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meet the TEAM

Ruben P. Sança
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Ruben is a USATF Level 1 Certified Coach and Member of World Olympian Association

Running Background
20 years in Running
Level 1 Certified Coach by U.S.A. Track & Field (Certificate #22481029)
First Aid, CPR and AED Certified by the American Health Care Academy (Certificate #1325662)

Olympic Games (2012)
World Championships (2011)
Top 25 at Boston Marathon (2014, 2015)

Personal Bests

5K: 13:56
Marathon: 2:18


Owner & Coach

Since the 2012 London Olympics, Ruben has continued to compete both regionally and internationally. After missing the 2016 Rio Olympic Games by just 5-seconds in the marathon, Ruben has enjoyed much success in the local scene as a member of Whirlaway Racing Team. In 2017 and 2018 Ruben was crowned USATF New England Grand Prix Road Racing Champion. In addition to the 2012 London Olympic Games, internationally, Ruben has represented Cabo Verde at several other distinguished international events, including the Lusophone Games in India and Portugal, the Francophony Games in France, the Ibero-American Games in Brazil and the I.A.A.F. World Championships in South Korea.

While not plugging in his 125-miles per week in training, Ruben balances a full time job as Director of Student Life & Well-being at his alma mater UMass Lowell along with executive duties as the founder and owner of Port Running. Ruben gives back to the community by engaging in student-athlete driven initiatives. Most recently, in 2018 Ruben founded The Sança Foundation, Inc, a non-profit youth organization with a focus on integrating sports, academics and life skills as driving forces to creating a positive and sustainable impact in Cabo Verde. Ruben is a member of the UMass Lowell Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the University Staff Wall of Honors.

Through his exceptional leadership on and off the field, Ruben has been recognized by many affiliations for his accomplishments. Some of these affiliations include the Boston Red Sox, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), US Track & Field New England Association (USATF-NE), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Ruben has also been featured by NBC Channel 7 NewsBoston HeraldBoston GlobeNPR’s Only a Game with Bill LittlefieldUMass Lowell Alumni Magazine, the Tracksmith Meter Magazine and several other media outlets.

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Running Background
25 years

7th at US Olympic Marathon Trials (2007)
World Championships (2009)

Personal Bests

5K: 13:56
Marathon: 2:14


When Nate started seventh grade in the early 1990s, Nate was already something of an experienced runner, with a competitive streak that had led him to take the elementary-school gym-class mile run seriously (though he stresses that he never won it). He began running cross-country as a seventh-grader, and within a year was a year-around competitive runner. By the end of eighth grade, Nate had recorded modest times of 5:18 and 11:20 for the mile and two-mile.

Nate’s progress through high school, which he attributes in large part to a terrific team environment, was steady but unremarkable; he was already experimenting with 100-mile training weeks by the time he graduated in 1999. His times of 4:32 for the mile, 9:47 for the two-mile and 15:58 for a cross-country 5K were impressive but unremarkable in the talent-laden Bay State. After being plagued by injuries throughout most of college at then-division 2 U. Mass.-Lowell, Nate enjoyed a glimmer of his future potential when he won a major regional cross-country meet in his graduate-school year, in the fall of 2003. From there, he endeavored to tackle the marathon, and ran a phenomenal 2:15:28 in Texas in his debut in 2006.

Over the years, Nate has also run 4:13 for the mile, 8:08 for 3,000 meters, 13:56 for 5,000 meters, 29:32 for 10K on the road, and a 1:04:14 half-marathon. Yes, an unassuming kid with a fastest 400 meters of 58.8 seconds ran in the 2009 World Championship Marathon for the United States.

As a teacher by profession and inclination, Nate is eager to convey what he has learned. As his popular blog underscores, he is honest about triumphs and his mistakes alike, and the  process of learning and refining is clearly as important to him as “running fast” or suggesting that a single hard-core approach is the idea path to marathon success. Recognized throughout New England for his combination of toughness an affable nature, Nate is unquestionably a very valuable addition to the Port Running staff.

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