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Chase the NAU Lumberjacks up the mountain!

Running Up the Mountain” takes you inside a die-hard collegiate program’s determined pursuit of a championship goal.

In 2022, the Northern Arizona University men’s cross country team won their sixth national championship in seven years: the so-called “Repeat Three-Peat.”

  • How did a running team at a remote university in northern Arizona build a culture of success so strong that it could win not just one NCAA Division I championship, but six?
  • Is it just living and training at an altitude of 7,000 feet? Can the formula really be that simple?
  • Is it the university’s location in a town with a thriving community running program and a history of success in international competition?
  • Or is there something more, something in the challenge of running up the mountain perhaps, that shapes athletes of remarkable grit, devoted to winning for the team, as a team?

After a successful crowdfunding campaign last fall, Soulstice is preparing Running Up the Mountain: Northern Arizona Altitude, Lumberjack Attitude, and the Building of a Distance Dynasty for publication. Be among the first to read it. Preorder today!


Q: Who wrote this book?

A: Author Matt Baxter was a three-time cross country All-American and a member of NAU’s first three national championship teams. His co-author, Ron Mann, is a Hall of Fame coach and the longest-tenured coach in NAU program history.

Q: When will I receive my book?

A: The official publication date is November 2023. We are able to fulfill preorders earlier than that. How much earlier depends on lots of factors! But order with confidence, knowing you’ll be among the first to receive a copy.

Q: Who should buy this book?

  • Are you an NAU student or alum? Were you in the NAU athletic program? Did you run for the team? Then you know the spirit and honor that come with being part of this special place. Buy this book for yourself or a friend and spread that Lumberjack attitude!
  • If you’re a runner or a fan of running literature, Running Up the Mountain belongs on your shelf. Take the intimacy of Running with the Buffaloes and add the generational storytelling of Bowerman and the Men of Oregon, and you see how Running Up the Mountain will be a special book about a special place. Buy this book to see what it’s like when you run with the Lumberjacks!
  • Surrounded by ponderosa pines, enriched by diverse cultures, and inspired by the optimistic Western spirit, Flagstaff is a special place, and our running culture is one reason why. If you’re a Flagstaffian, buy this book to learn more about one of the many things that makes our home so special.

Q: Is it paperback like Abdi’s World, Chasing Excellence, or Catch Me If You Can?

A: Running Up the Mountain deserves a special place on your shelf, and thanks to so many generous crowdfunding backers, we are thrilled to offer this comprehensive history in hardback format.

Q: What if I have more questions?

A: Email Soulstice!

The book was featured in an article by reporter Eric Newman in the Arizona Daily Sun on December 15, 2022:

Tenured Lumberjacks to release book on NAU cross country history

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