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“Running Up the Mountain” book

(1 customer review)


An intimate look at a die-hard running community and its determined pursuit of a championship goal.

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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 1 championship, but six?

In 2023, both the women’s and men’s teams took second in NCAA Division I, the best combined finish in team history.

Is it just living and training at an altitude of 7,000 feet? Can the formula really be that simple?

Is it that this university is located 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?

Running Up the Mountain is an inside look at how a remote outpost with no traditional powerhouse credentials built a culture of teamwork and a mindset of success that ultimately places its runners at the pinnacle of their sport. 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.

They talked to runners, families, coaches, and members of Flagstaff’s legendary running community, hungry to understand what it is about Lumberjack culture, the athletes themselves, and Flagstaff that made this unlikely success possible.

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.

This intimate look at a die-hard running community and its determined pursuit of a championship goal will have you cheering. Order now by clicking “ADD TO CART” above, and be among the first to see it!


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

Weight 20.2 oz
Dimensions 6 × 1.125 × 9 in

1 review for “Running Up the Mountain” book

  1. Tony Manley (verified owner)

    Personally knowing Ron Mann, I was somewhat knowledgeable about Northern Arizona’s success. However, after reading this book, which I couldn’t put down, I had no idea of how successful the program was and still is, to this day!
    I highly recommend getting this book. This book is a good read not only for runners, but for success in any sport and life.

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