News Archive --2012
Jay Newton on running 2:59
[After Jay ran 2:59 at the Bay State Marathon on October 21, we asked him how he did it.]
"In the fall of 2011, I had pulled my hamstring at the attachment near my glute and shortly thereafter, ran my goal race of a half marathon where I missed my time by just 18 seconds, which would have qualified me for the NYC Marathon had I made it. The race pushed my injury to a new level, and I spent most of my winter and spring trying to recuperate with cross-training and lots of physical therapy.
"As the summer was approaching, I had a goal to run a sub-3 hour marathon. In order to do this, it would require quite a bit of training, including speed work. The problem was, I was still dealing with the attachment injury.
"I approached Fernando, my coach for 5 years now, and had a serious conversation with him as to whether or not he believed that I could begin to train some time in June, in such a way that I would be able to recuperate and still get in the proper training to complete the coveted sub-3 hour marathon. He had full confidence, and began to put a plan together, accommodating my injury.
"I decided to sign up for 'program 2' because my condition required me to have a more focused approach to this training plan. I needed to go week-by-week because the attachment area was just so volatile.
"The training started out pretty rough, since I was somewhat on fresh legs. I hadn't done any speed work in months, and I just wasn't anywhere near the right shape to really kick it up. Fernando and I worked together on a weekly basis to try to get my body up to the next level, because frankly, I was running out of time. I recall one week in July he sent me a schedule that made my stomach churn a bit. I didn't know it at the time, but he was testing me mentally. That was when things turned around. I crushed all of the runs that week.
"From that point on, things came together more and more, and the outlines that Fernando put in place allowed me to not only continue running, but I progressed very rapidly, and the injury stayed at bay.
"On October 21 I ran the Baystate Marathon, and ran a 2:59:29, making my goal by a full 31 seconds. It was the very best race I've ever run in my life. I know I put a tremendous about of time and energy into the training and the race, but I give a lot of credit to Fernando and his ongoing guidance to help me achieve this amazing goal. I can now call myself a sub-3 marathoner."
Sarah Prescott: Ironrunner 13
On October 28 at the Cape Cod Marathon, Sarah Prescott completed her 13th consecutive Ironrunner year with a 3:51:23 finish. While battling injuries for most of the year, Sarah channeled the one quality that separates runners who make it from those who don't -- mental toughness and discipline. And she has done this for 13 years.
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 13th year in a row. This is a New England record that is unlikely to ever be broken.
Kath Hardcastle: 2:52:41
At the Dublin Marathon on October 29, Kath was 11th woman in 2:52:41.
Karen Durante - Athlete of the Month
Karen Durante is the New England Runner female athlete of the month (July/August).
Karen has celebrated turning 60 by dominating her division as well as scoring in team events in the 40s and 50s age groups. She began by setting the women's 60+ record at the Amherst 10 Miler, which was the USATF-NE championship. She hasn't lost since in the Grand Prix series, with run-away wins in the New Bedford Half-Marathon, Bedford 12K, and Newton 10K.
Linda Jennings at 10K Masters Championship
The USATF 10K Masters Championship was run in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on June 3. Linda ran this one day before she turned 60. She finished 2nd in the 55-59 division in 43:53, but would have won the 60-64 division.
She reports: "Nothing like doing a masters championship race the day before aging up!!! Similar story to the 8k. No complaints about finishing 2nd. I have a break before the next masters race in September."
Linda Jennings at 8K Masters Championship
The USATF 8K Masters Championship was run in Williamsburg, Virginia, on May 19 -- the Run for the Dream 8K. Linda finished 2nd in the 55-59 division with a 35:10 PR.
She reports: "It was a weird race. Really thought I was running faster . . . wrong. Felt better after the race when a few other masters said the same thing. Focused on other masters, mostly women. Happy to pass a few of them - all younger than me! It wasn't one of my better races but since it is an odd distance, I got a PR. I'll take a PR anyway I can get one! I was happy to see that I finished ahead of the 60-64 women especially since one of them runs about the same as me! These races are a mixed bag - more stressful since it's a national championship race but an opportunity to see/socialize with other master runners that I've gotten to know."
