Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins is a 103-year-old woman who has cemented her title as the oldest woman to compete on an American track after finishing the 50- and 100- meter races at the National Senior Games in New Mexico.
Hawkins, from Louisiana, already holds the world record for the 100-meter dash in her age group, and she crossed the line on Tuesday in just over 46 seconds.
She was clocked at 21.06 in the 50-meter event on Monday, and it appears to be a Senior Games record for the 100-plus age division for women.
She says that she keeps active all the time. She has an acre of land, and she works in it all the time. She also has 30 bonsai bushes, some of them more than 40 or 50 years old, and that keeps her busy.
She started cycling competitively in her 80s, and she participated in the Senior Olympics.
At one point, she became the only competitor in her division, so her children suggested she try running.
She loved the idea of competing in the 100-meter race at age 100.
Her back, hips, and knees feel fine, and she credits years of cycling for her strong legs. However, she says that her eyesight is troubling her.
She told the Albuquerque Journal that she hopes she can see well enough to stay in the white lines.
Hawkins was born on February 9, 1916, and she graduated with a teaching degree from Louisiana State University in 1938.
She met her husband Murray Hawkins there, and she taught for a while in Honduras.
They had four children, and she says that eating right and not drinking or smoking has helped her longevity.
She has a very simple goal while on the track: she hopes to inspire people to be healthy and realize they can still be doing it at any age.
This year’s Senior Games saw a record of 13,712 athletes participating, and the event will conclude on June 25.