The Superior Downhill Mile Race Report
Today was the Superior Downhill Mile, which bills itself as “the Fastest Street Mile in the United States”. There were no turns, and almost a 200ft elevation drop. I’ve been wanting to run a mile for awhile, so I figured this was one to try!
I was buying some Hoka One One shoes when I registered, and the sales guy suggested I even wear them in the race. I was a bit skeptical, but last week an email went out saying that since Hoka was a sponsor, the first male and female finishers wearing the shoes would win $100! Ok, that made my footwear decision for me!
Last week when I met Darren to discuss my goals, he recommended I run both the mile and the Avery 4 on the 4th, so this was my first of two races for the day, and second of three races within five days. Whoops!
I went to bed unsure how aggressively I’d race. My alarm didn’t go off but I woke up on my own and dragged myself out of bed. The event start was only about 10 minutes from home so I arrived in plenty of time – enough to even go to a nearby gas station for some coffee!
I warmed up a bit but nothing too intense; I didn’t want to risk burning out my legs before we started! Soon it was time to go. The race was chip-timed but that didn’t alleviate all the congestion at the start (why do little kids always think they’re the fastest???). They had the quarters marked off, which was cool. I’d read a race report that said that the first was the fastest, the second and third were more flat and the fourth was again quite fast. Cool!
I hit the first quarter in 1:14, and the halfway point in 2:44. I chugged along and passed some folks who were struggling in the second half, and remembered a time when I too walked in a mile race.
The timers called out “5:24” as the gal ahead of me cruised across the line. That’s some nice improvement over the 5:58 I ran last year at the Metro Mile! However, I feel like I can’t really assess how much better since the course was so amenable to speed.
I chatted with Diane for a bit at the end (she ran 5:11!), and we commented on how we didn’t see any other women wearing Hokas. I went over to the race organizer and he handed me a check! My first winnings!
I felt surprisingly good, coughed a few times but not nearly as bad as after last year’s mile, and headed back up the hill to the car. I had another race to run!
Honestly, I feel a bit weird about my time. I know it’s a measured course and therefore theoretically this is a PR, but it seems like it wasn’t all “me”, does that make sense?