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News Archive --2011

Catarina Rocha: Foot Locker Pedigree

Catarina and her family are featured in this ESPN story.

Catarina Rocha: All-American

On December 10 at the high school cross-country championship in San Diego, Catarina Rocha earned All-American status with a sparkling 17:38 and 7th place finish. This event draws the top 80 runners (40 female, 40 male) from high schools throughout the U.S. It is the true championship of high school running -- the best throughout the country running against their peers.

Only 4 seconds separated Catarina from 3rd place in this extraordinarily competitive race. And only 2 seconds separated the 10th place runner from Catarina's 7th place. Catarina is a Junior at Peabody HS.

She is the daughter of GTD Youth Speed & Conditioning coaches Gina Braz-Rocha and Joe Rocha, and the niece of GTD Head Coach Fernando Braz. Gina, Joe, and Fernando also ran in the national championship when they were in high school. Gina finished 21st; Joe and Fernando 15th (different years). Does Catarina now have Family Bragging Rights, with another year to compete?
Here she is handing out shirts at a GTD Youth Speed & Conditioning session in August.

6 GTD Women Break 3 Hours at Philly

At the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20, six women who trained in Fernando Braz's program broke 3 hours.

Jodie Conway qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials with a sparkling 2:44:09.
Here's Jodie finishing.

Lory Cavanagh ran a tremendous 2:46:38.
Here are Lory and Jodie at mile 18.

Larissa Park ran 2:52:16, Caroline Bjune 2:53:43, Erin Flynn 2:56:24, and Nina Caron 2:59:54.

Jodie Conway: 2:44:09

Jodie Conway qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials to be held in Houston on January 14. Jodie's 2:44:09 at the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20 was under the 2:46 qualifying standard. She was 3rd woman overall.
Lory Cavanagh ran a tremendous 2:46:38.
Larissa Park ran 2:52:16, Caroline Bjune 2:53:43, and Erin Flynn 2:56:24.
Nina Caron's 2:59:54 was a world-class 90% age-graded performance. Now running as a senior, Nina ran 2:45:07 in Chicago on October 12, 2003 to qualify for the 2004 Trials.
Jack Mulligan ran 3:09:09, Dawn Mickee 3:51:42, Kelly Cenca 3:55:39, Amy Dalton 4:19:35, Candy O'Toole 4:22:44, Sarah Maguire 4:48:05, and David Gravel (and friend) 4:57:30.
In the Half-Marathon, Nicole Connolly ran 1:57:30, Cathy Gravel 2:17:46, and Jeannie Hallinan 2:17:47.

Linda Jennings at Philly Half

Linda Jennings won her age division (55-59) in 1:33:41 at the Philadelphia Half-Marathon on November 20.
Linda has competed in the U.S. masters circuit throughout the year, scoring well and achieving world-class age-graded times at all distances. Her half-marathon age-graded score was 92.4, which is astounding.

Sarah Prescott: Ironrunner

An ironrunner is an individual who completes all seven races in the USA Track & Field (New England) Grand Prix Road Racing Series, The races vary in length from 5K to a marathon and (depending on the year) take place throughout the New England states (except Maine and Connecticut). To complete the series, a runner must have mental strength and physical endurance. Those who succeed receive the title of New England Ironrunner.

Sarah Prescott is now an Ironrunner for the 12th year in a row.
From 2000 through 2011.
That's 84 consecutive Grand Prix races.
She's started and finished all of them.
Yes, this is record, and probably one that will never be broken.
Except by Sarah in 2012.

Trophy Mugs

Jay and Gina Newton and Linda Ford score Mugs at the Mohawk-Hudson Half on October 9th.
Training well and racing hard pay off!
See Results for details.

Linda Jennings at Marathon Championship

The USA Marathon Masters Championship was the Twin Cities Marathon on October 2.
Linda Jennings finished 2nd in her 55-59 age group in 3:20:16 (7:39 pace).
Linda was 607th out of 8531 finishers, and 82nd out of 3676 women.
Her age-graded result was 90.9%, which calculates to a 2:29 performance!
Age-graded standards adjust your performance to what it theoretically would have been during your prime running years (your 20s and a portion of your 30s, depending on the race distance). A score in the 90% range indicates that the runner is World Class.
For a report from Linda and a photo, go the Goon Squad Runners website.

Track Session Photos -- Sep 27

Cool but not cold on September 27th. Why not do a track workout?

Track Session Photos -- Sep 20

September 20 was perfect. Even the bugs were happy. Bad bugs!
After a late morning rain, the evening track session was sprinkler-free and everyone looked quick.

Track Session Photos -- Sep 13

September 13 at the track suggested the waning of summer. Humid but quickly darkening, not before the intervals were done. But cooler weather and fall are in the air.

Track Session Photos

August 30 was another great night at the track. The sprinklers again provided a cool mist when needed (or an annoying wave of water, depending on your mood). Maureen Forsyth came all the up from DC for the workout (or maybe she was in town anyway). Jack Mulligan was back, and the Family Bjune lit up the track.

