The sky is the limit for 105-year-old track and field athlete Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins. On Sunday, November 7, the centenarian set a world record in the 100-meter dash as the first woman and the first American in the 105+ age category. Sprinting to the cheers of friends, family, and other senior athletes, Hawkins crossed the finish line at the National Senior Games with an incredible time of 1:02:95.
Despite her impressive speed, Hawkins wasn’t completely satisfied with her performance. “It was wonderful to see so many family members and friends, but I wanted to do it in less than a minute,” said the spirited track star after her sprint. When an audience member pointed out that 102 is less than her age of 105 and asked if that made her feel any better, Hawkins responded with a matter-of-fact, “No.”
It’s no wonder that Hawkins holds herself to such a high standard because this isn’t her first time setting a world record. Back in 2017, the determined lady set another 100-meter record in the 100-104 age category with a time of 39:62. The ambitious lady started competing in the National Senior Games at the age of 80, winning several gold medals in cycling before switching to sprinting when she turned 100. With few competitors in her age category, Hawkins’ focus now is to continue challenging herself and compete against her own best times on the track and field. She also wants to encourage others to live an active and healthy lifestyle.
“I love to run, and I love being an inspiration to others,” says Hawkins. “I want to keep running as long as I can. My message to others is that you have to stay active if you want to be healthy and happy as you age.”
Next time we see Julia Hawkins, it might just be at the 2022 National Senior Games in Greater Fort Lauderdale, though the centenarian hasn’t yet decided if she’ll compete. By then, the track star will be 106, and who knows what record she might set next.