Books & Media

Running Up The Mountain
Northern Arizona Altitude, Lumberjack Attitude, and the Building of a Distance Dynasty

Running Up The Mountain is a comprehensive look into the Northern Arizona University cross country and track programs as well as the running mecca that is Flagstaff, Arizona. Co-written by longtime NAU coach Ron Mann and three-time NCAA team champion Matt Baxter, the book takes readers all the way back to the 1960s when Leo “Red” Haberlack started the NAU program from scratch and legendary miler Jim Ryun put Flagstaff on the map by making the small mountain town his training base before the 1968 Olympics.

Leaving no stone unturned, Baxter and Mann uncover all sorts of anecdotes that even the longest-tenured Flagstaff-ians couldn’t have possibly known. From the town’s relationship with NASA, to an 84-inch snowstorm that saw actual buffaloes roam beyond the damaged fences of famed Buffalo Park, to a full-on track meet at Lumberjack Stadium in 1968 with six thousand fans watching athletes from Canada, Chile, West Germany and the USA prep for the high altitude Mexico City Games, the pages of this book provide one amazing story after another.

But the main focus of the book remains the NAU cross country and track teams, the program’s historic coaches, and its countless star athletes. From past NCAA champions Angela Chalmers, Johanna Nilsson, David McNeill and Lopez Lomong, to recent and current stars like Drew Bosley, Tyler Day, Luis Grijalva, Abdihamid Nur, Tayrn O’Neill, Nico Young and Futsum Zienasellassie, NAU fans are going to love learning about the progression of the program into what it is today. Running Up The Mountain is a must-read for cross country and track enthusiasts around the world.

Follow Your Heart: The Story of Stephanie Bruce’s Not-So-Final Season

Follow Your Heart – The Story of Stephanie Bruce’s Not-So-Final Season is a personal and behind-the-scenes look at one of America’s top distance runners as she trains for what was meant to be her final race–the 2022 New York City Marathon. Her longtime coach, Ben Rosario, follows along in real time, writing a chapter each week as Steph wins an international title, a national title, a half marathon, and produces some of the best workouts of her life in the build-up to New York. Sprinkled in throughout are Steph’s own raw thoughts and emotions via transcribed interviews Ben conducted with her as the segment progressed. The two discuss her congenital heart defect diagnosis, how she met her husband, juggling life with two young boys, her grief over the loss of her mother, and much more.

Ben also includes his own insights into the HOKA NAZ Elite team during a time of extensive change for the group. He reveals the reason he handed over the head coaching duties to two-time Olympian Alan Culpepper, shares his feeling about the athletes who left the team at the end of 2021, and dives into the “super shoe” revolution. He also describes the rocky journey Steph’s teammates, Matt Baxter and Aliphine Tuliamuk, had on their own respective roads to New York. It is a hold-nothing-back look into the inner workings of a professional running team, and the mind of one of America’s top marathon coaches of the last decade.

The book’s climax takes place in New York, on marathon weekend, followed by one of the toughest decisions of Steph’s life–whether or not to go through with her plans to retire. In the end, readers will know Stephanie Bruce, an athlete that has been one of the most authentic and transparent figures in her sport, better than they ever have before.

Run Like a Pro (Even If You’re Slow): Elite Tools and Tips for Runners at Every Level

In 80/20 Running, respected running and fitness expert Matt Fitzgerald introduced his revolutionary training program and explained why doing 80 percent of runs at a lower intensity and just 20 percent at a higher intensity is the best way for runners at all levels–as well as cyclists, triathletes, and even weight-loss seekers–to improve their performance.

Now, in this eye-opening follow-up, Fitzgerald teams with Olympic coach Ben Rosario to expand and update the 80/20 program to include ultramarathon training and such popular developments as the use of power meters.

New research has bolstered the case that the 80/20 method is in fact that most effective way to train for distance running and other endurance sports. Run Like a Pro (Even If You’re Slow) shows readers how to take the best practices in elite running and adopt them within the limits of their own ability, lifestyle, and budget.