Peabody High Track Coach Braz Praised for Going the Distance

Peabody high school track coach, special education teacher and owner of his own runners' coaching service, Fernando Braz is being lauded as a positive adult influence on students.

Coach Braz Leads Team to the
High School Nationals

Read about it here.

Jen in NYC

Jennifer Rapaport first trained with Fernando in 1999, and in March of that year she ran 1:25:48 at the Grand Prix Half-Marathon (in Melrose). Twelve years later at the NYC Half on March 20, Jen ran an excellent 1:32:45. And she's lovin' it.

Jodie Conway Wins Graniteman

On August 20th in Wolfeboro (NH), Jodie Conway was 1st woman and 8th overall at the 30th Annual Graniteman Triathlon.

She covered the 3/4 mile swim in 20:22 (23rd overall), and the 15 mile bike in 49:01 /18.4mph (22nd overall)
Then in the 4.2 mile run she crushed the field in 25:24 (6:03 pace), which was 2nd overall. Her total time was 1:34:46.
Jodie runs in Fernando Braz's training program.

Karen Durante at Falmouth

Karen charges up the last hill of this amazing 7-mile race, Falmouth, on her way to winning her division in a very competitive 51:18.

2009 Archive
2010 Archive

Holly Madden Wins 5K

Holly Madden won the NOCC Run to Break the Silence 5k in S. Boston on September 11. Holly ran 18:36 (6:00 pace) to finish 1st overall in a field of 283. Yes, that's first overall in the race.

Sarah Prescott Wins 5K

On September 9 at the Friendly Kitchen 5k in Concord (NH), Sarah Prescott was 1st woman in 20:22. She was 9th overall in a large field of 243 finishers.

Jay Newton at TransRockies Run

Jay reports:
As a team, Thor Kirleis and I ran a race called TransRockies Run. It's a 120 mile, 6-day stage race from Buena Vista to Beaver Creek, Colorado, from August 14 to 19.

The overall climb over the course was approximately 25,000 feet. "Team HumpMe & DumpMe" placed 12th in the men's open out of about 23 teams. The field was filled with talent, including names like Max King, Dean Karnazes, and a few Western States 100-miler winners. It was amazing to see how the front runners of this race were running each day.

As sea levelers not used to running in the thin air in the Rockies, it presented an additional challenge in addition to the distance and elevation we endured. But Thor and I both made for an amazing team. We truly became a well-oiled machine after just one day, and we had the time of our lives doing it.

On day two, Thor and I actually ended up running with Dean Karnazes for about 7 or 8 miles - very down-to-earth guy. This is a wonderfully organized event for anyone interested in doing a stage race and challenging yourself to try something new and out of your comfort zone. It's truly an epic life event.

Overall time: 26:37:53

Going the Distance program lays foundation for local athletes

Matt Williams and The Salem News report on the North Shore Speed & Conditioning program.

Linda Jennings at 15K Championship

The USA 15K Masters Championship was held in Buffalo on September 5.
Linda Jennings finished 2nd in her 55-59 age group in a 25-second PR of 1:04:34 (6:56 pace) behind a woman who broke the American record for senior women.
Linda was 3rd senior woman (50-59) overall, which is remarkable since she's less than a year from entering the 60+ age group.
Her age-graded result was 91.18%, 3rd best woman and 5th best including the men.
Age-graded standards adjust your performance to what it theoretically would have been during your prime running years (your 20s and a portion of your 30s, depending on the race distance). A score in the 90% range indicates that the runner is World Class.

Jodie Conway, Pat Fournier, GTD in NE Runner

From the September/October issue of New England Runner --

"Jodie Conway ran on an athletic scholarship at Boston College where she was a cross-country and 1500/3000 track specialist. With life and two kids in the post-collegiate years, Conway, 34, focused less on running. In 2010 she decided to get serious and contacted Going the Distance coach Fernando Braz. In six months her half-marathon PR dropped by 8 minutes and her marathon 26 minutes to 2:52:58 in the heat and humidity at the Vermount City Marathon. Her 13.1M PR came this March at the NYC Half Marathon where she ran 1:19:14."

"Since hooking up with Going the Distance coach Fernando Braz, Pat Fournier (Rome, ME) started dropping his marathon times. He ran his half marathon PR of 1:10:27at New Bedford this year and then placed 6th in 2:34:53at Vermont City."

Nina Caron Wins 5K

As in, 1st person across the finish line.
Nina Caron's 18:45 at the Hasting Harvest 5K in Lexington on October 2nd was enough to beat a field of 242 finishers. Nina writes: "It wasn't a huge race, but there were 4 competitive guys there and I came in about 15 seconds ahead of the guy that was slated to win it."
Fact: ya gotta beat the other runners to win the race.