A note to Linda's competition -- her 60th birthday is Monday, June 4.
Fernando -- Coach of the Year
The Salem News has named Fernando Braz the Boys Track Coach of the Year.
The following is from the April 5 edition of the Salem News:
"Fernando Braz led his team to a perfect 7-0 record, the NEC title and league championship this winter. The Tanners also had some great performances on the New England and National stage while setting several school records.
Braz has been coaching the indoor track team for 14 years and has instilled his love for the sport in his athletes.
'This team took pride in doing the little things to achieve team goals,' he said. 'The favorite thing for me was seeing their ability to adjust to different challenges and demands during practices and competition.'
The father of two is a role model for his athletes.
'Coach Braz is the greatest role model I could have asked for during my athletic career,' said Salem News all-star Zach Grube. 'He has many records himself (at Peabody High), but beyond the world of athletics he's a person whom I can only hope to be similar to down the road.'
Fellow all-star Nick Ingham said Braz trained him never to give up because 'it's not about how you start, but how you end.'"
[photo courtesy of Scott Mason]
How far can you run in 6 hours?
On November 13, at the 2011 New England Ultra Championship (Rhode Island 6 Hour Ultramarathon), Tina Dowling ran 40.52 miles. She completed 15 circuits of the 2.7 mile rolling loop in Warwick City Park, a course that is wooded and scenic with parts overlooking Narragansett Bay. She ran for 5 hours, 50 minutes, and 35 seconds. Only full circuits are counted.
Tina averaged 8:39 per mile for over 40 miles. She finished 5th overall out of 57 competitors. And she was top USATF open (and master) woman.
Larissa Park Wins Hampton Half
Karen Durante Crushes Age Group
Larissa won an early season half at Hampton Beach, and Karen won her age group at the Vineyard 20 Miler by a half hour.
PRs at Hampton from Chris Marshall, Francine Jones, and Nicole Radulski.
See results link at right for details.
Kara Haas and Kath Hardcastle
1 -2 at Super 5K
Kara ran 17:18 and Kath 17:53 in an early season show of speed at the Super 5K in Lowell on Superbowl Sunday (February 5). They were the top 2 women in the race.
Jodie Conway at Olympic Trials
Seven weeks after running 2:44:09 in Philadelphia to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials, Jodie ran another marathon -- the Women's Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston on January 14th.
"Houston was a good experience. I learned A LOT!! I learned that if I want to qualify again for the trials I should do it a lot earlier. Training for 2 marathons that were 7 weeks apart was not hard for me mentally, it was hard physically.
"While I never had any injuries leading up to Philly, once I started training for the trials, I had arch pain, hamstring pain and eventually severe tendonitis in my left leg that forced me to stop running completely 2.5 weeks before the trials.
"I really wanted to be in the top 1/3 at the trials, but with Philly only 7 weeks prior combined with missing my last 2.5 weeks of training it wasn't going to happen.
"I felt really strong mentally in the race, but my legs just didn't have the spring they had in Philly and I had to slow down a bit over the last half. It was tough running a race where a 2:48 puts you in the back of the pack . . . When I crossed the line initially I felt so defeated until I talked to Fernando and he told me that I had to look at the big picture.
"It's been quite a year, so I can't be disappointed. If anything, I realize how strong I was to run a 2:48 on tired and injured legs.
"I am currently taking some much needed down time. The next 3 weeks will just be rest and recovery!! I plan on doing a couple of shorter races in the spring. NYC 1/2 (March) and another 1/2 in Indianapolos (May). After that, I want to focus on a Fall marathon and try to get closer to 2:40. I am thinking about Chicago. I have convinced Lory Cavanagh to do it with me :)
"The coolest thing about the trials was that I got to meet some pretty amazing athletes. I had dinner with Magda at the Saucony dinner. I also had lunch with Katie McGregor and before the race Kara and Shalane were sitting right next to me while they stretched and discussed when they should warm up.
"Meb and Ryan Hall passed me right as they were finishing. It was a loop course and they started earlier, so that was awesome to see them running to the finish. Meb was so pumped!!"
Jodie was 104th out of 152 finishers. Not exactly "back of the pack."
