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God on the Starting Line: The Triumph of a Catholic School Running Team and Its Jewish Coach [Paperback]

Our Price $ 11.90  
Retail Value $ 14.00  
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Item Number 285545  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2007
Publisher   Breakaway Books
ISBN  1891369741  
EAN  9781891369742  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

"It captures the deeper joy of watching young athletes embrace unfashionable ideals of commitment, sacrifice, courage, and faith."-Sports Illustrated

"Marc Bloom coaches as every coach in the sport should. I recommend this book without reservation. Read it, commit it to memory, and you will be better for it."-American Track & Field

"At its core a spiritual book. It will inspire the reader who values small works of goodness and the courage to face big challenges."-Jewish Book World

"More than a story of different religions, Jewish and Catholic, meeting on the cross-country course. There is an even more eternal struggle: old versus new. Bloom preaches the value of pain, hard work, suffering, and delayed gratification. His cross-country kids are, well, kids. They want to have fun, chase girls, and enjoy the loosey-goosey life. In Bloom's inspiring tale, both coach and kids learn surprising lessons from each other."-Amby Burfoot, executive editor of Runner's World

Marc Bloom, an observant Jew, winds up the coach of a local Catholic high school cross-country team. The common ground he finds between the two faiths helps to propel his team to a state championship.

Marc Bloom, an award-winning journalist, is a features writer for The New York Times and a contributing editor of Runner's World.

Buy God on the Starting Line: The Triumph of a Catholic School Running Team and Its Jewish Coach by Marc Bloom from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781891369742 & 1891369741

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More About Marc Bloom

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Marc Bloom has been a leading figure in track and field, running, and the health and fitness movement for nearly forty years. The author of several books, he served as editor in chief of "The Runner" magazine from 1978 to 1987 and has been a senior contributor to "Runner's World" since 1988, covering events worldwide and writing articles on health, fitness, and training. He lives in New Jersey with his family.

Marc Bloom was born in 1939.

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Product Categories
1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Religious Studies > Christianity   [2270  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General   [3888  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Over a Trail of Special Understanding  Oct 3, 2008
Author Marc Bloom captures a special quality of cross-country through his chronicle of coaching a team that may have been small in numbers, but rich in faith, from start to finish.

Bloom, an observant Jew, was at the helm of the St. Rose harriers - a private Catholic high school in New Jersey - and shows how the journey is more than lacing up the shoes for daily workouts and weekend races.

That the team - which ended up with a scant seven runners - earned a state title is secondary to the paths taken by the coach and each runner in a quest to be the best they can be, on and off the turf.

A Wonderful Story!  Mar 26, 2008
This is a wonderful story that would certainly make a great movie. It definitely has all the elements necessary: a main plot and little side stories that are very important to the big picture. The author's strength is displayed as a magnificent coach, friend, and teacher, but it's his spirituality that plays a huge part in the team's building to where they mature and become winners. His Jewish Faith combined with the team's Catholic Faith show the Higher Force as what He really is: The all-loving and caring God. There are life lessons to be learned from this book. Plus, it's a delightful read! You'll love it!
Moving Tribute To an Underappreciated Sport  Apr 25, 2006
Cross-country is the Rodney Dangerfield of sports in many high schools, overshadowed by the soccer craze and derided as a fall-back for those unable to make the cut in the glamour sports. If more people read "God on the Starting Line" they might see this sport for what it is: a demanding test of willpower, pain tolerance and team cohesiveness played out in a natural setting.

As Marc Bloom illustrates through this vivid depiction of his undermanned squad's break-through season, cross country is completely at odds with the pressures and temptations faced by today's adolescents in our video-game, fast-food culture. It's his ability as a coach to connect with these kids and instill a desire to rise above the ordinary that makes this simple story such a triumph.

The author, in his exuberance to connect with the reader and in his meditations on the larger meaning of running, lapses into a series of seemingly random associations in some passages that break up the training and race descriptions. Yet those with the patience to follow his train of thought through these interludes may come away convinced that the purification-by-pain and honest living demanded by cross-country running do indeed bring both coach and athlete closer to the divine.

-Kevin Joseph, author of "The Champion Maker"
Bloom's Quest to Make Small School Champs with Interfaith Twist  Sep 23, 2005
This a very personal real story of an expert on Track and Field (Bloom) and empty nester with a desire to coach the pure running sport of Cross-Country. Remarkably, his only taker in New Jersey is St. Rose, a private Catholic School. Although Jewish, there is a prompt mutual respect between the team and Bloom. At this point in the book, Bloom has been coaching his team for several years but every summer he faces a challenge in team depth and symptoms of a summer of too little training. With his skeleton team, Bloom develops and gets to know each individual. He works personal motivation, skill in workouts, a touch of psychology and a mix of father figure and teacher together to help guide the boys through life. The book is surprisingly personal as Bloom reveals much of himself, his past and his family along with his own running experiences as he in turn learns about the boys under his tutelage. Bloom acts as a total coach knowing each boy's personality, personal conflicts and athletic needs while providing versatile training that promotes a team running style while also perfecting their training to the course they will run on at the Parochial Class B Championship. There is a great blend of faith as Bloom shares in their prayer before each race, holds a boys crucifix while he runs hoping that rubbing it will power the boy forward and at other times touching his own mezuzah for the same reach of faith and power. The final race is exhilarating as the boys give a tremendous effort and do run as a team as there coach has continual emphasized. Whether they win or not, they run as great heart, each one showing great improvement. The final sprint to the end is exciting as you literally sprint with the coach along the course to see how they finish. Without peeking at the end, you will find their final efforts surpisingly rewarding. Throughout the book, Bloom discusses the issues such as the detrimental effect hard training has on young girls, the effect multi-year sports has had on distance running (particular soccer) and insights to past great runners. The book may be more appealing to the mature runner as it's not all races and training but a look back at Bloom's life from mid life with an introspective look at the boys' lives and future as well. The book will be a treat for those former cross-country runners who enjoyed the simple purity of the sport and who also know that when the summer final cools, making your sweat turn cold, its cross-country season.
Enjoyable book for runners and coaches alike.  May 18, 2005
God on the Starting Line is an excellent non-fiction book about a NJ high school cross-country team and its coach. Bloom's smooth writing style brings out the joys and heartaches experienced by cross-country coaches and runners everywhere. I have coached x-c at two different Catholic high schools (in NJ and PA)and Bloom's honest description of the day-to-day experiences is very accurate. Bloom makes the reader feel a part of this team and his descriptions are both brutally honest, yet thoughtful for each team member. His race descriptions and training methods can be appreciated by runners, coaches and fans of distance running. Highly recommended!

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