Erin Flynn Wins Smuttynose Half

On October 2 in Hampton (NH) Erin Flynn ran 1:21:33 to finish 1st woman, and 8th overall.
Francine Jones ran a 14 second PR of 1:49:13 to finish 3rd in her age group.
Renee Clark ran 1:56:45, Sarah Carrier 1:57:45, and Amy Dalton 1:57:58.
In the marathon, Chris Marshall ran 3:24, a PR by 5:54.

Jon Healey and Caroline Bjune Win Wilmington Half

You may have seen Caroline and Jon (and brother Chris) galloping together around the track on Tuesday evenings. Not sure who's pushing whom at the workouts, but they both pushed back the field at the Wilmington Half-Marathon on September 25.
Jon won the race in 1:15:49.
Caroline was 1st woman in 1:23:21.

Linda Jennings at 10K Championship

Linda ran at the 2011 USA Masters 10K Championships in Ann Arbor (Michigan) on June 5.
She finished in 42:55, which was second in her age group. Her age-graded result was 90.1%, which was second female and sixth overall. She writes: "I got a lot more money for the age-graded result than the age group but the medal for the age group was nicer ;-)."

Linda'a report:
"Competing in a Master's Championship race is very different from any local races. It is exciting to be a part of it but it also can be intimidating.
"The top masters in the country compete. These races are an opportunity for us to race with each other and to get to know each other. The results for these races are by age group and overall age graded. The age grading equalizes the results - everyone is compared against a standard for their age. All of us have the same concerns before the start of the race - too sunny/hot, debating on wearing a hat, re-checking shoe tying, nervous/pre-race jitters, trying to find age group competitors (everyone wears a back tag with their age group).
"Given the weather, I didn't expect a PR but knew I was ready. I stayed close enough behind the second place runner in my age group so I could see her but for most of the race could not close the gap. With Fernando's pre-race coaching and my training, I knew if I ran smart, I could finish strong. The last 1.5 miles of the race I passed not only the runner in my age group but a few other masters.
"It was a fun weekend, although tiring. It was good timing to have my birthday just before the race. Next year this race will again be the master's 10k championship. However, due to it being a leap year, it will be the day before my birthday. I'll get to do this race twice as a 59 year old!"

All GTD runners are welcome to send performance notes to be included in the results. Did Fernando's workouts and coaching help? We'd like to know, and so would your running mates.
Send to Fernando and/or Dave.

Linda Jennings: USA 25K Champ

On May 14 at the USA 25K Championship at the 34th Annual Fifth Third River Bank Run in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Linda Jennings won the Women's 55-59 USA title in 1:52:46.
Linda was 62nd overall out of 2,360 women finishers, and one of only 4 women in the top 100 to score in the 90% range in age-graded standards.
Age-graded standards adjust your performance to what it theoretically would have been during your prime running years (your 20s and a portion of your 30s, depending on the race distance).
A score in the 90% range indicates that the runner is World Class.
Linda Jennings is World Class.
You'll find her at GTD track workouts.

Linda Jennings in DC

Check the GTD race results for Linda's result and her performance note.
All GTD runners are welcome to send performance notes to be included in the results. Did Fernando's workouts and coaching help? We'd like to know, and so would your running mates.
Send to Fernando and/or Dave.

Steve Seide at Half-Ironman

Steve competed at the Patriot Half-Ironman in E Freetown (MA) on June 18, 2011. Similar to many competitive athletes who test their talents and limits in triathloning, Steve trains hard and with guidance in all three disciplines -- swim, bike, and run.
For running, he uses Fernando Braz's GTD program. Does this make a difference?
Here is Steve's report:
"It's all about the run - I came out of the water with 84% of the people ahead of me. The bike was good where I finished ahead of 80% f the athletes and the run was the best where I finished ahead of 93% of the athletes. Overall I moved from 84% ahead of me to a finishing with 15.4% ahead of me after the bike and run."

Some New Bedford Photos

Here are some photos of a few GTDers at the New Bedford Half-Marathon on March 20.

Photos courtesy of Scott Mason at

9 Clubs and GTD

GTD is a coaching service for runners.
On March 20, runners coached by GTD competed for 9 different clubs at the USATF-NE Grand Prix Half-Marathon in New Bedford, MA, and at the NYC Half. The clubs were:
-- adidas/New England Running Company
-- BAA
-- Dirigo
-- Whirlaway
-- Goon Squad Runners
-- Going the Distance
-- Merrimack Valley Striders
-- Shamrock Running Club
-- Somerville Road Runners

Long Runs on the Weekend

If anyone is interested in getting together for a long run on the weekend, contact Coach Annie Starrett.

Coach Braz Breaks Fernando's Record

In 1980, Fernando Braz ran the mile in the Peabody HS medley relay (400, 800, 1200, mile). Their time of 10:50.1 held the school record for 31 years, until it was broken last weekend in 10:36:46 by a team coached by Fernando Braz.
Story here.