Tag: Carlsbad 5000

LEST WE FORGET

Yesterday marked a somber anniversary. 25 years ago on 7 April 1994, the nation of Rwanda exploded in a paroxysm of genocide in which 800,000 Tutsi people were slaughtered by the majority Hutu population in a matter of 100 days.

Today, 25 years later, Rwanda has a new light, says its leader, President Paul Kagame.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, center, gestures as he and first lady Jeannette Kagame, center-left, lead a “Walk to Remember” accompanied by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, far left, Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel, second left, France’s Herve Berville, third left, and Governor General of Canada Julie Payette, fourth left, from the parliament building to Amahoro stadium in downtown Kigali, Rwanda Sunday, April 7, 2019. Rwanda commemorated the 25th anniversary of the worst genocide in recent world history. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

There is a powerful message here that should chasten people in every land, for a hard-line strain of populist nationalism is growing once again in many parts of the globe. It is not an inconsequential trend.

Whether it’s the Brexit battle in Great Britain – in or out of the European Union? – what’s called “authoritarian capitalism” in China, or the expanding populist nationalism of Vladimir Putin in Russia, Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Poland, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, and, yes, Donald Trump in the USA, everywhere we look we see nations pulling back from a democratic globalist agenda as long-held systems come under strain from the twin poles of advancing technology and retreating opportunity.  

Yet there is another trend which plays against that troubling movement, the trend in movement itself.  (more…)

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CARLSBAD 5000 ENTERS NEW ERA

When Competitor Group Inc. was sold to Ironman in June 2017, then exited San Diego to consolidate with Ironman at its headquarters in Tampa, Florida, you knew the Carlsbad 5000 might be in trouble.

Though it was the event that put Elite Racing, Inc. on the international running map in 1986 and led to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series 12 years later, there was no surprise when Carlsbad’s prize purse was slashed in 2018 and only six men ran sub-15:00 on the world’s fastest 5K road course, a layout that has produced 16 world and nine American records.  It had become evident that if no one was there to pick it up, the event would have been abandoned.  And that would have been a tragedy, both for the San Diego area and the sport worldwide.

Instead, the Carlsbad 5000, the iconic Party-by-the-Sea, world record race that gave birth to the modern road 5K, enters its 34th year with a fresh step and new owners, anxious to reclaim its place among the world’s best road races.

The woman who stepped up to save Carlsbad is former CGI digital marketing executive Ashley Gibson. She and husband Travis invited local Olympic legend Meb Keflezighi to join them, and together, have had four months to put the event back on solid footing.

“In 2018, when the pre-sale registration was not happening and there were no plans for 2019, we all felt it was coming,” said Ms. Gibson.  “With the change in ownership, it became clear that Carlsbad didn’t fit the brand and that the passion and appreciation for what running meant wasn’t there.”

Conversations to buy the event kicked off, but ownership wasn’t secured until December. So registration for 2019 wasn’t begun until very late last year.

“There’s a lot of learning to do,” admitted Gibson, “but we feel fortunate we are the ones to keep Carlsbad’s legacy alive and thriving.”

 

New Carlsbad owner Ashley Gibson (center) with (l->r) Shalane Flanagan, Amy Cragg, Kara Goucher & Sash Gollish (CAN.)

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LONDON 2018: PACING OR RACING?

Watching the races in London last Sunday I couldn’t help contrast forms, because in the marathon more so than the track (until you get to the kick at the end) the question of form is also the matter of fuel management, especially on the quivering edge of world record pace. As Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba wrote on her Facebook account afterward:  “Even though my training went very well, I misjudged the pace, and did not have the strength to finish.”

She didn’t misjudge the pace, she misjudged the conditions for the pace.  Maybe if the day had dawned overcast at 43F (6C) with calm winds, talk of a world record would have been very much in order. But it was 59F (15C) at the start!  And rising, going on to become the hottest day in London Marathon history.

Paula Radcliffe‘s 2003 world record 2:15:25 stood some 2:31 faster than Tirunesh had ever run (2:17:56 finishing second to Mary Keitany’s 2:17:01 last year, the second-fastest time in history). What did she think the odds were going out significantly faster than Paula Radcliffe had in 2003 in those conditions?  I know that modern runners have out-trained the distance, at least on a benign day, but can they be so dismissive of the distance and the records that they think basic physiological norms no longer apply?

You could see right away that Mary Keitainy had a tighter, more efficient form than Tirunesh, both above and below the waist. She also showed less core rotation per stride.  That difference in per-stride energy expenditure adds up. The fact that Mary staggered home at all in fifth place in 2:24:27 after falling off world record pace before 30K was a testament to her fitness and form. The fact that Tirunesh didn’t get past 30K after falling off Mary’s pace at 15K makes its own point. (more…)

2017 CARLSBAD 5000 – MEN’S RACE VIDEO

Carlsbad, CA. – In the battle of Olympic 5000 meter silver medalists, Ethiopia’s Dejen Gebremeskel who won silver in London 2012 took on America’s 2016 Rio silver man, Paul Chelimo in the 32nd Carlsbad 5000, dubbed “The World’s Fastest 5K”.

