My Coach Fernando Braz

Finn Russell, Journalist

For this edition of The Tiger Transcript, the spotlight will be centered on Fernando Braz, a well known runner and running coach on the North Shore. He is an interesting person to interview because of his popularity in the running world. He is also someone that many people look up to and try to emulate because of his athletic achievements. He has accomplished so much in his life and yet remains humble. I really admire him for that. 

I first became affiliated with Fernando when I was in 9th grade. That was the first time I attended his camp “Going The Distance.” Many great runners attend this camp and it is a fun time to train because it leads up to the fall cross country season. The reason I became interested in this camp is because of my brother who attended it before my 8th grade year. Like my brother, I too was enthralled by the experience.   

I decided that the world needs to know more about Coach Braz.  The first thing I asked him about was his experience at the Olympic Trials. He said that, “It is any distance runner’s lifetime dream. I loved it. It is not like any other place in the world.” He also mentioned how going to the Olympic Trials felt no different than any race he participated in while at Peabody High School or Boston College, which I found very intriguing. Then he went into great detail about how he has no regrets but did think of himself as selfish. He focused all his time on his running and training and believes that he should have made more of an effort to connect with his family and friends. I think this is a very important point to bring up because many professional athletes struggle with living balanced lives. They are so focused on their sport that they struggle to maintain strong relationships.

He did say he loved professional running because he said it was something he was passionate about. He says that he has no regrets about anything he did during his athletic career and believes that he retired when it was right for him. He always knew that he wanted to be involved with the sport after he retired from professional running, so in the back of his mind he always kind of knew that he would enjoy being a running coach.

Something that he thought was very important to his progress as a runner and a coach was remaining humble. He said that “If you remain humble you are going to work hard to become better than you were the day before.” He works hard every day as a coach which is very similar to the hard work that was necessary for him to achieve what he did as a runner as well. He believes that he will give up coaching when he doesn’t have the “passion to give up every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month to be a great coach.” He also thinks that it helps having good individuals to coach because that makes his job more enjoyable. Despite his love for coaching, he has found that people don’t listen as much to their coaches nowadays. 

In conclusion, he believes that individuals must realize that their coaches are just giving them work to challenge them so they can become the greatest athletes they can be.  This is important when gameday or the race comes around.  It is clear that Fernando Braz has left a mark on the running world, the East Coast, and me.