A 103-year-old runner called ‘The Hurricane’ has won a gold medal in a senior racing competition.
Julia ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins took first place in both the 50 metre dash and the 100 metres in the women’s 100+ division at the 2019 Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Tuesday (June 18).
Proving that age is but a number, the nimble runner is now the oldest female competitor in the US, according to the non-profit organisation that runs the games, the National Senior Games Association.
Julia, from Louisiana, previously set a world record at the 2017 games with her 100 metre dash. Sadly, she didn’t beat it this year, completing the course in a slightly slower time.
‘Hurricane’ Hawkins, who has four children, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, told Good Morning America:
I’m thrilled I did as well as I did but I didn’t do as well as I have done. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or maybe it was the atmosphere.
The inspirational grandma didn’t take up running until she was 100, when she says biking on mountainous courses became too challenging.
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103-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins is hot on the track at the National Senior Games this week cementing her title as the oldest woman to compete on an American track! Today, she spread inspiration with every step as she ran the 100-meter dash in 46.07. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #RealSeniorMoments #TheGames #OneAlbuquerque
For those of us who, like me, struggle to muster up the motivation to go out for a run, Hawkins also shared some words of advice.
The runner explained:
Realise you can still be doing it at this kind of an age. I just keep busy. I keep moving. 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.
The 103-year-old says she gets most of her exercise in by working in her garden at home in Louisiana.
Need some inspiration to get moving? Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins, age 103, won Gold at the National Senior Games in the 50-meter sprint in 21.05. E. Gerald Meyer, age 100 was all smiles when he won the men's 50m in a time of 18.59.
See all the results here: https://t.co/fX4mkY2jHe pic.twitter.com/84mD2GMhLI
— USATFMasters (@USAMastersTrack) June 17, 2019
Julia also revealed that she keeps all of her gold medals she’s accumulated over the years inside her home.
[I keep them] here and there. I’ve got a good many. My husband made a box for me to keep them.
The runner says she takes every day as it comes, saying that at her age, ‘every day is a miracle’. So as of yet, she isn’t planning another race, but adds: ‘You never know’.
Well, I guess that’s me forcing myself to go out for a run tonight – even though I couldn’t think of anything worse at this moment in time.
What an inspiration. Well done Julia.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).