The New York Times

100-Year-Old NYC Runner Sets Record in 100-Meter Dash

Elbows keeping pace, Ida Keeling roused the crowd at this year's Penn Relays as the 100-year-old Brooklyn woman became the oldest runner to cross the finish line.

This 100-meter dash was a race for the ages - runners 80 and older. Ida clocked in at one minute, 17.33 seconds.

"I'm a nice example of what you can do with yourself, and I thank God everyday for my blessings," Keeling said Saturday, stealing the hearts of spectators who cheered as Keeling's daughter Shelley raised her mom's arms in the celebratory V formation and turned her mom to face her fans in the stands.

Keeling's story is remarkable not just for her feats as a late-in-life runner, but for the history and heartache of her life - her ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

On her own, Keeling raised four children after losing her husband to a heart attack when he was 42. After two of her sons were murdered in what police believe were drug-related killings, Keeling became depressed and her health suffered. Daughter Shelley got Keeling back on her feet, literally.

"I always understood from mother that you die on your feet rather than live on your knees," Shelley Keeling told the New York Times.

Ida ran her first race at 67, and hasn't stopped since. You can read about her life, diet and exercise routine in the The New York Times.

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