Julia Hawkins is 103 years old but for her, age is just a number. Better known by her nickname — “Hurricane” — she recently broke the record for being the oldest woman to compete in the National Senior Games, the largest multi-sport event for seniors over 50. She’s also the oldest person to compete on an American track in history, and she won the gold medal in both the 50- and 100-meter races.
If you’re imagining that Hawkins must be a lifelong runner, you’d be wrong. In fact, she didn’t take up the sport until three years ago — at the age of 100.
The National Senior Games Association tweeted about her historic run:
103-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins is hot on the track at the National Senior Games this week cementing her title as the oldest women to compete on an American track! Today, she spread inspiration with every step as she ran the 100-meter dash in 46.07.#RealSeniorMoments pic.twitter.com/sa6GzPjKg0
— NSGA (@SeniorGames1) June 18, 2019
“103-year-old Julia ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins is hot on the track at the National Senior Games this week cementing her title as the oldest woman to compete on an American track!” reads the tweet alongside photos of Hawkins in action on the track. “Today, she spread inspiration with every step as she ran the 100-meter dash in 46.07 #RealSeniorMoments.”
She got her start with running after an elbow injury she sustained while cycling. As a natural athlete, Hawkins says she doesn’t train all that intensely for competition. If you’re looking for inspiration, her advice is to not overthink things too much.
“Realize you can still be doing it at this kind of an age,” she told “Good Morning America.” “I just keep busy. I keep moving. I don’t do any exercises particularly. I used to, but I don’t think I need to anymore.”
And Hawkins has no plans of stopping anytime soon.
“When you’re 103, every day is a miracle,” she said on the news program. “I just keep getting up and I’m here again.”