Athletics

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Julia Hawkins, 103, breaks track records in America's National Senior Games

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She is, according to the record books, the oldest woman to formally compete on a track in the United States. 

Julia Hawkins, nicknamed 'the Hurricane' - naturally - returned this week to the National Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Her specialty: the 100-metre dash, which she first broke records in back in 2017, finishing with a time of 39.62.

She is now back taking part in the 50- and 100-meter dash races at the event, which typically is aimed at athletes over 50.

It has rarely hosted participants more than twice that age and she is one of the very few competitors in the centenarian age bracket.

On the secrets behind her training regime, she told the New York Times:

"I run on the street by my house, occasionally, not often.

"As I get older, I feel like I only have so many 100-yard dashes left, and I don’t want to waste them in practice. Can you imagine that?

"I have markers on the street to show me where 50 yards is, and where 100 is, and I go by that. But I don’t practice much. I’m just pretty good at moving around and I do it when I have to, whatever I have to do."

While she broke the age record once again, there was to be no eclipsing her record time. Little surprise, she quipped, when “I’m two years older, remember?”

It's only three years since she started running at all, and that was out of necessity after her advanced years proved too much of an obstacle to her cycling at the Senior Games. 

Hawkins, born February 10, 1916, is attracting considerable attention as a truly extraordinary lady, one who got married during WWII over the phone. 

Though she only considers her running "the icing on the cake" of that journey, she added some closing thoughts on her success:

"Keep yourself in good shape if you can. Have many passions. And look for magic moments. All of those are magic moments and they are free for all. Be sure to keep your eye open for them."

Topics:
Commonwealth Games
Athletics

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