W80 Irene Obera says: ‘I’ve always felt young, no matter what’

Irene Obera is looking ahead to outdoor nationals, according to a wonderful profile in Bay Area newspapers published Wednesday. “I’ve never felt old,” she said at 80. “I’ve always felt young, no matter what. How am I supposed to feel? I feel great, that’s all I know.” Alan Kolling, a friend and training partner, said: “It’s a mark of excellence; she knows she has the talent and she never settles. I always set these ridiculously high goals for her and she surprises me by always meeting them, and then I have to come up with new ones.” I also love the closing quote: “I always say, I wasn’t put on this Earth to suffer. So, I’ve been living up to that motto.” Unless it’s suffering the last yards of a deuce or quarter-mile. She’ll put up with that.

Irene was profiled in Bay Area Newspaper Group papers, including The Argus of Fremont, Calif., where she lives (and where I lived in the early 1980s).

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April 18, 2014

3 Responses

  1. Peter Taylor - April 18, 2014

    It’s hard to do justice to Irene’s greatness, but after announcing her at three major events (1995 Buffalo worlds, 2010 Sacramento nationals, and 2014 Boston indoor nationals) I will make a brief attempt.

    1. At Boston she ran 36.53 seconds for the 200. That sentence should stand by itself, but I will add something. The existing (and still official) American indoor record for W80 in the 200 is 48.09. That time had gone untouched for 7 years before Irene came along. Breathtaking.

    2. Irene “runs young,” like a college sprinter. She is beyond brilliant.

  2. Matt B. - April 18, 2014

    Hope she gets the 400 WR this year as well.

    Mt.Sac masters 800 4/19 – would have like to seen M45 Rafer Weaver 1:55.77 (4/13) go head to head against Berra.

  3. Pete - April 19, 2014

    “I’ve always felt young, no matter what. How am I supposed to feel? I feel great, that’s all I know.”

    +1

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