100-Year-Old Unofficially Breaks a 100 Meter Dash Record for Centenarian

Ella Mae Colbert's triumph almost ended in tragedy.

ByABC News
May 18, 2016, 12:53 PM

— -- Move over Usain Bolt, a new record-setting sprint champion has arrived on the scene.

Meet 100-year-old South Carolina native Ella Mae Colbert whose 100 meter dash on Tuesday has unofficially smashed the current record for her age group, held by another centenarian.

Her triumph, however, started off with tragedy when she tripped and fell. But she got up, had her chin bandaged, and decided to try again.

Colbert, a retired teacher, reportedly sprinted across the finish line at Chesnee Middle School in just 46 seconds -- an impressive 31 seconds less than the current record of 1 minute, 17 seconds, which was set just last month by 100-year-old Ida Keeling at the Penn Relays.

"You do not stop," she told reporters after the race. "Go ahead. You'll have some trials and you'll have something that gets in your way, but you don't let it get you down. Get up, go again."

The freshly-minted record holder credits her religious life for her motivation, on and off the field.

"I decided, maybe when I was 20, I'd get on the track for somebody else and I chose Jesus Christ as my coach and I've been running ever since," she said. "Best coach I've ever had."

Guinness World Records is now reviewing the results before Colbert can officially take her top spot in the books.