By Eric Christensen
DENVER (CBS4) – Jenny Simpson is no stranger to excelling on the track and setting records. The 3-time Olympian and bronze medalist in the 1500 meters at the Rio games recently added another line to her impressive and lengthy resume.
A month ago, Simpson set her sights on setting a new American record in the 2-mile.
“I knew I was ready,” Simpson said. “That’s the fun part of being an athlete are those days when you say I don’t think there’s anything that can get in my way today and that’s really how I felt.”
Simpson attempted to break the record in her home state of Iowa at the Drake relays. The victory was never in doubt. She reached the final lap with a substantial lead. She wasn’t racing against any other women; it was just her against the clock.
“It’s like they say, it’s a totally different ballgame. Racing against the clock is different. The clock doesn’t wait for anyone. It just keeps clicking away,” said Simpson. “I just ran as hard as I could those last 400 meters.”
Simpson not only broke the existing American record, she shattered it by nearly four seconds.
“It just felt amazing especially with the wind and the elements — there was a little bit of doubt, said the 31 year old. “Pulling it off was just everything I worked for.”
The question now is how much longer can Jenny continue to excel and set records? She’s been competitive on an international level for more than 12 years.
“I’m over 30 and still running lifetime bests. That’s a little unusual,” said the Boulder resident. “My spirit in this sport is still young, and I think it helps being here at the University of Colorado. I’m around some of the young students. I see their ambition and drive, and I like showing off for them.”
So with a new American record and a young running spirit in hand, it’s safe to say Jenny is showing no signs of slowing down.
“I don’t know how much better I can get,” said Simpson. “But I can guarantee the world is going to find out. I want to retire with no talent left. I want to leave it all on the track. So when I feel like my talent is expended, and we’ve seen all I can do, that’s when I’ll go home.”
Eric Christensen is CBS4’s managing editor of sports. He’s been producing, reporting and anchoring sports at CBS4 for 19 years. Follow Eric on Twitter @cbseric or send him a story idea.