Brynn Siles set off some fireworks of her own at the Superior Downhill Mile.
A downhill mile in the middle of summer is like intravenously taking a shot of Red Bull. It's a jolt to the system. But even if you're in the middle of a long summer of training, and the legs are tired from the monotony, the perfect degree of downhill can pull you to a personal best. All you really have to do is lean forward, and try not to face-plant.
It's been eight years since I leaned forward and let gravity pull me to a massive personal best at the Superior Downhill Mile. I dropped a welcome eight-seconds off my previous PR - that counts, right?
Sure, skeptics can scoff and say the time doesn't count - it was run downhill. But the way I look at it, I did cover the distance of one mile. So, the PR always came with an asterisk, I'll admit that much.
Regardless, the Superior Downhill Mile is a great way to loosen up the legs, and break from the mind-numbing boredom of putting the miles.
After scanning over this year's results, it's clear that Brynn Siles has added a few more tools to her already packed tool belt. While the track season has been over for quite some time now, cross country is just around the corner, and her downhill mile shows she's got the leg turnover to kick.
Siles was the fifth female across the finish line, but the first under the age of 25. By now you've read a handful of paragraphs, and I bet you're wondering how fast she ran.
That's a solid 19 seconds faster than her 5:02 track PR. Sure, it's a downhill mile, and it won't pop up on her MileSplit profile page, but come on - it's July, and it was run here in Colorado, at altitude. Clearly, she hasn't lost a step since track season. If anything, she's already made some gains...
And she's wasn't the only one who enjoyed the pull of gravity for just over four minutes bright and early on the Fourth of July.
The first high schooler - or runner 18 or younger - across the line was William Dixon. The Monarch grad was fourth overall - two seconds outside the top three, and three seconds from the win. Dixon ran 4:14, which is a nine-second PR.
Denver South's Tommy Gilfillan was the next high schooler across the line in 10th. Gilfillan dropped 19 seconds from his track PR to move best mile time to *4:31.
And then there's Florida middle-schooler Brendan Roper, who ran an impressive 4:51. Not bad for a 12 year-old from sea-level.
I'd imagine anyone wanting a new mile PR is really wishing they would've raced. But hey, there's always next year.
And yes, the time *does count.