Watch: 100-year old Ida Keeling breaks 100-meter age group record

The Turnstile

What did you do on Saturday? Chances are, you didn't break a world record.

But Ida Keeling did.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Ms. Keeling, who will celebrate her 101st birthday this week, was the oldest entrant in the mixed seniors 100-meter run on Satuday at the historic Penn Relays, and though she finished last of the nine runners, the centenarian set a new world record for her age group, finishing in 1:17.33 (the winner, an 80-year old man, finished in under 18 seconds).

Keeling, a New York City resident who began running at age 67 when her daughter entered her in a road race, has lived quite a life: during the Depression, she took jobs washing windows and babysitting to help her family, which lived in the small living area at the back of her father's grocery; and as a widow at just 42 years old, she was left to raise the four children she and her husband had on her own, the five of them living in a one-bedroom apartment. In the 1960s, she became active in the Civil Rights movement

Ms. Keeling, who ran the Penn Relays in a red beret, the capacity crowd at Franklin Field cheering her on down the runway at full throat, exercises for an hour every day.

"It was wonderful,ā€ Keeling said after her record. ā€œIā€™m very happy to offer all of this crowd a nice example of what you can do for yourself, and I thank God every day for my blessings.ā€

What to Read Next