Like all elite athletes, Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins has a ruthless streak. So despite setting a world record of 100m on Sunday at the Louisiana Senior Games, she will still go faster.
“It was wonderful to see so many family members and friends. But I would do it in less than a minute,” the 105-year-old said after the race, setting a time of 1:02:95, a record for women in the age group 105+ When someone pointed out that 102 is younger than her age and asked if it made her feel better, Hawkins replied, “No.”
The retired teacher is no stranger to athletic excellence. She started competing at the national senior games when she was 80, specializing in cycling in time trial and won several gold medals. She eventually ended her cycling career by saying that “there was no one left at my age to compete with”.
When she turned 100, she started sprinting. In 2017, she set the world record of 100 m for women over 100 years with a time of 39:62. When her record was broken in September by Diane Friedman, Hawkins decided to compete in a new age category.
“I love running, and I love being an inspiration to others,” Hawkins said Sunday. “I want to keep running for as long as I can. My message to others is to stay active if you want to be healthy and happy when you get older.”
Several age records of 100 m have been tumbled this year. In August, Hiroo Tanaka from Japan crashed home at 16.69 to set a male record in the 90 and above category. In the women’s competition, Australian Julie Brims broke the record of 55+ in the time of 12:24, while American Kathy Bergen crossed the line at 16.26 in the category 80 and above. Bergen has also broken age records in the high jump, 60m and 200m.