ide keeling

Photo: Taghi Naderzad

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Ida Keeling, 97

Keeling ran her first race at 67, in an attempt to lift a depression brought on by the drug-related deaths of her two sons. "People flew past me, but after it was over, I felt relieved, like I ran out my sadness," says Keeling, who broke the U.S. sprinting record for her age group in 2012, finishing the 100-meter dash in just under 52 seconds. "Exercise is very uplifting."

Fashion Crush
Haircare guru Madame C.J. Walker.

Favorite Things
"I like whatever fits me and looks nice on me—skirts, pants, nice blouses," says the 4'6", 83-pound great-great-grandmother. "But mostly I like activewear."

Wouldn't Be Caught Dead In
An above-the-knee skirt. "I'm an old lady!"

Style Secret
"Rest is so important. After you get home, take off your shoes and working clothes and take a 45-minute rest. You'll feel much better."

Note to Younger Self
"Don't wait for somebody to love you; love yourself. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do. Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And try to stay calm if you can."

Jacket, BCBG Maxazria, $338. Shirt, Diane von Furstenberg, $198; 646-486-4800. Pants, BCBG Maxazria, $158. Shoes, Onitsuka Tiger, $80.

Next: 6 daring women reveal where they find their confidence