Search icon

Fitness & Health

20th Jun 2019

103-year-old woman sets new record for 50 metre sprint

103-year-old Julia Hawkins set a new record in the 50 metre dash when competing at the Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Alex Roberts

With a nickname like ‘Hurricane’, one American woman certainly lives up to the billing

Julia Hawkins, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, set a new record in the 50 metre dash in her age group when competing at the Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The most impressive aspect? She’s a 103-year-old athlete.

Hawkins is a former teacher – and on this showing she certainly schooled the rest of her class. Donning a USA track and field shirt, the 103-year-old completed the race in a brilliant 21.06 seconds. This set a new record for the over-100 age group in the process.

Her son spoke to local news in the States, and said: “I call her a little old lady in tennis shoes.”

Witness the fitness

This isn’t Hawkins’ first record-breaking run, either.

Two years ago, she set a new record in the 100-metre sprint, finishing the race in 40.12 seconds. At this year’s Senior Games, she finished the 100 metres in 46 seconds, but it’s still an admirable time.

You might have assumed Hawkins had a history of competing in athletics, but the 103-year-old only began running two years ago.

That said, she credits her sensational fitness to years of cycling and simply staying active in everyday life.

Speaking to the Albuquerque Journal, Hawkins said, “I keep active all the time – I have an acre of land. I work in it all the time.

“I have 30 bonsai bushes – some are 40 or 50 years old. That keeps me busy.”

Some more recent record-breaking feats include:

  • Dana Glowacka, the Canadian woman who set a new world record for the ‘Longest Female Abdominal Plank’, with the total hold time around four hours and 20 minutes smashing the previous record by almost a complete hour
  • Martin Tye, a disabled British Army veteran who broke the deadlift record by pulling an epic 505 kilograms

Read more from JOE