If Jenny Simpson was facing any jet lag from a transatlantic flight from Europe, she certainly didn't show it Saturday.
Simpson, 30, the former University of Colorado distance standout, raced in her final track event on Thursday in the Zurich Diamond League meet, and then ended the most successful track season of her professional career on Saturday by winning the 5th Avenue Mile road race in New York for the fifth time.
Simpson jumped near the lead — a straight shot down 5th Avenue in New York, next to Central Park — before falling slightly behind Laura Muir, who set the British national record in the 1500 in Paris on Aug. 27. In the final 100 meters Simpson surged to the lead and won in 4 minutes, 18.3 seconds, a best for her at the event. Muir was second in 4:18.5, and Heather Kampf was third in 4:19.8.
"It's unbelievable," Simpson said in a post-race interview with USATF.tv. "I care so much about all my races. At the end of the season and a transatlantic flight, I had to care a lot about getting this done. I'm really tired. I'm really ready for this to be the last mile."
At the Rio Games last month, Simpson became the first American in history to medal in the women's 1,500, winning bronze. After Rio, she raced twice more in her event — first at the meet in Paris, where she ran her third fastest time in the event ever, and, two days ago, in Zurich, where she finished fourth in 3:58.54 behind American Shannon Rowbury, who won the race.
Overall, 2016 was a resounding success. Simpson had previously medaled in world championships, winning gold in the 1500 in 2011 and silver in 2013, but had struggled when the spotlight was brightest — the Olympic Games, the crowning achievement for track and field athletes.