Record gals Sabra Harvey, Jeanne Daprano plan more 2017 races

Jeanne was pictured in Atlanta TC magazine.

W65 Sabra Harvey and W80 Jeanne Daprano, recent record-setters at 3000 and mile, respectively, sent responses to my shameless interrogations. First Sabra: “Yes, WR was the ultimate goal, sub-12 being the expectation for at least the U.S. record. Conditions were wet, raining a bit, but temps were near perfect actually. Running with the younger ladies helped, especially in the beginning. The adrenaline rush with all those fast ladies surrounding me pulled me much faster than I’d anticipated, so I had extra in the bank for sub-12 from the beginning. However, that fast pace took its toll a bit by lap 6, so had lots of work to do on the bell lap for WR. I’d hoped to be at 10:11 at that point, but was somewhere around 10:20, still under the sub-12:00 pace but off WR pace. I knew I could lay down a 1:27 or better from recent training, so just went for it with encouragement of Susan Hay (running as rabbit). Portland Track Festival is a great meet. Joanna Harper does a good job of recruiting ladies for the 3000 and was very helpful in making the opportunity to try for the record possible.”

Sabra adds:

Next event will be in July at Nationals (800M, 1500M, 5000M) in Baton Rouge. No specific records on the radar at this point. Yes, still living in Houston but not coaching with the Power in Motion program any longer. My own training and 8 grandchildren take priority.

Jeanne says: “I’m planning to go to Baton Rouge and maybe Canada in August. Atlanta track club had a nice interview with me published in their May Wingfoot magazine. . . . I am grateful that I can encourage other women and men to not give up, but to continue to do the best they can do to bring honor to the CREATOR of our bodies.”

Jay Holder wrote this profile for the Atlanta Track Club:

If you ask Jeanne Daprano, 80, how many world and U.S. Masters Track and Field records she holds, she will admit she doesn’t keep count. If you ask her if she cares, she will explain to you that records are not why she runs. “The only name I want is my name in the book of life;’ Daprano says humbly.

For the record, it’s a lot of records. Daprano holds three world bests and eight U.S. bests at every distance from 400m to the mile. She was the first woman over the age of 75 to ever break seven minutes in the mile. Oh, and she also owns two world records in indoor rowing.

Daprano, a retired third grade teacher, is a deeply faithful person. When she runs, she passes the time or counts intervals by reciting prayer and bible verses. She dedicates her victories and, more importantly, her efforts to Jesus. “I want to be
the best I can be today,” she says. “I am grateful for what the creator is still doing for my body. I want it to be a sacrifice
for him.”

With each year, Daprano says being the best gets harder.

“It doesn’t feel as fluent, as motivating or as easy,” she says, comparing her gold medals at 800m and the mile at the USA National Indoor Masters Track and Field Championships this year to competitions of the past. That’s why she has altered her training, doing less running, only running on grass and adding weight training like squats and squat jumps.

Daprano works out at least three times a week with Atlanta-based trainer David Buer. Buer lists Daprano’s name on his website alongside other clients like NFL linemen, the former Miss Georgia and Tyler Perry.

Daprano also follows a strict diet of what she calls “living foods,” never packaged and as close to the earth as possible. She says she eats a lot of protein and adds supplements like collagen and bone broth to the juice she makes.

“It’s like fueling a car,” she says. “What kind of gas are you going to put in your Ferrari?”

She prays over everything she eats both before she buys it and before she consumes it, “quietly seeking the wisdom of God’s living food.”

Daprano used to be one half of a record-smashing duo. But her husband Bill, 10 years her senior, is no longer able to run.

Daprano says she will run until God decides it’s time for her to stop and she hopes to be at peace with it when the day comes.

“I’m not doing this to live to be 100,” she says. “I’m doing it for today.”

When asked what her best memory is this far into her illustrious career, she smiles. “It will be the next race,” she says.

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June 15, 2017

5 Responses

  1. Alan Kolling - June 15, 2017

    Jeanne is such an inspiration.

  2. Peter L. Taylor - June 15, 2017

    Jeanne is a true star, and she has thrilled me every time I’ve had the opportunity to announce her over the years. She will never tell you that she’s better than anyone else, and her kindness is right at the core of her being.

    I’ll guess I’ve announced Jeanne about 100-105 times, and I will never get tired of calling her name.

    Sabra has been a terrific addition to our sport, and what a wonderful experience it has been to announce this talented, hard-working competitor. She won’t disappoint.

  3. wayne bennett - June 15, 2017

    Jeanne is such a great person. She and Bill have been great supporters even when I haven’t run well. Their friendship and love over the years have meant a lot to me. And yes, her faith is contagious.

  4. Christel Donley - June 16, 2017

    What a classy lady/friend and athlete.

    Yet, not matter how inspirational, I am glad we do not have a 4×800 m relay, where I would be the forth runner (nobody else left) and “have to run” .

  5. louise Guardino - June 16, 2017

    Gracious and dedicated. Trying to catch Jeanne is like chasing a tsunami. Feel the track dust in your face. Long may she run!

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