Bernard Lagat, Meseret Defar Headline Carlsbad 5000 Elite Field

Bernard Lagat set a masters world record for 5K road racing in Carlsbad earlier this year, finishing third in 13:40. Photo:

Bernard Lagat is shooting for his fifth Olympic team in 2016. His journey will go through Carlsbad, Calif.

The 41-year-old American will race in the Carlsbad 5000 on April 3rd, a place he’s had plenty of success at in recent years. He set a world record for the fastest 5K by a Masters runner last year, finishing third in 13:40. He ran a 13:19 in 2014 before he was a Masters runner.

Lagat’s competition will include last year’s winner, 24-year-old Lawi Lalang of Kenya, along with Will Leer of the U.S., Andy Vernon of Great Britain and Collis Birmingham of Australia.

In the women’s race, a legend of the Carlsbad 5000 is back to write another chapter. Meseret Defar of Ethiopia has won three Carlsbad 5000s, and set the road 5K world record at Carlsbad in 2006, clocking a 14:46. After Carlsbad, the 32-year-old will turn her attention to the Olympic Games, where she will try to defend her London gold medal in the 5000m.

The 31st annual Carlsbad 5000 will be a full weekend of running in the coastal community of north San Diego County. Saturday’s racing will include kids races along with a competitive 1-mile race with $3,000 in prize money, before the 5K on Sunday.

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