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Last-minute cancellation may cut 104-year-old Julia Hawkins' competitive running career short

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BATON ROUGE - Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins is 104 years old and taking life one fast step at a time.

Hawkins holds several world records for her racing and was preparing for her next race, the Masters National Indoor Track & Field Championships at LSU, however, it was canceled Monday due to coronavirus concerns, something she says she's not worried about.

"Not about the virus... A little about whether I could do it or not, whether I was able," Hawkins said. 

With no other races planned for at least two years, Hawkins may have to retire from the racing life.

"I'm sorry. This was sort of going to be my last race in my opinion," Hawkins explained.

But it's not all goodbyes.

"Running never was my passion; it just was a fun thing to do. I thought when I got to be 100 it'd be neat to do the 100-yard dash," Hawkins said.
She says now she has time to focus on something even more fulfilling.

The 104-year-old's true passion is tending for her acre-sized garden and the menagerie of plants inside. 

"I've got bonsai trees, working on them for 50 years," she added.

Hawkins says she's still going to keep jogging her 100-yard dash outside her home for as long as she's able. 

"I won't stop running, but I don't know when any other competition is going to come along. And I don't expect to be here forever. I've been here longer than I thought I'd be already."


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