After 30 years, Carlsbad is still fastest! by David Monti, RRW, used with permission

 Dejen Gebremeskel Wins Fourth Straight Carlsbad 5000 in 2014 
(Photo by; used with permission)

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2015 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved, used with permission. 

(27-Mar) - From the first edition in 1986 won by Steve Scott and PattiSue Plumer in 13:32 and 15:31, respectively, the Carlsbad 5000 has consistently been the world's fastest 5-K road race.  Not only is the event the home of both the men's and women's Association of Road Racing Statisticians (ARRS) world records, but no other 5-K road race has generated the sheer volume of fast times that Carlsbad has.

The 30th edition will be held on Sunday in Carlsbad, Calif., just north of San Diego.

According to the ARRS, there have been a whopping 216 men's performances in Carlsbad under 13:50, and 190 women's marks under 16:00.  Moreover, there have been 23 men's marks under 13:20, and 29 women's marks under 15:20.  The world records for men and women have been set in Carlsbad 16 times, and still stand at 13:00 (12:59.5) by Kenya's Sammy Kipketer in 2000, and 14:46 by Ethiopia's Meseret Defar in 2006.

The world record will be under threat again this year, especially on the women's side where Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia, who set the world indoor record for 5000m last month in Stockholm (14:18.86) is the leading contender for victory.

"I know the world record is tough, but I want to come and break it," Dibaba told race organizers earlier this week.

Deena Kastor, who won the race twice in 2000 and 2002, has a very good chance to break the world masters record of 15:47.1 set by  Colleen De Reuck (USA) and the Freihofer's Run for Women in Albany, N.Y., in 2004.  When she won Carlsbad in 2002 in 14:54 (14:53.8) it was the world record.

"I always have high expectations going into a race," Kastor recently said.  "This year, I am looking to run fast. I've lowered my mileage considerably and have been working on my speed, so I may be prepared to run about 15:30."

On the men's side, the two Big Men are four-time winner Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia and 5-time world/world indoor champion Bernard Lagat of Tucson, Ariz.  The pair finished 1-2 last year on a course which was found to be slightly short due to the misplacement of a cone.  This year's event will use a new course.

"Experience means a lot at this race," Lagat declared earlier this week.

Founded by Tim Murphy and Mike Long of Elite Racing, the predecessor company of Competitor Group Inc., which now owns and manages the race, the event has also spent more money on fast 5-kilometer running than any other event.  According to the ARRS, Carlsbad organizers have distributed $920,375 in prize money over 30 years.


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