No. 19. Lane 3. 100 years old.
All eyes were on Ida Keeling Saturday as she set a new world record for the 100+ year age group in the 100-meter dash at the Penn Relays.
With a purple jacket and red hat, she took off in the Masters Mixed division and finished in 1 minute, 17 seconds. Then she dropped to the ground, not out of exhaustion, but to pound out some pushups for the crowd. Oh, and she turns 101 in a couple of weeks.
“I’m a nice example of what you can do for yourself, and I thank God everyday for my blessings,” Keeling told reporters after the race.
Sprinting to the finish line in a race (and in life) is the way to do it.
“A lot of her training is not just the pounding on the track,” Keeling’s daughter, Shelley, said. “She does 17 minutes on her bicycle, she has a stationary bike, she has weights in her house, she has a mat, she does squats, push-ups.”
Keeling began running when she was 67 years old. She was in a deep depression after losing her two sons to drug violence, and was urged by her active daughter and running coach, Shelley, to use running as a way to cope.
Keeling hasn’t looked back since.
Here is the full coverage of her race: