This Older Runner Is Like No One You’ve Ever Met

  • And older than anyone you've ever met, too, probably.

Julia Hawkins is a 103-year-old runner. No, that is not a typo.

This run, she didn’t surpass her record-setting 100-meter dash from two years ago. She is still living up to her nickname, the “Hurricane.”

This year when Hawkins competed at the 2019 Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she won gold medals in both the 50-meter dash and the 100-meter dash in the women’s 100-plus division.

Hawkins set a world record in the 2017 games when she ran the 100-meter dash. She finished slightly slower at the race on Tuesday.

“I’m thrilled I did as well as I did but I didn’t do as well as I have done,” Hawkins said, “I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or maybe it was the atmosphere.”

Hawkins is a Louisiana native with 4 children, three grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. She picked up competitive cycling later in life and has won multiple national titles.

Hawkins did not begin running until her 100th birthday. How cool is that?

She ran because the mountainous courses became too challenging for her to bike on. Not because she’s 100 but because they are too difficult. That’s awesome. And who becomes a runner after 100 anyway?

Hawkins is the oldest woman to compete on an American track, according to the National Senior Games Association. This is the organization that runs the Senior Games.

“I just keep busy. I keep moving,” Hawkins said of her advanced age and apparent health. “I don’t do any exercises particularly. I used to, but I don’t think I need to anymore.”

“I’ve always been careful how I eat, eat healthy and keep my weight at a certain point,” she added.

She likes to keep active in her home garden in Louisiana. She’s got all of the gold medals that she’s won over the years in her house, too.

“[I keep them] here and there. I’ve got a good many,” Hawkins said of her medals. “My husband made a box for me to keep them.”

As for future races, she says, “You never know. When you’re 103, every day is a miracle,” she said. “I just keep getting up and I’m here again.”






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