Aged 105, Julia ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins Breaks New Ground with 100m Record

The Louisiana native became the first female and first American in her age division to set a world masters record in athletics, running 1:02.95 last weekend.

By ZK Goh 14 November 2021 05:01 GMT-7

Age is just a number. While those words may be a clichΓ© to some, Julia ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins seems to live – and run – by that motto.

The 105-year-old American has set the first world masters athletics record in the women’s 105+ age category in the 100m.

Taking part in the Louisiana Senior Games in United States last Sunday (7 November), ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins completed the race in 1 minute 2.95 seconds.

The race in Hammond, Louisiana – barely 10 miles from where she grew up – made Hawkins the first American woman to compete in the 105+ category, and the first female athlete to set any mark in the division.

“It was wonderful to see so many family members and friends. But I wanted to do it in less than a minute,” she said afterwards, according to the National Senior Games Association.

And she’s not done yet. Her next goal? Breaking the one-minute barrier.

The former middle-school teacher was born on 9 February 1916.  Since reaching her century, she has competed regularly in state-level as well as the National Senior Games in the U.S. in recent years.  Previously, Hawkins was a life-long cyclist.

“When I started running, I found it was a pleasure. I enjoyed doing it,” Hawkins explained to USA Today.

“I felt that would be a neat challenge to run the 100(m) dash, at 100, in under a minute.”

She did that back in 2017, when she set the women’s 100+ age category record in the 100m by running 39.62 at the U.S. National Senior Games. That record stood until August this year, when Diane Friedman broke it by nearly three seconds.

“I want to keep running as long as I can,” ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins said.

“You have to stay active if you want to be healthy and happy as you age.”

So what next? By competing in Louisiana, Hawkins qualified for next year’s National Senior Games in Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

But she hasn’t decided on that just yet.