Advance Praise / Peer Reviews

Hear what top industry names and running professionals think of The Complete History of Cross-Country Running

“Thank you for this fascinating well-researched story of cross-country racing through the ages. While narrating the evolution of this most basic and inclusive of sports, you have given the reader opportunity to feel the allure of the never-ending challenges and adventures that come with the preparation and competition over hills and barriers, across fields and streams—frequently in harsh weather—at the World Cross-Country Championships. To paraphrase Paula Radcliffe, who has expressed my sentiments so well, winning such a championship is as rewarding as an Olympic medal, for all the best of the world’s runners are there together in one race. And all know the journey to be equally rewarding, as is the privilege of competing for one’s country and with teammates.”

Doris Brown Heritage,  five-time International Cross-Country Champion, five-time U.S. National Cross-Country Champion, and first female member of the Cross-Country and Road Running Committee of the IAAF.

“I have only praise for The Complete History of Cross-Country Running. Our most powerful connection with our atavistic nature is running over the land. Out of the African savannahs, through European pastures, over western mountain trails and golf courses, this is what formed and perpetuated our hunter ancestors—the long chase. This wonderful history is absolutely crucial to understanding how we have incorporated our running into society for millennia. Well, well done.”

Kenny Moore, author of Bowerman and the Men of Oregon, U.S. National Cross-Country Champion (1967) and founding member, U.S. Olympic Committee’s Athletes Advisory Council.

“Cross-country running has always represented the ‘soul’ of running, which after all is supposed to launch human athletes into the natural environment. Andrew Hutchinson’s Complete History is just that—a complete and entertaining account of cross-country’s long and colorful past. You can’t read these pages without reflecting on your own best cross-country days, or maybe plotting for the next one.”

Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon Winner, Runner’s World editor at-large.

“Andrew Hutchinson’s engaging history calls us to take to the trails, brush off the dust of civilization and enjoy the thrill and challenge of cross-country running. From its origins in British schoolboy races to shop girls in France, he dives into a largely unknown corner of history and illuminates the colorful ancestry of a sport I love.”

Mina Samuels, author of Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives.

“Cross-country is what made me love running from the very beginning, and it gets far too little attention within the world of racing today. Hutchinson does an excellent job connecting the past with the present in this detailed description of harrier history. If you are not a cross-country runner or fan, you will be after this book.”

Ryan Vail, five-time All-American at Oklahoma State University, five-time member of Team USA at the World Cross-Country Championships (earning team silver in 2013). 2:10 marathoner. Brooks Athlete.

“Andrew Boyd Hutchinson’s Complete History of Cross-Country is an ambitious examination of cross-country running and the special past that makes it one of the world’s purest sports.”

Liam Fayle, HAWI Management.

“Cross-country has always been my favorite discipline and Andrew’s book reminds me why it is such a great sport. The simplicity and history of the sport is difficult to put into words and Andrew has done an amazing job chronicling the important historical points and describing the feel of racing off through fields and over fencerows. The amount of effort Andrew puts into researching the past is one of the great aspects of this book. He also passionately recounts the events and characters of modern cross-country that have continued to raise the bar on American cross-country and it’s impact around the world.”

Max King, four-time World Cross-Country member for Team USA.

“Andrew Hutchinson’s Complete History of Cross-Country Running is a detailed look at the history of cross-country running. The book drives into a detailed account of the sport including all the sweat, mud, and drama. Hutchinson doesn’t miss a beat in this book telling the fascinating history of cross-country running.”

Margaret Schlachter, author of Obstacle Race Training and founder of the award-winning Dirt in Your Skirt.

“I really liked The Complete History of Cross-Country Running. It was detailed and well-written. I found that I was forced to focus on learning about the sport, and that is a positive for both the educated runner and the casual fan. What I really enjoyed was the first chapter. Andrew pulled information from a span of history that I had never known, and here I am in my 17th year of running. I think that really shows how important it is for a book to come out that points out the foundation of our sport instead of the countless we already have that just talk about the present. The Complete History of Cross-Country is a genius account of how this seemingly crazy spectacle grew its roots into a healthy and heavily participated sport across the world.”

Craig Lutz, 2016 U.S. National Cross-Country Champion.

“Cross-country was, and still is, my first love. Running on grass or dirt; up and down hills; in all weather conditions, is what this sport is all about. Cross-country is the most ‘organic and all-natural’ of all running sport today… maybe even all sport, period. If you ever ran cross-country, you may have wondered just how and where the sport got started. This book tells you all that and more. The author, Andrew Hutchinson, has taken the time and energy to intensively research the sport like nothing I have ever seen. This is an incredible compilation of sport-specific history. The fact that he traces cross-country back to its infant days in the early to mid-1800’s in England is fascinating. This book details the growth and development of cross-country as well as the people, teams, places, and events that shaped the sport as the decades went by. You can find out everything significant you ever wanted to know about the sport as you read this book, and it will occupy a special place of honor on my reference bookshelf.”

Craig Virgin, three-time Olympian, two-time World Cross Country Champion, national and collegiate cross-country champion, and 9-time member of Team USA at World Cross.

“A fantastic read, for coaches and young cross-country runners across America who are involved in this brilliant, competitive, high-level sport!”

“Boston” Bill Rodgers, World Cross-Country Championship Bronze Medalist and former American Record-Holder.

“For anyone who came up running as a kid our memories are flooded with crisp fall mornings running and racing through the forest during cross-country. Even after competing in a couple of Olympics in the marathon and spending most of my time on the roads, still, whenever fall rolls around I find myself reminiscing about cross-country. Yet, rarely are the war stories of cross-country told. Andrew does a brilliant job compiling a complete history of cross-country running. I’ve never seen such a thorough celebration and telling of the beautiful sport that cross-country is.”

Ryan Hall, Olympic Marathoner and 2006 U.S. National Cross-Country Champion.