Julia Hawkins has set a new record in 100m as the fastest female athlete in the 105+ age group.
According to Longitudinal Study, older runners feature healthier minds and bodies, which is fully proven by Julia Hawkins. She has previously made history but the latest feat sets a new 100m record for the centenarian who is nicknamed “Hurricane Hawkins”. In the past, she crossed the finish line in a time of 39:62 in 2017 at Birmingham and became the fastest female athlete in the 100 to 105 age category. Diane Friedman who was 100 years old would later break this record in September at the Michigan senior Olympics.
Hawkins had won multiple gold medals as a cyclist in four biennial National Senior Games before she started running in 2017 at the age of 101 years.
Hawkins also made headlines at 101 years when she competed in 100m at the USA Track and Field Outdoors Masters Championships and crossed the finish line in 40.12 seconds.
Her latest record was set at the 2021 Louisiana Senior Games where the retired school teacher and 1938 LSU graduate crossed the finish line with a time of 1:02:95 in the presence of her family and friends. “It was wonderful to see so many family members and friends. But I wanted to do it in less than a minute,” Hawkins reportedly said after the race.
The event took place at the Southeastern Louisiana University Track Complex in Hammond which is in close proximity to Ponchatoula where Hawkins grew up and also taught middle school.
Despite being the first American to set track and field history in the 105+ age bracket at the event which qualifies Louisiana for biennial National Senior Games, Hawkins was slightly disappointed in the results as the finish time was slower than she had hoped for. According to the National Senior Games, an audience member pointed out that her finish time was less than her age but that did not seem to reassure Hawkins who said that she still did not feel good about it.
Stanisław Kowalski and Hidekichi Miyazaki are male track and field athletes who are also in the 105 years, or older age group. Other notable centenarian athletes are 100-year old Lester wright who set a 100m record this year at the Penn Relays by crossing the finish line in a time of 26.34 seconds, according to The Guardian. He was preceded by Fauja Singh with a time of 23:40 in 2011 and Donald Pellman with a time of 26:34 in 2015.
Julia Hawkins is a mother of four, grandmother of three and great-grandmother of one. As a representative of active and healthy aging, she also shared her secret to being happy at her advanced age: “I love to run, and I love being an inspiration to others. I want to keep running as long as I can. My message to others is that you have to stay active if you want to be healthy and happy as you age.”