by Jason Duaine Hahn
The number that matters the most to 101-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins is not her age, but her race time.
Hawkins, a former schoolteacher hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, won the 100-meter dash in a blazing 40.12 seconds at the USA Track and Field Outdoors Masters Championships this weekend, according to the Washington Post.
Her time is a world record for women aged 100 and over, pending its verification in December. As of now, that’s six seconds faster than the current certified record.
Hawkins quipped of her victory, “I missed my nap for this.”
But that’s not all.
Earlier this month, Hawkins participated in the 30th annual National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama, and ran the 100-meter dash in 39.62 seconds. You’re reading that right—that’s a faster time than the one she earned this weekend. That means, pending the verification, she has two chances to hold on to the record.
“I came to run, and that’s what I did,” a proud Hawkins told the NSGA after her 39-second race.
Proving that it’s never too late to start anew, Hawkins only started her track and field career last year at age 100. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been an active person for a long time.
According to The Advocatein Baton Rouge, Hawkins is a longtime bicyclist (she rides everyday) and was on a bike when first competed in the National Senior Games when she was 75. Hawkins says she gave up after the National Senior Games in 2001 when there was a lack of female competition. But, she was persuaded to compete in last year’s Louisiana State Games by her children, and that is what led to her record-breaking performances.
Today, she practices the 100-meter in her neighborhood, she told WBRZ. When she’s not on her bike or running the dash, she likes to take care of the house, tend to her bonsai trees, and engage in her primary workout: running from the garden to answer the phone when it rings.
Hawkins likes to live simply, and she says her secret to a long life is as easy as eating healthy, exercising, and family.
Oh, and one more thing:
“I tell people the thing I recommend is to marry a good man,” Hawkins explained. “If you marry to a man for 70 years and have four wonderful children and then you have great grandchildren. You can’t ask much more than that.”