The top three women, who qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, were Shalane Flanagan (2:25:38), Desiree Davila (2:25:55), and Kara Goucher (2:26:06). Magdalena Lewy Boulet finished 10th in 2:33:42 and Katie McGregor 11th in 2:34:01.
The top three men were Meb Keflezighi (2:09:08), Ryan Hall (2:09:30), and Abdi Abdirahman (2:09:47). Dathan Ritzenhein was only 8 seconds behind Abdi. Ouch.
Catarina Rocha Takes 2nd at Nationals
Catarina Rocha unleashed a devastating kick in the last 400 yards to move from 5th to 2nd in the Footlocker National Cross-Country HS Championship in San Diego on December 8.
Her 17:29 was 5 seconds behind the winner, Anna Rohrer.
After playing soccer in her freshman year, Cat switched to xc and in 3 years became one of the most dominant female high school runners to ever come out of New England. She won the Massachusetts cross-country title in her junior and senior years. She won the Northeast Region title in her senior year, and she qualified to compete in the national championship in all three years. Running against the top 40 in the country each December, she finished 31st in her sophomore year, 7th in her junior year, and 2nd as a senior.
Catarina Rocha Wins Northeast Title
[photo courtesy of Don Rich / Milesplit.com]
Catarina Rocha ran 17:49 at the Van Cortlandt Park 5K course in New York City on November 24 to win the XC Northeast Regional Championship and qualify for the national championship in San Diego on December 8.
The Northeast regional championship includes the top HS runners from NE, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Wash. DC.
Last weekend, Catarina won her 2nd Massachusetts XC title. Last year she was 3rd at the regionals and 7th in San Diego.
Although Cat comes from a family of talented runners -- her parents (Joe and Gina) and uncle (Fernando Braz) were all national finalists -- she is her own person. Gina says “The nice thing is that she’s a real humble kid and that makes me very proud. When you look at her high school career, what she wants most to be remembered for at Peabody High School is that she made a difference there and not through her running. She’s been secretary of the class for four years now. She’s involved in numerous organizations and she’s trying to build a community center for disadvantaged youths in our downtown area. I think that’s what Catarina wants to be remembered for. Any little bit of difference she’s made in someone’s life, that’s what Cat’s about.”
Cat is an assistant coach in the GTD Youth Speed and Conditioning summer program.
[Gina's quote is from Joe Reardon's column in MileSplitMass.]
Hamilton-Wenham XC Sparkles
At the XC Regionals held in Wappingers Falls (NY) on November 24, the Hamilton-Wenham XC girls team finished 11th out of 27 teams from NE, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Unbeaten in dual meets for many years, the H-W girls team is the model for successful xc performance -- individual dedication and team focus.
Most of the team trains in the summer at the GTD Speed & Conditioning Cross-Country Program. Congratulations to Meg Blatchford, Claire Paccione, Sarah Duffy, and Emily Horgan. And to H-W's top finisher, sophomore Emily Weigand, who finished 27th out of 216 runners.
Linda Jennings: 15K Victory
Linda finished her 2012 racing season with an age-graded 1st place at the Stockade-athon 15K in Schnectady (NY) on November 11. She ran 21:30, 22:02, and 22:40 5K splits for a 1:06:12 finish (7:07 per mile), and a 90:14% age graded result, the only runner out of 1639 finishers to break the 90% barrier.
Late next spring, Linda turns 61. And she's not slowing down.
Jay Newton: 2:59:29
Jay ran his first sub-3 hour marathon at Bay State on October 21. His 2:59:29 was a 10+ minute PR.
Linda Jennings at Hartford
Linda ran 1:33:41 (7:09 pace) at the Hartford Half-Marathon on October 13. She set a new course record for women 60+. In addition to winning the age group title, she finished ahead of all the 50-59 women.
Linda has competed in the USA Masters Championship races for the past two years, so her Hartford appearance was an "extra." If you were at the GTD track workout last Tuesday, you would have seen Linda attacking her workout -- efficient, fast, serious. Maybe the Hartford Half was an "extra" on her schedule, but it was still a race, and a race is a race.
Lory Gray 2:44:25 at Chicago
Karen Durante 3:23:54
Lory was 16th woman overall and Karen set an 11 minute PR.
