100-Year-Old Ida Keeling Breaks World Record At Penn Relays

The Penn Relays in Philadelphia had a very historic competitor.

Most people would be happy just to live to their 100th birthday. But Ida Keeling decided she'd go ahead and set a new world record.

The 100-year-old athlete turned heads at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia on Saturday after she ran the 100-meter dash in a minute and 17.33 seconds, a new world record for her age bracket. And, in a couple weeks, she'll be turning 101 years old. 

After breaking the record, NBC's Carolyn Manno asked her what she wanted people to know about what's possible at her age. 

"Love yourself," Keeling said. "Do what you have to do, not what you want to do. Eat for nutrition, not for taste, and exercise at least once a day." 

Keeling — who at 4-foot-6 weighs about 83 pounds — has a story almost as inspiring as her running. She's lived through the Great Depression, worked as an activist during the civil rights movement, and has continued to live with a positive attitude after two of her sons were killed decades ago.

"You see so many older people just sitting around — well, that's not me," Ms. Keeling told The New York Times. "Time marches on, but I keep going."

Check out footage of her race:


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