World Record Holder, Defending Champions Set for Carlsbad 5000

25th running of the “World’s Fastest 5K” on Sunday, April 11; Competitor Magazine Masters Championship; All Day 25K also returns

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Ethiopian great Meseret Defar will look to better her standing world record at the 2010 Carlsbad 5000 presented by Nuvasive. The race, known as the “World’s Fastest 5K”, is the home of 16 world records and will celebrate its silver anniversary on Sunday, April 11.

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“I have so many great memories of Carlsbad. It will be very special to run there for the 25th anniversary of the race,” said Defar, who set her world record of 14:46 in 2006. “Everyone knows how fast the course is and if we get a good day it would be great to try and challenge my world record.”

Defar set the standing world record at the 2006 Carlsbad 5000. Photo:

Defar, who won the Olympic 5000m gold medal at the Athens Games and a bronze medal over 5000m at the Beijing Olympics, was recently crowned world indoor 3000m champion, her fourth consecutive title. She will square off on the seaside course against 2009 race champion and countrywoman Aheza Kiros. Last year, Kiros defeated American Shannon Rowbury 15:38 to 15:41, after a thrilling stride-for-stride finish over the last 400 meters.

“The Carlsbad 5000 has certainly had its fair share of success when it comes to breaking records,” said Matt Turnbull, Elite Athlete Coordinator for the event. “Will this year’s chapter in the history of Carlsbad produce another World Best? Well, it’s hard to guarantee, but all the ingredients are there. Meseret Defar will return after a three year absence and she is on a world record quest. She was so close in Europe over 3000m indoors and now firmly has Carlsbad in her sights.”

Headlining the men’s field is defending champion Bekana Daba of Ethiopia. Daba out-sprinted fellow Ethiopian Abreham Cherkos to take the 2009 Carlsbad 5000 title, with both athletes clocking in at 13:19. The 21-year-old has run a sensational 12:59 over 5000m, with sub-13:00 being the gold standard for 5000m track racing.

With nine separate races grouped by age and gender, the Carlsbad 5000 has developed into one of road racing’s marquee events. Founded in 1986 by Tim Murphy, then president of Elite Racing, and three-time Olympian Steve Scott, who together saw the potential of the 5K to become the premier distance in road racing like the established 10K races and marathons. The event’s 24-year legacy has permanently altered the road racing landscape; with the 5K now the most popular distance in the U.S. with more than 3.5 million finishers annually compared to 1.1 million finishers in the 10K, America’s second most popular distance, according to Running USA.

The 25th edition will mark the debut of a new Masters Championship. The male and female Masters races have been renamed the Competitor Magazine Masters Championship, where winners will take home much more than the coveted prize purse. No road race has such deep and competitive age group fields as Carlsbad, annually producing several of the top age group performances in America.

“For the past 25 years, the Carlsbad 5000 has been the premiere 5K in the nation,” said Bob Babbitt, Editor-In- Chief of Competitor Magazine. “In honor of the 25th anniversary we wanted to find a way to showcase the top masters men and women on the pages of Competitor Magazine’s Southern California edition. We’re excited to honor the best-of-the-best at the renamed Competitor Magazine Masters Championship.”

Also returning in 2010 is the special “All Day 25K” competition. Runners can register to run five of the individual 5K races and receive a special technical t-shirt and an “All Day 25K” finisher’s medal upon completion of their last race.

The Carlsbad 5000 annually attracts amateur, competitive and professional runners from around the world. Race day for the 25th edition begins at 7:05am with the Masters Men 40 and over, the first of nine races that will take place throughout the morning.

The main event, featuring the world’s fastest professional athletes, begins at 12:15pm. The race is the home of the current world 5K road records: 13:00, Sammy Kipketer (KEN), 2000 & 2001, and 14:46, Meseret Defar (ETH), 2006.

To view the full race day schedule or register for the event including the Junior Carlsbad on Saturday, April 10, visit or call (800) 311-1255.

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