A 103-year-old woman who participated in the National Senior Games in New Mexico just finished the event with flying colors.
Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins completed the 50- and 100- meter dashes as the oldest woman to compete on an American track, according to the National Senior Games Association.
The centenarian from Louisiana set a world record for her age group in the 100-meter dash at the 2017 games, but she wasn’t able to beat her personal best in this year’s race. She crossed the line in just over 46 seconds.
“I’m thrilled I did as well as I did but I didn’t do as well as I have done,” Julia told Good Morning America.“I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or maybe it was the atmosphere.”
On Monday, she finished the 50-meter category in just 21.06 seconds, which appears to be a Senior Games record for the women’s 100-plus age division – with Julia being the first to compete in that category.
The retired teacher has four kids, three grandchildren, and three more great-grandchildren. She is kept busy by the yard work she does in her Baton Rouge home.
“I keep active all the time. I have an acre of land. I work in it all the time. I have 30 bonsai bushes – some are 40 or 50 years old. That keeps me busy,” she said.
“I’ve always been careful how I eat, eat healthy and keep my weight at a certain point,” she added.
In her 80s, Julia began cycling competitively and participating in the Senior Olympics. When she became the only contender in her division, her children suggested that she explore running – which she did. The idea of competing in the 100-meter dash came to her when she turned 100.
Her knees, back, and hips are in great condition, and she credits her years of cycling for her strong legs. However, she says that it is her eyesight that has been bothering her.
“I keep worrying about that. You feel a little less able when something like this happens. I’m hoping I can see well enough to stay in the white lines,” she told the Albuquerque Journal.
Julia was born on February 9, 1916, and graduated from Louisiana State University in 1938 with a teaching degree. There, she met her future husband, Murray Hawkins. She taught briefly in Honduras while he served in the Navy, and after surviving the Pearl Harbor bombings, he proposed to her.
Her goal on the track is simple: “I hope I’m inspiring them to be healthy and to realize you can still be doing it at this kind of an age.”
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