics of the “running literature” for November. Originally published in 2000, Running with the Buffaloes follows the University of Colorado (CU) cross-country team through one of their seasons. I assume that there has been a lot of changes in the way cross-country teams are managed but I still found the book to be very relatable.
I read it after my first visit to Boulder in February 2020 (which was also my last trip in a while!!). If you have ever spent some time in Boulder, you will likely enjoy being brought back to some of the trails and roads you may have run on like Magnolia Road or the Boulder Creek Trail.
The book describes the season and the mindset of the runners and coaches through injury, loss, goals, the daily grind of training and the importance of camaraderie.
I enjoyed reading about all these athletes, some of which continued to a strong running career and whose names you will likely recognize.
The book focuses on the Men’s cross-country team and there is little mention of the Women’s team. This may reflect a conscious choice of the author but may also reflect the fact that the book is over 20 years old.
College athletics is something that I didn’t experience growing up (not as popular in France, and I only started running in my 30s) and I enjoyed getting an insider view for what the life and mindset of the runners and coaches may be like.
I assume that people who have been on cross-country teams would relate in a very different way to the book and I would enjoy hearing other people’s thoughts on whether they identify to (part of) what is written in the book.