“This is much more than a story of different religions, Jewish and Catholic, meeting on the cross-country course. I was drawn into the story by an even more eternal struggle: old vs new. Coach 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, Runner’s World “God on the Starting Line is a classic, a tribute to all those who pursue excellence with talent, pride, courage, and the ability to endure. It’s the best sports book I’ve read in years and should be required reading.” —Bud Greenspan, Emmy Award-winning Olympic filmmaker _____________________ When Marc Bloom began coaching boys’ cross-country at a small Catholic high school, he almost quit in frustration. The boys rejected Bloom’s attempts at discipline, fooled around at practice and, one day, tossed a team member into the ocean. Bloom persisted, seeking to instill good values and help the boys achieve a sense of personal heroism through running. Fueled by the spiritual teachings of his Jewish faith to “repair the world,” Bloom began to make an impression on the boys, drawing out their courage and elements of their own faith. When Bloom combined ideas of hard work, passion, prayer, and suffering for a cause—a belief system necessary to sustain the rigors of cross-country running—the Running Roses ran their hearts out, making them state championship contenders and teaching the coach many lessons along the way. This is an important book for all runners, and for parents, coaches, and everyone who is touched by the joy and exaltation of young people who have much to teach the adult world about honor, decency, and the pursuit of excellence.