Fernando Braz elected to the MA State Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame

This is the awesome coach that we work out with on Thursday nights. Free to ALL North Shore Striders!

From Peabody Weekly News.

BOSTON – Peabody resident Fernando Braz has been elected to the Massachusetts State Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

After many years as a competitive runner on the local, national and international stage, Braz began coaching in 1992.


Coach Fernando Braz

Braz has been coaching track and cross country for 22 years and has compiled a career record of 242-6-1.  During that time his teams have won a combined 30 Merrimack Valley League, Greater Boston League and Northeastern Conference league titles.  He has been coach of the Peabody High School indoor and outdoor boys’ track teams since 1998.

Braz compiled an impressive amateur record at Peabody High School and Boston College where he ran track and cross country.  He currently holds the Massachusetts all-time high school indoor 500 meter record (14:52.8), which he set in January 1980.  His time also stood as the New England record for 28 years until it was broken in 2008.

He won 12 individual state titles in cross country and track – earning All-American honors in both – and was the first Massachusetts runner to win back-to-back All-State titles in cross country.

Braz was inducted into the Peabody High School Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.

At Boston College, Braz was the first BC runner to qualify for the NCAA championships in both cross country and track.  He won the New England and Big East 10K and was named to the all-New England team 12 times.  Braz is also a member of the Boston College Hall of Fame.

His professional career highlights include being a two-time qualifier (1988, 1992) Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.

“It’s a very well-deserved honor for a special coach who is doing a great job,” Peabody athletic director Phil Sheridan said.  “There’s a lot of his coaching style that you don’t see from a lot of other coaches as he understands these kids are active student-athletes and they are focused on academics.

“There are lot of kids walking around the building who might be struggling but they find their niche so to speak and are doing well now that someone is overseeing what they are doing not only on the track but in the classroom as well.”

Braz currently serves as head coach at Going the Distance (GTD), which is a coaching service for runners who want to improve their running at any level.  GTD provides year-round on-site track programs in the spring, fall and winter as well as summer cross country speed and conditioning programs for students.

Coached Workouts Begin April 16!

Coach Fernando Braz has agreed to begin coached North Shore Strider workouts on Thursdays at Peabody HS. We will have our first meeting on Thursday, April 16th at 6pm.

The Peabody HS Lacrosse team has a game on the turf field this Thursday, so we will not be using the track this week. Instead, Coach Braz has some stretching, warm-up activities and some easy hill work planned.

Come dressed to run. Bring your immediate and long-term running goals and be ready to begin a months-long effort to become a better runner.

If you haven’t run a step in months, Anne Pelletier (who hasn’t run a step since January 1st) is hoping to have some company on a beginner’s walk-to-run program.

Boston Marathoners may want to run an easy 3 or 4 miles as part of their taper for Boston.

Any Questions, please contact Mike Pelletier.

2015 Run for Ricey

Great NSS showing for the 2015 Run for Ricey!

Current Grand Prix Standings.

Name Time Grand Prix Points
Sean M Kay 19:21 6 Points
Aiden Kay 22:01 5 Points
Bill Kobus 22:19 7 Points
Vanessa Diranian 0:24:37 8 Points
Neil Bernstein 0:25:14 6 Points
Lauren Hamilton 0:25:32 7 Points
Tom McMahon 0:27:05 5 Points
Mike Pelletier 0:27:11 7 Points
Natalia Kay 0:28:01 7 Points
Linda Desjardins 0:28:15 5 Points
George Geis 0:28:19 6 Points
Mariellen Hayward 0:29:11 6 Points
Jackie Gomez 0:30:50 6 Points
Cecelia Kay 0:32:14 5 Points
Armand Claveau 0:36:44 5 Points
Brianna Kyes 0:41:06

Eastern States 20 Miler Recap

It’s billed as a great opportunity for a last long training run for Boston. It is just that – 20 scenic miles. I know of five Striders (forgive me if I missed someone as I do not know everyone) who rose to that challenge on March 29, 2015. We started out in Kittery ME, and soon crossed the newly re-opened Memorial Bridge into Portsmouth, NH. We ran through Market Square and the route meandered till we hit Rte. 1A and then followed the coast line through Rye, North Hampton, Hampton, Seabrook and finished just over the border in Salisbury MA.

