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95-Year-Old Woman Sets Running Record

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A 95-year-old New York woman set a world record last week when she ran at a track meet in northern Manhattan.

Ida Keeling, coming in at 83 pounds and standing 4 feet, 6 inches tall, ran 60 meters in 29.86 seconds at the meet, becoming the first woman her age to ever accomplish that feat.

The 95-year-old, who takes only one prescription drug and recalls names and dates with the speed of someone half her age, said she feels years younger than her true age.

"Like a puppy," Keeling declared.  "I feel younger now than when I was in my 30s and 40s!"

Over her long life, Keeling has endured the kind of heartbreak and hardship that could grind anyone down.  Her mother passed away when she was a child, and her husband died suddenly of a heart attack when he was just 42.  She lost two sons, Charles and Donald, to drug-related killings in 1979 and 1981.

But in running, Keeling found a refuge.

Her daughter, Shelley Keeling, who is a lawyer and real estate investor and coaches track and field at a nearby high school, convinced her to go on a "mini-run" when her mother was 67.  Two years later, Ida Keeling ran a 5K race, and she's been running ever since.

"It felt good, and I felt uplifted.  I said, 'Well, gee, this is for me,"' Kelling said.

When asked about the secrets to her good health, Keeling said she eats a light breakfast for dinner and a dinner -- say hamburger, or liver, or fish -- for breakfast.

Keeling said she is not sure how much longer she will run, although she said she hopes to "make it to 108," which would give her four more years than her father's mother, who lived until the age of 104.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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