Melody Miles 5K Recap

North Shore Striders rock Melody Miles!

North Shore Striders rock Melody Miles!

Michael Veatch, thanks to his dedicated pursuit of excellence and thanks to training at Peabody HS under the direction of Coach Fernando Braz, destroyed the competition at the Melody Miles 5-Miler in Hamilton on Saturday, winning by over 8 minutes in the M50-59 age group. Anita Robboy also defeated her closest rival by over 8 minutes in the F6069 age group.

Meanwhile in the Melody Miles 5K, Jayne Sexton and Nancy Wilson each snagged second place in their respective age groups, F5059 and F70-99. Nancy Wilson  was forced to compete with the 70-year-olds when the race director forgot to list a F80-89 category.

Speaking of forgetting… Mary Stevens forgot to enter her age and missed out on being 12th/16 in the F5059 division.

The Chelsea Chase 5K

May 9, 2015
By Michael Pelletier

Chelsea Chase - 2015

Chelsea Chase – 2015

May 9th in Chelsea turned out to be another exceptional spring day. It started out cloudy and cold, but by race time (10 am) it was sunny but still cool and dry—perfect for racing.

The Chelsea Chase 5K starts and finishes at the Dockside Pub in the new Market Basket Plaza. This is a surprisingly scenic and fast course which quickly goes up and around Admiral’s Hill on Commandant’s Way past the historic brick buildings of the former Chelsea Naval Hospital which was decommissioned in 1974, before it swoops under the toweringly high Mystic River Bridge and then rolls into the City Hall area to loop around and then head back for another trek up Admiral’s Hill. I had forgotten how we now had to climb even higher to the true top of the hill before we headed down and then snaked back up again before a final long descent to the dead flat two-block-long final stretch.

Leading all North Shore Striders was the speedy Vanessa Diranian who was 1st F30-39 and 5th Woman overall. Close behind her was Neil the Snail, followed by Tom McMahon.

The Chelsea Chase 5K comes with a free lunch at the Dockside Pub (which truth be told is blocks away from the docks on the Mystic River) and two free drinks—either alcoholic or non-alcoholic. What could be better than lunch and a couple of cold ones while you relax on the patio beside the pub and await the race results with teammates?

North Shore Striders at Chelsea Chase 5K

Name Time Place
Vanessa Diranian 24:17 1st F30-39
Neil Bernstein 24:38 2nd M60-69
Tom McMahon 25:37 3rd M60-69
Mike Pelletier 26:29 1st M70-79
Rosie Kyes 29:14 6th/24 F40-49
Marisol Ficaro 29:14 4th/14 F50-59
Jackie Gomez 29:58 12th/33 F30-39
Maureen Kelly 31:30 5th/14 F50-59
Mary Stevens 32:43 6th/14 F50-59
Armand Claveau 34:32 4th/4 M70-79
Jenny Reynolds 38:10 22nd/33 F 30-39

Note: seven of us ran both the NECC Campus Classic 5K and the Chelsea Chase 5K and every one of us ran faster in Chelsea despite the hillier course. Loving the downhills the most was Jenny Reynolds who improved her time for the 5K by a whopping 2:17 in just one week.

NECC Campus Classic 5K

May 2, 2015
By Linda Desjardins

All winter we waited for the spring day of our imagination: cool, dry, snow banks melted, trees budding, flowers, clear roads, sun, smiling faces and a 5K to run. We got just what we wanted at the NECC Campus Classic this year. The course skirted the back perimeter of the NECC Campus and treated us to some views of Kenoza Lake, headed right to give us a few tenths of Rt. 110, the John Greenleaf Whittier Highway, before it headed back inward to pick up the front part of the campus’ perimeter and scooted us back to our starting point lined by rows of cheering fans. The race has a special vibe because it includes many novices, “couch to 5K” participants whose delight at finishing is just infectious. And their supporters rooted for everyone. We were all conquering heroes on that day.

A number of North Shore Striders were there to represent the club and participate in the second NSS Grand Prix event. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the post-race snacks. Six of the ten Striders were called up to receive medals for their efforts; three were just barely out of medal contention; and Jenny held her own in the most populous division. Here’s the breakdown:

North Shore Striders at Campus Classic 5K

Overall Place Age Group Time
29th Lauren Hamilton 3rd F5059 25:28
30th Neil Bernstein 2nd M6069 25:58
35th Tom McMahon 3rd M6069 26:37
38th Michael Pelletier 1st M70+ 26:47
48th Linda Desjardins 1st F6069 28:21
70th Rosie Kyes 4th F4049 30:08
85th Mary Stevens 5th F5059 33:18
90th Armand Claveau 4th M70+ 34:07
115th Jenny Reynolds 11th F3139 40:27
121st Nancy Wilson 1st F70+ 48:40

Congrats to all who drove to Haverhill and toed that starting line – and finished the task.

North Shore Striders Super Veteran Team Finishes 4th at Nationals

On April 26th, the North Shore Striders Men’s Super Veteran Team finished in 4th place at the USATF Masters National Championship 10K. For the third year in a row, the USATF Masters National Championship 10K was held as part of the James Joyce Ramble. And for the third year in a row, the North Shore Striders Men’s Super Veteran Team was there to compete.

The Masters competition started 3 minutes ahead of the start of the main field at the James Joyce. This meant that those of us in the elite Masters field running at 8:30 pace weren’t passed by the leaders of the main race until about the 1-mile mark. Once we were overtaken by the leaders, over the next five miles we were passed by hundreds of younger, faster runners in the regular race, but lots of them were very generous with the compliments.

In response to my begging him to join us at the James Joyce, Joe Giannone agreed to cut short his winter training in Florida and rush back for the race. Unfortunately, Joe and Nancy had to drive the entire 1600 miles in just 3 days and Joe paid dearly for that drive with resulting hip and back pain which dropped him from fastest runner on our team to third fastest and at least 12 minutes slower than he would usually run a 10K race.

Individual Results

  National Place Time
Mike Pelletier 11th M70+ 54:58
George Geis 12th M70+ 55:01
Joe Giannone 15th M70+ 1:06:13
Armand Claveau 16th M70+ 1:12:18

Photo Gallery

All photos courtesy of Krissy Kozlosky.

Upcoming Grand Prix Races

Grand Prix Events!

Grand Prix Events!

The next race in North Shore Striders Grand Prix is this Saturday, May 2nd at 10 am and is the NECC Campus Classic in Haverhill.

You have to pay your 2015 NSS dues ($25 for an individual; $35 for a family) before the race to be added to a team in the Grand Prix.

You can join on-line.

Or if you want to hand your check or cash to our treasurer, Armand, he will be at the race and will be happy to receive your payment prior to 9:45 am. (Armand is running the race and needs time to warm up before the race.)

The race web site:

Third race in NSS Grand Prix:

Chelsea Chase 5K on Saturday, May 9 at 10 am.
Start & Finish at the Dockside in Chelsea Market Basket Plaza. Post-event Celebration sponsored by Dockside Restaurant and Bar Chelsea, includes lunch and 2 drink tix for all registered runners.

Register for Chelsea Chase.

Dory Run

Volunteer Only or Volunteer & Run or just Run (if we have enough volunteers) for 10 team points: Memorial Day, Monday May 25: Dory Run in Swampscott.

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.