If this doesn’t inspire people to get up and move, nothing will.
Just watch as Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins, who is 102 years old and clearly still going strong, sets a world record for the 60-meter dash in the women’s 100-plus age competition at the USA Track and Field Masters Indoor Championships in Landover, Md.
And take a moment to watch Orville Rogers, 100, set a record in the 60 for men in the 100-plus age group.
Rogers, who is from Dallas, also set a pending world age-group record in the 400 with a time of 4:16.90; his 60 time was 19.13. A World War II bomber pilot and former airline pilot, Rogers, who took up running when he was inspired at the age of 50 by Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s “Aerobics” book, overcame a 2011 stroke that temporarily paralyzed his left hand, foot and hip.
“How wonderful it is, how great it is, to be alive,” he told Dallas’ WFAA last December. “I really enjoy life.”
Rogers faced stiff competition from Roy Englert, a 95-year-old man from Springfield, Va., and Dixon Hemphill, a 93-year-old Fairfax, Va., man with whom he has a friendly running rivalry. Englert set a pending world record in the M95 3,000-meter race with a time of 26:52.17, breaking the previous mark by almost four minutes.
At 102, Hawkins, who is from Baton Rouge, is the oldest woman in the history of the USATF Championships. She was a cycling enthusiast for years, taking up competitive running when she was 100.
“I just like the feeling of being independent and doing something a little different and testing myself, trying to get better. I want to please my family is the other thing,” Hawkins told The Washington Post’s Inspired Life last summer. “Having a mama that can do this pleases them, and it pleases me to please them.”
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