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Picture shows Francisco Lima, 91, in undated photo. He reportedly always dreamed of being a runner. (Newsflash)

A 91-year-old retired rubbish recycler has told how he has run an amazing 150 marathons in 16 years.

Veteran athlete Francisco Lima only took up long-distance running when he retired from a lifetime of collecting rubbish.

Francisco’s latest medal came after crossing the finishing line at the Ponta Grossa Marathon, Campos Gerais do Parana, in Brazil, on 19th May.

Video footage of his finish shows Francisco still fresh as a daisy as he jogs past the judges.

A second clip shows him in training at an exercise class putting other workout fans a quarter of his age to shame.

Francisco explained: “I stopped running after rubbish and went after my life! I started running marathons when I was 75 and this is my 150th race.”

Picture shows Francisco Lima, 91, in undated photo. He reportedly always dreamed of being a runner. (Newsflash)

He told how he first dreamed of becoming an athlete when his farmer dad made him run round the crops with a tin can around his neck to scare away birds.

Francisco said: “That’s when I started to like running, but my father didn’t let me become an athlete.”

He left home aged 17 and moved to Sao Paulo where he married and had 13 children.

But when he retired 20 years ago, he decided dedicate his time to running.

He said: “After having all the children raised, I no longer have any obligations.

Picture shows Francisco Lima, 91, in undated photo. He reportedly always dreamed of being a runner. (Newsflash)

“Everyone is of legal age, they take care of everything, so I grab my bag and go see Brazil! My first race was on May 11th, 2008, in Curitiba.

“And I went without training! Today, all the capitals of Brazil know my foot and I’ve also run in New York, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.”

Francisco explains: “I run to win, and I’m very happy with the path I’m taking, with the people I’m meeting.

“When I finish a race, a lot of people come to hug me and congratulate me. So I always thank God for helping me beat difficulties.”

Local media said that he is supported by a number of professionals who follow him around the country.

Picture shows Francisco Lima, 91, in undated photo. He reportedly always dreamed of being a runner. (Newsflash)

Francisco said: “I think there’s no age to go after what you want.

“Our ‘age’ is God who commands, and to all the people who think they can’t win, I say, believe in God, trust in him, uncross your arms and go solve it.

“We have arms to hug, a head to think and legs to carry our body where we want to go.”

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