Age is just a number for Julia Hawkins, known lovingly as “the Hurricane.” At an incredible 107 years old, she continues to defy expectations, recently breaking a world record for the fastest 100-meter run at the Louisiana Senior Games.
In November 2021, Julia Hawkins, then 105 years old, made headlines by setting a new world record for the fastest 100-meter run in a competition designed for adults over 50. Now, at 107, she remains a force to be reckoned with, showing no signs of slowing down.
Julia’s incredible journey began when one of her children suggested that she attempt the 100-yard dash in under 100 seconds to celebrate her 100th birthday. To everyone’s amazement, she not only achieved that goal but surpassed it.
At the 2021 Louisiana Senior Games, Julia aimed to complete the dash in under a minute. Though she finished in just over 62 seconds, she took into account the harsh weather conditions that day. “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,” Julia shared.
Adding a heartwarming touch to the race, Julia’s former students, now in their 90s, were there to cheer her on from the sidelines. They were fourth-graders when Julia taught them, and their presence demonstrates the enduring impact of a teacher’s influence.
While Julia didn’t achieve her goal of finishing the dash in under a minute, she emerged victorious by securing the title for the fastest 100-meter dash in the 105+ years category. This record-breaking achievement came as no surprise to Julia or her family, who celebrated her gold medal and her remarkable achievement.
“When I started running, there were only a few older women attempting to do something different. They weren’t really athletes. So I usually managed to beat the ones that weren’t really athletes,” Julia modestly revealed.
Beyond her newfound passion for running, Julia dedicates her time to gardening and cherishing moments with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She also lovingly remembers her late husband, Murray Hawkins, with whom she spent 70 wonderful years. Reflecting on the early days of their relationship, Julia shared, “He was from New Orleans, and I was from Ponchatoula, a little town. When I saw him, met him, and saw how smart and good-looking he was, I went home and wrote about him in my diary.”
Their unique love story continued when they tied the knot over the telephone, eight years after they first met. Despite Murray being stationed at Pearl Harbor during the devastating attack, distance couldn’t dampen their love. “He was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed, working for the Navy. 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,” Julia fondly recalled.
As Julia embraces her golden years, she imparts some sage advice to others. She urges everyone to seek out the “magic moments” in life, the awe-inspiring occurrences that we often overlook. A stunning sunrise, a captivating sunset, or even a shooting star—these remarkable experiences are accessible to all who take the time to observe. “You don’t have to be wealthy to get to see them. You just have to be observant and keep a watch on what’s out there,” Julia wisely advises.
Julia Hawkins stands as a true inspiration, a testament to the indomitable spirit that resides within each of us. Her extraordinary achievements, boundless energy, and unwavering determination remind us that age should never limit our dreams or abilities. We can all draw inspiration from Julia’s remarkable journey and strive to create our own magic moments.
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