Carlsbad 5000: Gebrselase and Gebremeskel to Win

March 29, 2014 0

© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated

The 29th annual Carlsbad 5000 will take place Sunday, March 30th in Carlsbad, California. It is billed as the World’s fastest 5k road race for good reason. The race boasts 16 world records and typically hosts a large number of world-class athletes who come from all corners of the globe to race in the very popular event.

The 2014 edition is no exception as three-time consecutive defending champ Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia looks to be the first to win four-consecutive Carlsbads, he owns a scintillating best time of 12:46.81. He will be very tough to run with, but the field does include some very legitimate contenders. American Bernard Lagat, although he is old for running at this level at age 39, he did have an excellent 2014 indoor season with a 3000 metre win at the USATF Indoor Championships. He is the Kenyan 1500 metre record holder and has broken several American records throughout his career. Does he still have it?

Ethiopian Tariku Bekele and Kenyan Augustine Choge both own personal best times of 12:52.45. Choge has demonstrated great range with his 800 metre best of 1:44.86. He and Bekele are both 12 years younger than Lagat. Although there is plenty of talent not far behind these athletes, these are the top-4. Expect the order to go: Gebremeskel first followed by Choge, Bekele then Lagat.

The women’s race is interesting in that there is no clear cut favourite – well there is – in Ethiopian Gotytom Gebreslase, she, unlike Gebremeskel in the men’s field, could be challenged. Julia Bleasdale from Great Britain finished eighth in the 2012 London Olympics and owns a 5000 metre best of 15:02. She could win as she also possesses more experience than the teenage Gebreselase. There will be a re-match from the US Indoor Track and Field Trials for the IAAF World meet however, there will be no fireworks between Americans Jordan Hasay and Gabriele Grunewald however, someone has to win between the two, who will it be?

The first Carlsbad 5000 in 1986 was won by the legendary American Steve Scott, he followed that win up with two more, to make it three consecutive. His best on the course was 13:30.20; however, they were all close with finishes in 13:32 and 13:36. Kenya’s Sammy Kipketer also won three in a row, starting in 2000. Other multi-time winners were Dejene Berhanu starting in 2003 for three consecutive and Dejen Gebremenskei starting in 2011, both from Ethiopia.

The women haven’t run as many streaks. In fact there is only one consecutive winner; however, there are other multi-time winners like Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia, who won twice, seven years apart in 2005 and 2012, while countrywomen Meseret Defar won twice in a row in 2006 and 2007 and again in 2010. Deena Kastor (nee Drossin) won twice in 2000 and 2002 and set the world record with her 14:53, during the latter race. Great Britain’s Liz McColgan won twice in 1986 and 1991. The current world records are 14:46 by Meseret Defar and 12:59.50 by Sammy Kipketer. Defar owns a few world records including in the 5000 metre distance with her 14:24.37 from 2009. Kipketer’s 5000 metre best on the track is 12:52.33 from 2003.

Only one man has run under 13-minutes on the Carlsbad course, Kipketer did it two years in a row, while the 15-minute barrier has been broken five times by women, interestingly five times in a row, including  Berhane Adere from Ethiopia and Isabella Ochichi of Kenya as well as Kastor, Dibaba and Defar.

The Carlsbad 5000 race typically hosts around 100,000 runners and walkers.

Men’s Elite Field
Bib – Name – Country – PB
#1 Dejen Gebremeskel – ETH – 12:46.81
#2 Bernard Lagat – USA – 12:53.60
#3 Tariku Bekele – ETH – 12:52.45
#4 Augustine Choge – KEN – 12:52.45
#5 Juan Luis Barrios – MEX – 13:09.81
#6 Edwin Kipyego – KEN – 13:43.89
#7 Will Leer – USA – Scratch
# 8 Diego Estrada – MEX – 13:15.33
#9 Bobby Curtis – USA – 13:18.97
#10 DeSean Turner – USA – 8:25 steeple
#11 Mohammed Fadil – MOR – 28:22 10k
#12 Haron Langat – KEN -13:26 pb
#13 Zac Mayhew – USA – 13:41.95
#14 Ben Bruce – USA – 13:30.79
#15 Frezer Legesse – OK – 3:57.48 mile
#16 Diego Borrego – MEX – 13:27.26
#17 Christopher Sandoval -MEX – 3:42.45
#18 Stephen Pifer – USA – 13:33.69

*Men’s Bios

Women’s Elite Field
Bib – Name – Country – PB
Race # F1 – Gotytom Gebreslase – ETH – 15:11.12. 19 years young.
Race # F2 – Gabe Grunewald – USA – 15:45.99/4:01 1500 pb.
Race # F3 – Jordan Hasay – USA – 15:37.29
Race # F4 – Julia Bleasdale – GBR – 15:02.00. 8th at 2012 Olympics.
Race # F5 – Brenda Martinez – USA – 15:30.89 –
Race # F6 – Margherita Magnani – Italy – 4:09 1500/8:51.81 3000.
Race # F7 – Lindsey Scherf – USA – 15:42.81
Race # F8 – Alessandra Viola Giulia – Italy – 16:05:39
Race # F9 – Jen Rhines – USA – 14:54.29. 39 years old
Race # F10 – Betsy Saina – KEN – 15:12.05
Race # F11 – Amy Van Alstine -USA – 15:36.56
Race # F12 – Natasha La Beaud – USA – 15:50.34
Race # 13 – Katja Goldring – Isreal/USA – 16:33.28

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