Also having excellent marathons were Lana Popova, Hank Wilder, Kelly Cenca, Nicole Connolly, and Cherie Monahan.
Larissa Park 36:04 at Tufts
Larissa ran a 10K PR at Tufts on Monday, October 8.
Kath Hardcastle in Montana
At the challenging Sweathouse Half-Marathon in Victor, Montana, on Sep 8, Kath was 1st woman in 1:28:37.
Kath re-fuels post-race with her lab, Red.
Youth Speed & Conditioning, 2012
GTD's Youth Speed & Conditioning programs in Andover and Peabody ended in mid-August. The summer programs are designed to prepare young athletes for all scholastic sports as well as provide year-long conditioning guidelines.
The North Shore program held onsite workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for 5 weeks, and included off-site workout guidelines for other days of the week.
The Merrimack program, held at Andover HS, held onsite workouts for 10 Monday evenings.
Check each program's page (linked above) for session photos coming soon.
Coach Braz thanks his staff of over 20 coaches (including Shane) for their hard work in the program all summer, and wishes the athletes success in their fall sports program.
Nicole Parker Runs Vermont
Gina Newton Wins Melrose Run for Women
Gina Newton won the 15th running of the popular Melrose Run for Women on May 13 (Mother's Day!).
Gina averaged 6:17 per mile over the 3.5 mile course to win by 11 seconds in 21:57.
She holds the bountiful prizes!
Kara Haas Sets U.S. Record
On December 31 at the Boston University Mini-Meet #3, Kara set a new U.S. record in the 3000 for women over the age of 40. Kara's time was 9:49.
Next day, January 1, Kara was top woman in 4:41 at the Millenium Mile in Londonderry (NH).
Congratulations to Kara for ending 2011 and starting 2012 in spectacular fashion.
Look for Kara at the Tuesday workouts, starting January 3. Yes, she is still improving.
Nick Christensen runs 4:12:56
Nick ran 4:12:56 at the BU meet on Jan 1. This was a PR and set a Peabody HS record. Coach Braz reports: "The exciting thing was that he won the race. He could have run 4:21.9 and that would have been his personal best, but competing that well obviously translated into a faster time. Winning was pretty impressive."
Jodie Conway in New England Runner
After running 2:44:09 at the Philadelphia Marathon on November 20 to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston on January 14, Jodie was interviewed by New England Runner. Here are some excerpts from the interview, published in the January-February issue:
"I was a miler in college and I kept telling everyone that I just wasn't built for marathons.
"I ran into Lory Cavanaugh, who trains under Fernando, at the gym in December 2010 and I decided if I was going to do another marathon I was going to train right. So . . . I signed on with Fernando and my goal was to break 3:10 in Boston. . . .
"I ended up doing Vermont City instead. When I ran a 2:52 on that really hot and humid day I realized that I might have a shot at the Olympic Trials standard. So, I kept training with Fernando and signed up for Philly. Training was harder than it was for VCM. It involved more miles and faster tempo workouts and a ton of hill workouts.
"It obviously worked because I felt unbelievable in the Philly race. I never thought I would run a 2:44. I thought it was going to be a long shot to be under 2:46.
"Fernando has me take the training week by week. I truly trust in his judgment. . . .
"Fernando is the best coach I have ever worked with. In a year I have taken over 30 minutes off my previous marathon PR!"
To read the entire interview and much more about New England runners and running, pick up a copy of New England Runner. You can find them on the web here
The Little Things -- 2nd issue
We sent the 2nd issue of GTD newsletter, The Little Things, on December 28.
If you did not receive the second issue of this emailed newsletter, send an email to Dave Smith to be added to the list. Note that you also may want to check the "spam" folder on your email provider's server to see if the The Little Things ended up there.
The Little Things
On Thursday evening, December 1, we emailed the first issue of the GTD newsletter, The Little Things. Fernando's featured "little things" tip in this issue is an Ice Bath Guide.
If you did not receive the first issue, send an email to Dave Smith to be added to the list. Note that you also may want to check the "spam" folder on your email provider's server to see if the The Little Things ended up there. In the meantime, you can read the 1st issue here -- The Little Things.