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Galloping 105-year-old granny sets 100m sprint world record

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Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins is no average granny and has broken two world records since she started running at age 100. (PHOTO: Facebook/National Senior Games)

Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins is no average granny and has broken two world records since she started running at age 100. (PHOTO: Facebook/National Senior Games)

Usain Bolt. Yohan Blake. Florence Griffith-Joyner. Elaine Thompson-Herah. These are the names that come to mind when you think of record-setting and record-breaking 100 m sprinters, and now there’s a new name joining the list of the best-of-the-best: Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins.

The speedy centenarian ran the 100 m dash in 62.95 seconds at the Louisiana Senior Games recently, a new record in the  105+ division.

Athletics, running, Hawkins, Julia Hurricane Hawki

Julia loves running and has no plans to slow down anytime soon. (PHOTO: Facebook/National Senior Games)

Julia (105) is no stranger to breaking records: in 2017 the retired teacher set the 100 m world record for women over the age of 100 with a time of 39.62.

Yet while the rest of the world is thrilled for Julia, she’s not happy about latest achievement. “I wanted to do it in less than a minute,” she told The Guardian.

Julia, a keen cyclist for most of her life, started competing in the National Senior Games at the age of 80, specialising in cycling time trials where she won several gold medals.

READ MORE | Ripped at 75: how this granny went from flabby to fabulous

She ended her cycling career when she ran out of competitors in her age group, she says.

Then she picked running as her new sport.

“It was a new challenge and I took to it like a duck to water. I felt that would be neat to run the 100 m dash at 100 in under a minute.”

This month’s race was special for Julia because it was held close to her childhood home in Ponchatoula, where she later taught Grades 7 to 9.

Julia Hurricane Hawkins, running, runner

Julia says she owes her good health to her active lifestyle. (PHOTO: Facebook/National Senior Games)

Some of Julia’s former students came to cheer her on, which she says was a great morale booster.

Her four children are often at the side of the track to cheer her on, and she describes winning races as “magic moments”.

Murray, Julia’s husband of 70 years, passed away at the age of 95, but she still feels his presence.

“He died ahead of me, and so I think of him as being my little angel out there watching over me.”

Julia doesn’t exhaust herself training every day and instead walks or jogs 1.6 km every day, with the occasional 50 m sprint. 

“When you’re 105, you don’t have too many 100 m dashes left in you, so you save them for when you need them,” she told USA Today.

READ MORE | This 100-year-old woman is officially the oldest female powerlifter in the world

She has no plans to slow down anytime soon.

“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.”

Sources: insider.com, theguardian.com, runnersworld.com, usatoday.com



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