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‘Inspiration’: 85-year-old Bend woman returns from injury to run her 100th half-marathon

(Update: adding video, comments from Tobin and daughter)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- This past Saturday, Shar Tobin crossed the finish line of a half-marathon, for the 100th time in her life.

“You know, I really didn’t have a goal,” Tobin said Tuesday. “I was surprised we’d done that many, so I did start counting.”

The 85-year-old started running more than 50 years ago, following in the footsteps of her daughter Mari, a cross-country runner.

“She’s an inspiration to so many people," Mari Tobin Siceloff said. "And there's so many people that stopped -- knew who she was, stopped her and said, 'You are my inspiration.'” 

“You know you can do anything that you set your mind to," she continued. "That’s one thing that my parents taught me -- that there's no boundaries, you put your own boundaries on yourself.”

Shar Tobin has never set boundaries, and believes running has kept her in great health.

She'd never had a running-related injury until a freak accident last September.

“The injury I had was caused by a dog who was running fast, hit me from behind and caused a tendon rupture in my knee,” Tobin said. 

Tobin had surgery, and was in a brace until December.

She started physical therapy the moment she could and was ready just in time for Happy Girls.

Her daughter was not surprised.

“Oh I didn’t expect anything else, I knew she was going to do it,” Tobin Siceloff said. “Of course I’m very proud -- now don’t make me cry.”

Tobin gives all credit to her physical therapist Steve Tasson and his team.

“They’ve motivated me -- and I motivated them, because they decided to do Happy Girls too!” Tobin said. “So I made it extra-special.”

Along with her PT team, Tobin's daughters, Mari and Kerri Tobin Hanson, and her granddaughter Keala Mari Hanson joined her for the race.

It was Keala's first half marathon, but it looks like the family tradition will continue.

“Keala? Are you going to be doing this with me when I’m 85 years old?” Kari recalled asked Keala, who replied, "‘I’m in."

"That makes me so very happy,” Tobin said. 

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.


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