At 101 years of age, Julia Hawkins from Baton Rouge set a new record in the 100-yard dash last month at the the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Ala.
Hawkins ran a time of 39.62 seconds to break the record for the women’s 100-plus age group and earned the nickname “Hurricane Hawkins,” according to local newspapers.
She only started her athletic career when she was 75 years old and picked up cycling as a hobby. Hawkins soon started competing in senior races and won a bronze medal at her first National Senior Games, in San Antonio, Tx., before earning several gold medals at the Games in Tucson, Ariz., and Orlando, Fla.
But she stopped racing after there was literally no more competition.
“There wasn’t a single woman around in the meet,” she told the Advocate. “So I quit. It’s no fun.”
Still, her four kids encouraged her to start running and she entered her first race at the Louisiana Senior Olympic Games.
“That amazed me,” she said. “I never even tried it. They thought I could. And I could.”
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Now Hawkins wants to race again and plans to run at the the USA Track and Field Masters Outdoor Championships July 13-16.
“At this age, you’re not getting better. You’re getting worse,” she said. “You only have so many 100-yard dashes left.”