ENCINITAS — The Encinitas Mile saw some of its fastest times recorded yet in the race’s short two-year history, including the possibility of a new world record.
Jason Parra, 8, of Lakewood, Calif. may have the new world record in his age group, finishing the mile with a time of 5:34.
Race organizers Dan Seidel and Mark Sarno are working to ratify the record in order to make it official, though it may not be known until later this fall.
John Simons, 24, of Blowing Rock, N.C., set a new men’s elite record for the event with a mile-time of 4:14, beating out last year’s fastest finisher, Sergio Gonzalez by seven seconds. Finishing just two seconds behind Simons was 35-year-old San Marcos resident Brian Sullivan.
“It feels pretty good,” Sullivan said of running the course on Vulcan Avenue (from F Street to Santa Fe Drive and back) in just over four minutes. “Anytime you go out there and run as well as that, it feels good — a sense of accomplishment.”
Sullivan, a graduate of Cal State San Marcos and now an instructor at Encinitas Country Day School and teacher of psychology at Palomar College described the feeling of competing at that level as “comfortable.”
He added that that’s what a lot of running the mile in that fast of a time is all about — getting your body comfortable with that kind of pace.
“The more comfortable you are with it, the easier it becomes,” he said.
Sullivan finished third overall in the event last year.
“My goal is always to win, that’s why I’m out there,” said Sullivan, who describes himself more as a middle-distance runner than a sprinter. “At the same time, I’d like to see if I can still get under 4 minutes.”
He’s run a 4-minute mile when he was younger, he said, but he knows his body has changed and so too has his training.
“If things go well, I’ll be able to get down to that level again, if not under,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan’s preparation comes more from a mental approach, he said, taking a key term from his coach, Paul Greer: “What you call hell, I call home,” explaining that by training at something so uncomfortable, when it comes to the race it’s comfortable.
The women’s side also set a new event record with 25-year-old Kirsty Legg of Santa Cruz, Calif. clocking in a 4:46 mile.