JEFFREYS BAY’s very own road running queen, Nadia Petersen, 55, is a tough cookie who has many accomplishments under her belt.
With four Comrades, four Two Oceans, three Om die Dam and two Loskop medals, four Wally Hayward marathons and two Jackie Gibson medals – to name but a few – Nadia has a wealth of experience when it comes to road running.
Currently training for her 19th Rand Athletic Club 32km – “the tough one” – in November, she can be seen regularly pounding the streets of Aston and Jeffreys Bay.
“The race in November is very important because I am set on earning my double green number next year. So it is imperative that I compete and finish this year,” said Nadia.
Nadia and husband Abie, also a keen roadrunner, are from Gauteng.
They have retired at Aston Bay. “It was running that brought us together,” recalled Nadia, elaborating on how they met at the end of the 1998 Comrades.
“Although we lived in the same town I belonged to the Fred Norman Athletics Club and he was a member of another club, so we never saw each other.”
Although Abie had been previously married, Nadia had never tied the knot until “the ripe old age of 42”, when Abie swept her off her feet.
Apart from running, the Petersens share a love of good food, especially pasta the night before a race. “We really eat anything, but do enjoy a good helping of pasta.”
Having run for most of her life – at school she did cross country – she said the bug only really bit in 1986 when colleagues persuaded her to take part in a corporate relay.
Nowadays she can hardly survive a day without a run.
“I feel incredibly guilty if I don’t run, especially if the weather is good.”
Which, she says, seems to be the case most days in Jeffreys Bay.
“It is so lovely to run in the clean fresh air compared to the smog and traffic of Gauteng, and I can run on my own as it is still relatively safe in this side of the world.”