Irene Obera was a Face in the Crowd in SI's June 18, 1962 issue after breaking 11 seconds in the 100-yard dash at age 28. Two Olympic trials, numerous age-group records and a Masters Track & Field Hall of Fame induction later, she's still sprinting. Obera, of Fremont, Calif., turned 80 in December and celebrated the next month by running the 200 meters in 38.10 at an all-comers meet in Berkeley, unofficially becoming the oldest woman to break 40 seconds. Had it been a sanctioned meet, she would have set an age-group (80-to-84) world record. Next week the retired gym teacher and school administrator will run the 60, 200 and 400 meters at the USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston. Obera's aiming for a few more spots in the record books. "I'm not signing up for second place," she says.
This is an article from the March 10, 2014 issue