105-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins has broken a world record in the 100-metre sprint, crossing the finish line at the Louisiana Senior Games with a time of 1:02:95.
Hawkins is the first female track and field athlete to compete in the 105+ age category for the 100-metre event.
Speaking after the race, Hawkins told the media that despite the record, she actually would have liked to have run faster and come in under the 1-minute mark.
“It was wonderful to see so many family members and friends. But I wanted to do it in less than a minute,” she said after the race.
“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.”
Hawkins is a retired teacher from Louisiana in the US, and only took up the sport of sprinting when she reached the age of 100. She says she runs a mile or so every day to stay in shape. Back in 2017, Hawkins set a world record for women aged 100+ with a 100m sprint time of 39:62 at the National Senior Games in Birmingham. That record has since been broken by Diane Friedman, prompting Hawkins to race in the new, 105+ age category.
Hawkins has previously competed in the Senior Games in cycling throughout her 80s and won several gold medals over four Nationals.
Speaking after her 100m record, Hawkins said she loves being able to use her running to inspire others.
“I love to run, and I love being an inspiration to others,” she said. “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.”
“This is just a drop in the bucket”: At 105 years old, Julia Hawkins became the first woman and first American in her age group to run 100 meters.— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) November 9, 2021
But she says it doesn’t compare to the many wonderful things in her life, like her 70-year-long marriage to her husband, Murray. pic.twitter.com/Z18rWKEm5Y
In 2019, Hawkins offered some life advice in a New York Times profile, telling others to stay active if they can and “look for the magic moments”.
“Keep yourself in good shape if you can. Have many passions. And look for magic moments. That is something that I have done in my life — think of the things that are magic moments that happen to you, like sunsets and sunrises, rainbows, beautiful birds, music and people’s lovely comments to you,” she said.
“All of those are magic moments and they are free for all. Be sure to keep your eye open for them.”