Known as “the Hurricane”, this elderly 107-year-old woman hasn’t let age dictate her abilities!
In fact, back in November 2021, at the age of 105, Julia Hawkins set a new world record for fastest 100-meter run at the Louisiana Senior Games, which is a competition for adults over 50.
Now, aged 107, she seems to show no signs of slowing down!Hawkins told WWNO that she hasn’t always been running, and that it was actually one of her children who suggested when she turned 100 that she try doing the 100-yard dash in under 100 seconds. “And I did it in a lot less than that,” she added.
Five years later, at the 2021 Louisiana Senior Games, she wanted to run the dash in under a minute, though she ended up doing it in just over 62 seconds. “I have done much better than that,” she admitted. “It was windy and cold, cold. But on that day it seemed to be the best I could have done with the weather like it was.”
One of the more heartwarming aspects of the race was that Hawkins, a retired teacher, had several of her old students cheering her on from the sidelines! “At that race I had three different children from three different schools from where I taught. And they’re 90 years old. They were in the fourth grade when I taught them and now they’re 90! That tells you how old I am,” she said.
While she was disappointed in not running the dash in under a minute, she did win the title for the fastest 100 meter dash in the 105+ years category (though, she wasn’t surprised that she won). Her family was happy that was able to take home the gold for the race and that she broke the world record for her magnificent achievement!
“Well I knew it was a possibility because there are not that many older people doing things like this,” she revealed. “When I started running there were only a few, and they were not really athletes. Just older women trying to do something different. So I usually managed to beat the ones that weren’t really athletes.”
Aside from a newfound passion for running, Hawkins loves gardening and spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren!
She also loved spending time with her husband, Murray Hawkins, to whom she was married for 70 years before his passing several years ago. “He was from New Orleans and I was from Ponchatoula, which was a little town. When I saw him and met him and saw how smart he was and good looking, I went home and wrote about him in my diary,” she said of the early days of their relationship.
The two ended up getting hitched eight years later by telephone! “He was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed while he was out there working for the Navy. So when they sent him out there we were married by telephone. Which was unusual at that time. My father in law went with me to Baton Rouge to see if it was legal in Louisiana. And it was. So we were married by telephone,” she said.
As she grows older, Hawkins has some words of wisdom for others, saying that we should always strive to find the “magic moments” in life. “Magic moments are something you see that you hadn’t seen often before. Like a sunrise that was especially pretty, or a sunset or a shooting star,” she said. “Amazing things like that are worth watching for. You don’t have to be wealthy to get to see them. You just have to be observant and keep a watch what’s out there.”