BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A 101-year-old Baton Rouge woman is headed to Birmingham, Alabama this week to compete in the National Senior Olympic Games.
On any given day of the week, under the shady oaks of University Acres, Julia Hawkins hits the ground running.
"I love it. It's an effort though," said Hawkins.
She does it with grace and always with a flower behind her ear. "I used to see one and pick one and didn't have anything to do with it, so I stick it behind my ear," said Hawkins.
At 101-years-young, Hawkins is training for the Senior Olympic Games. She's competing in the 50 and 100-yard dash events. Hawkins says she runs every day or so, but does a lot of walking as well. However, she credits her strong legs to years of biking, and she's got the hardware to prove it.
"Let's see. Two, four, six, I don't count the state ones [metals]," said Hawkins.
She has six national gold metals on display and several more tucked away. Hawkins has cycled her way to podiums in San Antonio, Tucson, and beyond. She is quick to point out her favorite.
"I think Orlando because there was more competition. That's why I quit when I was 80, because there wasn't any competition," said Hawkins.
Hawkins says she parked her bike and became interested in another sport when she went to the Senior Olympics last year. "There were runners from all over the country and they look so good, and I fell in love with the idea of running," said Hawkins.
She has been running ever since. Training for an event as big as the Senior Olympics takes a lot of time and dedication. Hawkins says she has done the work. She is ready to deliver.
Her goals are to complete the 100-yard dash in under a minute and the 50-yard dash in under 20 seconds.
"I don't think there's been a 100-year-old that's run the 100-yard dash, ever. I hope I can do it. It's a lot of pressure," said Hawkins.
Her track record speaks for itself. Hawkins competes on Thursday and Saturday.