Watch your back, Usain Bolt — there’s a new 100-meter dash superstar and she looks unstoppable.
Meet 101-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins, who on Saturday became the oldest female athlete to ever compete in the USA Track and Field Outdoors Masters Championships. Not only that, but by running the 100 meters in 40.12 seconds, she shaved more than six seconds off the current certified world record for women aged 100 or older.
Astonishingly, that wasn’t even a personal best. This month, at the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Ala., Hawkins ran the dash in 39.62 seconds. If either of those times get certified in December, she will become the official world-record holder.
And to think, she may have missed her shot at making track and field history if she opted to follow her original plans for the day.
“[I] missed my nap for this,” she said (via USATF) on Saturday at the event at Louisiana State University, not far from where Hawkins lives in Baton Rouge.
Hawkins, who was born in Wisconsin in 1916, said she likes “the feeling of being independent,” as well as the challenge. She also likes impressing her family, which includes the four children she had with her late husband, Murray, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
“Having a momma that can do this pleases them, and it pleases me to please them,” the former schoolteacher said.
Today, Hawkins spends most of her waking hours being active (no surprise). Along with running and cycling, she’s an avid gardener.
She’s also humble.
Asked about how she thought her race went on Saturday, she told the Advocate, “This time I wasn’t feeling like I was going that fast.”