99-Year-Old Sprinter Sets World Record: “I’m Running From Old Age…”

99 year old sprinter

99 year old sprinter

Whats your excuse? Get up and move your body!

Even though Ida Keeling came in last place in the 100 meter race on August 12th, 2014, she took first place in the record books. The 99-year-old great-great-grandmother from New York finished the 100-meter race with a time of 59.8 seconds, becoming the first woman in the 95-99 age group to have completed the event in an internationally certified race, according to her daughter, Shelley Keeling.

“I’m running from old age and arthritis,” Keeling told the local Akron Beacon Journal before the race. “Believe me!” Explaining her routine now, she added: “I try to do everything for about an hour unless I’m tired, because I’m no spring chicken, honey. That’s why I like the sprint — I go as fast as I can and get it over with and feel good about myself.”

Ida, standing 4 feet 6 and weighing 83 pounds, started competitive running at age 67 to help deal with grief over losing her two sons.

“I was so depressed, and my daughter wanted to take me on a mini run,” Keeling said before the race (via the Akron Beacon Journal). “After it was finished, I felt relaxed and relieved.”
“She was sinking deeper and deeper,” Shelley said (via the Akron Beacon Journal). “I said, ‘Mama, you had four kids, but I only have one mother. You’re coming out with me.’ I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I knew I had to try something.”
Keeling lives by herself in a studio apartment and uses the gym twice a week in addition to running and yoga, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Shelley, 63, is a real estate investor who coaches track at Fieldston School in the Bronx.

Ida has set records when she ran a 60m race in 2011, when she was 95, and again two years later.

Keeling is closing in on triple-digits in age, but she is still an avid fan of exercise and eating healthy. She plans on running the 100-meters again in 2015, this time going for a record in the age 100-104 division.

“Eat for nutrition, not for taste. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do and don’t leave out your daily exercise. Love yourself,” she says.

In a world of excuses, Ida Keeling has every reason not to put herself through strenuous sprinting. She has a dark personal past, a naturally tiny body, arthritis concerns and old age to worry about. But Keeling keeps on running.

 

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