Linda, Maureen, Annajean and Denise at Eastern States

Maureen, Annajean, Denise, and Linda

The scenery was spectacular as are most New England coastal towns: beautiful mansions, summer cottages, old architecture, rip-rap barriers, picturesque inlets, a sparkling blue Ocean or our left and a dazzling sun overhead. There’s one section, Little Boar’s Head in North Hampton, featuring a hill, which, just before we approach the top and the sharp drop-off comes into view, gives an infinity pool view of the Atlantic. It’s mesmerizing. It was a reasonably painless way to get in that last 20 miler.

OK, in theory it was. But, a few glitches needed to be dealt with. Chip timing was not used and results were incorrect and took a while to sort out. Let’s face it: we want our times and we want them right! Perhaps the race was TOO popular: the organizers ran out of finishing medals and post-race food. The course could’ve used more water stops as on a cool, dry day, dehydration sets in easily. But the biggest negative (and of course no one could control this), was the weather prediction of northwest winds, psyching us for tailwind all the way, which instead were strong and sustained southeast winds (15-20 MPH?) for the entire 20 miles! Many people commented on their added individual struggle and most of us had windburn by race’s end.

Our times were probably not representative of where we are in our training; but too, the extra work will put us in good stead for Boston. Annajean McMahon ran a great race and took an age group 3rd among twelve in the talented pool of 60-69 year old women. She ran an outstanding 3:06! Fantastic job! Yours truly came in 6th; but not that far behind 4th and 5th in 3:25. Next to cross the finish line was Dave Jefska in 3:44 for a very respectable showing. Denise Young and Maureen Kelly set their sights on breaking four hours and they smashed that goal coming in at 3:52 and 3:53 respectively. We did our best to represent the North Shore Striders well; and I think we did just that!

Linda Desjardins

Run for Ricey Next NSS Grand Prix Race

Event Date: Saturday, April 11, 2015. Event Time: 9 AM.
Online registration ends: 4/9/2015 at Noon, EST.

Jim Rice Memorial Run

Jim Rice Memorial Run

Please note new location this year!

The Fourth Annual Firefighter Rice Memorial 5K is to honor fallen Peabody Fire Fighter James Rice who tragically lost his life while fighting a house fire in his home town in 2011. All proceeds benefit the Peabody Fire and Police Memorial Fund. This Memorial Fund is to raise money for a memorial park to be built at the corner of Perkins Street and Ellsworth Street in Peabody.

Race Location: AOH Club, 58 Lowell Street, Peabody MA.
Race Times: 5K Race – 9 am
Race Fees: 5K Race -$25
Awards: Top M and F Overall, and Top 3 M/F in the following age groups 18 and under, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+

For more info on the Peabody Memorial Fund go to www.peabodymemorial.org.

NSS Grand Prix Announced for 2015

See full details about the North Shore Striders Grand Prix 2015!

Grand Prix 2015

Grand Prix 2015

The North Shore Striders Super Secret Selection Committee carefully considered your responses to the survey and then developed a number of different proposals which were sent to the NSS Board of Directors for their input. Finally we have a slate of races to run of varying distances which avoids races on week nights which are difficult for those Striders working full time, especially in Boston.  The series attempts to spread the races throughout the year and introduce a few new races sponsored by New England Running company, our chief sponsor. Unfortunately avoiding week night races and adding new races means that some long-time favorites were dropped from the Grand Prix. We hope you understand how hard this was.

The most important fact about the 2015 NSS GP is that it starts this coming Sunday, March 8th  with the Great Stew Chase 15K in Lynn. Long-time Strider Roger Perham is again directing this oldest 15K in the country. Roger needs volunteers for this race. I’m heading up a group of volunteers who will be course marshals in and around Peabody’s Centennial Park, Jubilee Dr, and Dearborn Rd. This is the middle 4 miles of a 9.3 mile race so we need a lot of Strider volunteers (many more than me, Rosie and Armand).

See full details about the North Shore Striders Grand Prix 2015!