She started running regularly at the age of 100. And while 103 year old Julia Hawkins may not be as fast of a runner as she used to be, that doesn’t stop her. She definitely still lived up to her nickname, “Hurricane”, in the 2019 Senior Games. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Julia won two gold medals for running the 50 and 100 meter dash during these games. She may be a little slower than her last world record in the 2017 Senior Games. But her determination to keep trying stays strong.
Julia Hawkins is a mother of four, grandmother of three, and great-grandmother of three. This ABC News article says after she took up cycling later in life, she won multiple national titles. However, she decided to switch to running at the age of 100. She felt that cycling on mountainous trails was getting too difficult. At an age where many become fairly sedentary, beginning a running routine is incredible, to say the least. Not to mention winning multiple gold medals.
Julia is officially the oldest person to run on an American track, according to the National Senior Games Association. But she mostly does it for the fun of it. When speaking of her longevity, she states, “I just keep busy. I keep moving”. And when she’s not breaking records with her running, she keeps herself active in her home garden in Louisiana. When walking in from a day of gardening, she can see all her medals on display in her home. After accumulating so many throughout the years, she had her husband build her a box to keep them in.
When asked if she plans to run in another race, she says “you never know”. As she clearly explains, “when you’re 103, every day is a miracle. I just keep getting up, and I’m here again”. But with Julia’s determination and wonderful attitude surrounding aging, it’s unlikely she will decide to stop running anytime soon!
Photo Credit: Brit Huckabay/NSGA