No world records fell at today’s 27th Carlsbad 5000, but on a sun-splashed and windy day hard along the bright, blue Pacific Ocean, two previous champions from Ethiopia, Dejen Gebremeskel, defending men’s champion, and Tirunesh Dibaba, 2005 women’s champion, marked their readiness for the Olympic campaign ahead by posting impressive winning times over Olympic-caliber competition under less than ideal conditions. It was the second victory for each in the “World’s Fastest 5K”.
Gebremeskel’s winning time of 13:11 equaled the third-best time ever over the famous Carlsbad loop course, and tied the winning times from the previous two years when both he and today’s third-place finisher (second in 2011) Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya hit 13:11 in 2011 and 2010. Today’s runner-up, Hagos Gebrhiwet, just 17 years old, trailed just three seconds behind his countryman (13:14), leading places two through six to the fastest times for those places in CBAD history. Ireland’s Alistair Cragg’s 13:26 in sixth produced the lone record of the day, a new Irish and European road 5k record.
“My plan was to run sub-13:10,” said third place finisher and 2010 champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya (13:14). “But it was not possible because I could not feel comfortable with everyone on my back. I thought people would work together.”
And how many times have you raced against Ethiopians, Eliud? Have they ever shown an inclination to assist with the pace? Exactly. You might make a note come London this August.
With the two-time Kenyan Olympic 5000m medalist- bronze in 2004, silver in 2008 – towing the field through the first two miles – 4:12, 8:33 (4:21) – the Ethiopians were content to draft in behind, thus saving energy for the long slog into the wind heading north along Carlsbad Boulevard after mile one. But after passing through boisterous crowds along the center of the T-bar course, the road continues along a desolate stretch to the far turnaround. It was on that silent patch of road around 4Km that Gebremeskel made his winning move. Continue reading