Competitor Group matchmaker Matt Turnbull and I mounted the press truck while our intrepid camera man Rich Jayne clung to the back of the lead moto.  Here is how the race played out on a perfect Southern California day.

 

Carlsbad 5000 – Results

Overall Bib Name Time
1 1 Dejen Gebremeskel 13:27
2 2 Paul Chelimo 13:47
3 5 Sam McEntee 13:51
4 4 Andy Vernon 13:53
5 9 Stewart McSweyn 13:53
6 14 Jack Rayner 13:59
7 3 Collis Birmingham 14:00
8 11 Haron Lagat 14:11
9 10 Will Leer 14:14
10 6 Jesper Van De Wielan 14:16
11 12 Adam Clark 14:25
12 13 Wade Meddles 14:30
13 8 Tom Lancashire 14:31
14 7 Mac Fleet 14:38
15 16 Nick Scarpello 14:52

2017 CARLSBAD 5000 WOMEN’S RACE VIDEO

Carlsbad, CA. – The 32nd running of the World’s Fastest 5K took to the roads of Carlsbad, California yesterday.  Competitor Group’s elite athlete coordinator Matt Turnbull and I took seats on the lead vehicle while Rich Jayne manned the lead camera.  Here’s how we called it.

Carlsbad 5000 – Results

Overall Bib Name Time
1 108 Viola Lagat 15:35
2 101 Shannon Rowbury 15:36
3 112 Aisha Praught 15:36
4 103 Dominique Scott 15:40
5 104 Brenda Martinez 15:44
6 105 Neely Spence Gracey 15:49
7 102 Lauren Paquette 15:52
8 106 Camille Buscomb 16:02
9 107 Kaori Morita 16:13
10 113 Maria Larsson 16:24
11 109 Sarah Lahti 16:34
12 111 Natasha La Beaud 16:43
13 110 Christine Babcock 16:46
14 114 Christy Cazzola 17:50

END

CARLSBAD 5000 SETS A NEW COURSE

Carlsbad Logo 2015Beyond pure competition the beauty of racing lies in the absolute of distance in relation to the inarguable measure of time.  This weekend marks the 31st running of the Carlsbad 5000, billed, as always, as the World’s Fastest 5K.  And while that subtitle still holds true, as 16 world records, 8 U.S. records, and a laundry list of age-group marks have been set on the tranquil seaside course, it is true mostly in regard to potential for national and age-group marks, rather than the world bests.

Since Kenya’s Sammy Kipketer reeled off his two 13:00 wins in 2000 and 2001 — both years featuring sub-4:00 opening miles — no one has come within a javelin throw of his mark.  Last year on a newly designed layout Tucson-based Kenyan Lawi Lalang took the title in 13:32, equal fourth slowest winning time in Carlsbad history, and same as Steve Scott’s inaugural year win in 1986. U.S. master phenom Bernard Lagat finished third overall in a new world master’s record 13:40 (behind little known Wilson Too of Kenya, 13:35).

Lawi Lalang on his way to victory at CBAD 2015
Lawi Lalang on his way to victory at CBAD 2015 (courtesy, Betancourt Photography)

Lalang, an eight-time NCAA champion while at the University of Arizona, is back to defend in 2016, again taking on his training mate Lagat.  The two will test their mettle against American mile standout Will Leer (fourth in 2013, 13:36), two-time Australian Olympian Collis Birmingham, and Great Britain’s Andy Vernon who set his road 5K PR in Carlsbad in 2012 at 13:40.

On the women’s side, 5K road world record holder and three-time Carlsbad champion Meseret Defar of Ethiopia returns to Carlsbad for the sixth time overall, and first since her 15:04 win in 2010. Mezzy, now 32, is coming off a solid silver medal performance over 3000 meters (behind Genzebe Dibaba) at the recent IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon.  The two-time Olympic 5000 meter champion will be inducted into the Carlsbad 5000 Hall of Fame this weekend, along with six-time women’s wheelchair champion DeAnna Sodoma. (more…)

2015 CARLSBAD 5000 RUNDOWN

IMG_4570Carlsbad, CA. — Warm and windy, not the alliterative conditions they were hoping for at the 30th Carlsbad 5000.  Perhaps serene and swift would have been more like it. And yet, despite the less than ideal racing conditions, they darn near got world record number 17 at the event dubbed “The World’s Fastest 5K”, a moniker CBAD has more than earned over its first 29 years, as it has hosted 16 world and eight U.S. road records over that span.

But it didn’t quite happen in 2015, as Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba could only scare the 2006 mark of 14:46 set by countrywoman Meseret Defar here in the seaside town 30 miles north of San Diego.

The younger sister of two-time Carlsbad champ Tirunesh Dibaba finished in 14:48, third-best road 5K in history, but a full 25-seconds in front of runner up Geleta Burka, also of Ethiopia, the 2013 Carlsbad women’s champion.

With off-shore breezes starching the seaside flags today when the pros got around to racing, the faster overall times organizers expected on the newly designed (for elites only) two-loop course along Carlsbad Boulevard never came to pass. It didn’t help that four-time defending invitational men’s champion Dejen Gebrmeskel of Ethiopia withdrew with an illness just hours before the race. (more…)