Sadie Nave

Sadie Nave plays in her grandmother's yard Thursday in Athens.

By Justin Graves

When you first see Sadie Nave running and playing outside, you think she’s just like every other five-year old girl that’s getting ready to enter kindergarten in the fall.

She likes to run, jump and laugh in the front yard, enjoying the attention she’s getting from her parents and grandparents on the front porch.

The only difference about Sadie is the fact her family isn’t the only ones she likes to watch her run, she also enjoys running in front of crowds observing road races.

That’s right, the five-year old runs competitively in road races, and what is even more amazing is that she didn’t just start, she’s been doing it since she was three.

Sadie’s uncle, Jordan Paul, runs in all the local 5K road races across North Alabama, and Nave thinks that she can do what ever her favorite uncle does, so they entered her in the Cotton Row Run One-mile Fun Run two years ago. She didn’t finished the race with no problems at all, thus Nave’s running career began.

“She likes to run,” her grandmother Diane Paul said. “Jordan ran along beside her the first time she entered in a race, and she loved it.”

She enjoyed the road race experience so much she wasn’t about to miss out on it again. She began reminding her parents – Rodney and Jessica Nave – to enter in the Cotton Row again in 2005.

“We were not going to go to the Cotton Row that year,” Jessica Nave said. “But Sadie wasn’t about to let that happen. She kept telling me to make sure I sent our registration in everyday, so we had to carry her again.”

Since competing in the 2005 Cotton Row, Sadie’s parents knew their daughter loved road races, so they started carrying her to other events. She has also competed in the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run and the Duck and Run.

So why does this little girl like to run in long road races? Paul believes part of it is because she likes being around her uncle Jordan, but she also thinks it’s because she doesn’t like to lose.

Paul said, “I carried her to the track at Athens High School with me one afternoon, and there was the two young men that appeared to be about 20-years old jogging. Sadie told me that she could run faster than they could and she started running.

“They went on and passed her. When we got to the stopping point, those two boys were standing there, so Sadie went up to them crying, kicked at one of the guys and said ‘that was mean to run by me like that.’”

When asked if there was anybody that was faster than her, Sadie simply said, “Nope,” and took off running in the yard to demonstrate to everyone how fast she is.

Paul asked her what the real reason she runs in races is, and Sadie said, “to beat those ugly boys.”

She also said that when she finally gets big, there is no way her uncle Jordan will be able to beat her anymore.

Her parents are glad that their daughter enjoys being active. With both her dad and uncle being PE teachers, they believe it is simply in her genes.

“She loves being active,” Jessica Nave said. “She wasn’t old enough to play T-ball this year, but she wants to do everything she can. I’m glad she’s interested in getting out and playing rather than sitting around and doing nothing.

“It’s a good sign she will lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Sadie said she plans on running in every race her parents will let her go to, and her mom doesn’t see any reason not to let her participate.

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