Pettersen ready for next month’s Berlin marathon

Jacqueline Pettersen gets some training in for next month's Berlin marathon. Bill Phillips photo
Jacqueline Pettersen gets some training in for next month’s Berlin marathon. Bill Phillips photo

If you’re a marathon runner you have six big goals.

Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin, London, and Tokyo.

Dr. Jacqueline Pettersen is halfway there. She’s run the Boston, New York, and Chicago marathons. On September 16, she will check another off the list … Berlin.

“I’ve been training hard for Berlin, doing lots of intense training,” she says as she checks out the new track at Masich Place Stadium.

But she’s not going to stop there. She’s looking to run the London marathon on April 28, 2019 and beyond.

“A big goal is to run a fast marathon in either Berlin or London, or both, which will qualify me for Tokyo in 2020,” she says. “That will be the final of the six world marathon majors, New York, Chicago, Boston, Berlin, London, and Tokyo.”

In London, she will be running for Sense charity, which fits right in with the cognitive neurologists every day life.

“It’s a non-profit organization that supports individuals with complex communication challenges, for example people with vision impairment or hearing impairment or a combination of the two,” she says. “I have a personal connection to this cause. I’ve had family members, friends and patients who have had such issues. I feel everyone should have the opportunity to communicate with others. It’s an essential human need.”

The intense training she mentions involves running six days a week, logging more than 100 kilometres each week. Actually, she likes the training aspect of marathons as much as the race itself.

“I like the discipline that the training requires, to commit to a schedule, to not question what you should be doing today, but just do it,” she says.

Berlin will be her eighth marathon and she will be looking for a personal best. She recently started using the Hanson marathon method for training which involves hard runs three days a week, easier runs for three days, and rest for one day.

“I’ve had the book for a few years, on my shelf collecting dust,” she says. “I thought it was too crazy so I never followed it. This year I really wanted to run a personal best, I thought maybe I should give it a try. I’ve been following that program and I’m seeing gains I’ve never seen before.”

John Brink of the Brink Group and Jacqueline Pettersen give a thumb's up for the Berlin marathon.
John Brink of the Brink Group and Jacqueline Pettersen give a thumb’s up for the Berlin marathon.

Training has been hampered somewhat with the recent spate of smoky skies, but Pettersen gets some running in at the indoor track at UNBC and on her treadmill at home. When the smoke clears, she trains at Otway, at the Lakewood track, and, soon, at the new Masich Place Stadium.

With a busy professional life and a family at home, one might wonder how Pettersen finds the time to fit it all in.

“I think my running complements everything else,” she says. “Having that sense of self-efficacy that if you work really hard, it all pays off.”

A long distance runner for 30 years, Pettersen does have a few pointers for those thinking about taking up running.

“Have one big goal in mind, something you can focus on that allows you to have that discipline you can stick to,” she says. “Have a schedule that’s flexible and reasonable enough that you’re going to stick to it but tough enough that you’re going to have some gains. Have a good support crew, supportive friends and running buddies who support what you do.”

She was “blown away” when she was selected for a $500 sponsorship from the Brink Group. The money, she adds, will go directly to the Sense charity.

“We are really pleased to have Jacqueline on our team,” said John Brink of the Brink Group.