Running the Dream: One Summer Living, Training, and Racing with a Team of World-Class Runners Half My Age

Matt Fitzgerald has been running (and writing about running) for most of his adult life. But, like many passionate amateur runners, he never felt he was quite fulfilling his potential.  If he follows the training, nutrition, and lifestyle of an elite runner, just how fast could he go?

In his mid-forties, Matt at last has the freedom to do nothing but train, if only for the span of one summer.  The time is now. He convinces the coach of Northern Arizona Elite, one of the country’s premier professional running teams, to let him train with a roster of national champions and Olympic hopefuls in the running mecca of Flagstaff, Arizona, leading in to the Chicago Marathon. The results completely redefined Matt’s notion of what is possible, not only for himself but for any runner.

Filled with a vibrant cast of characters, rigorous and quad-torching training, and a large dose of self-deprecating humor, Matt’s gripping account of his “fake pro runner” experience allows us to partake in the dream of having the chance to go all the way. Yet for the gifted young runners Matt trains with, it’s not a dream but concrete reality, and their individual stories enrich this inspiring narrative.

Running the Dream pulls us into the rarified world of professional running in a way we can all relate to, regardless of speed, and to take away pieces of one man’s amazing journey to try to achieve our own potential.

Hurt Me If You Can: The Tales of a High School Runner

“Through the hours of protests as well as the back and forth decisions on the ruling, I lost my enjoyment for the sport. By the end of it all I didn’t want the medal, I didn’t want the title, and I didn’t want to run another race. It was not the disqualification that killed me, it was the wait where I had to sit around and internalize whether I was a cheat, as I knew others were doing the same.”

Hurt Me If You Can is an autobiographical account of Matt Baxter’s journey through high school in New Zealand. As a thirteen-year-old, Matt had little interest in being a runner. Like his peers, he wanted to play the “fun sports,” and running did not fit that mold. It took an unexpected medical event before Matt considered joining his school’s cross country team. He did not know it at the time, but over the next few years running was about to become Matt’s identity. From 2008 to 2012, Matt fought his way through adversity and held onto hope that running was going to take him places. At the same time, Matt was trying to navigate the complexities of being a teenager who loved some aspects of school, and hated others. By his final year, Matt didn’t want to just be labelled as a good runner, he wanted to be remembered as the best that his country had ever produced. It was not going to be an easy task, but Matt was ready for that challenge.

Inside a Marathon: An All-Access Pass to a Top-10 Finish at NYC, Featuring a new Boston Marathon Chapter

Inside a Marathon gives readers an all-access pass into the mind of a coach and an athlete as they work together to prepare for one of the world’s most prestigious races, the New York City Marathon. Follow along from two different perspectives as Scott Fauble and Ben Rosario share all of the highs and lows over the course of the 18 weeks leading into NYC. Fauble and Rosario take an unprecedented dive into what exactly goes into professional marathon training, and they tell a compelling story along the way. With 50+ black and white photographs this edition also includes a chapter on the 2019 Boston Marathon where Fauble ran 2:09:09 and finished in seventh place.

Tradition Class Pride: Building a Cross Country Dynasty

Authors Ben Rosario and Jim Linhares unleash the secrets to building a high school cross country dynasty in this incredibly unique book on coaching. They cover everything from pre-season parent meetings to post-season awards banquets, as well as how to train and peak for Championship meets. In between, Linhares shares stories of success (and failure) from his 25 year career.

A Time and a Place

Follow six Olympic Marathon hopefuls from Northern Arizona Elite as they prepare for the Olympic Trials Marathon from their home base in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Elite-level marathoning requires years of sacrifice, and the piling on of countless miles and lung-searing efforts. It’s only when a rare race nears on the calendar that the monotony of this lifestyle gives way to specificity and anticipation.

This film provides an intimate portrait of the final months that lead up to one career-defining day, and offers a look into how the pursuit of a singular goal ultimately transcends the fleeting victories and defeats of race day.