Tag: Steve Scott


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.)




CbadLogoCarlsbad, California may be a laid back beach community most of the year, but each April the idyllic seaside village turns into a laboratory of speed with the coming of the Carlsbad 5000.   Since its inception in 1986, the self-anointed World’s Fastest 5K has more than lived up to its billing. Home to both the current men’s (13:00) and women’s (14:46) 5K road world records, and site of the top 18 performances ever for men, and seven of the top 10 times for women, Carlsbad is an ever-tested proving ground.  (more…)


     The granddaddy of all marathons is less than three weeks away in Boston, but the progenitor of the modern road race is up this weekend in Carlsbad, California.  Entering its 27th year, the suntanned Carlsbad 5000 began buff and has never lost its P-90X shape. Sixteen world road records have been set on the glittering sea-side course north of San Diego.  Add to that innumerable national records and Carlsbad’s reputation as the “World’s Fastest 5K” is more than secure. Not that that was the original goal.

In 1986 American mile legend Steve Scott and New Zealand Olympic 1500 meter champion John Walker re-designed the original inland layout that race founder Tim Murphy had plotted.  Scott and Walker remapped the course into its current T-shaped seaside configuration.  Then Steve won the first three editions of the race, establishing 5K road records in two of those years.

Three-time CBAD champ Steve Scott

“John and I weren’t thinking in terms of a fast course,” said Scott, who will miss his first Carlsbad 5000 ever, as he takes his Cal State San Marcos team out of town all weekend for the Cal-Nevada Championships. “We were thinking of the visuals along the beach for ABC Wide World of Sports and news photographers.  Then the two world records in the first three years established it as a world-record course.  Like in Oslo (home of the Bislett Games), people had a mind-set that they were going to run fast. So they did.”

It is all legend now, but less we forget, before Carlsbad the 10K was the most popular road distance, and nobody thought people would even sign up for a race as short as the 5K.  How wrong they were. Today, the 5K is the #1 U.S. road race distance – or, should we say “Road Event” distance, due to the mega Race for the Cure series.

“The 5K is still handily the road race “King of the Hill” with nearly 4.7 million finishers (yes, another record in 2010),” explained Running USA stats and press guru Ryan Lamppa. “It had 36% of all race finishers in 2010; the universal 3.1 mile distance has been #1 in the U.S. since 1994 when it surpassed the 10K.” (See Table 1 at: http://www.runningusa.org/node/76115#76910.) (more…)


     Trends come and go, but despite a balky economy running events throughout the country have continued to experience a wave of women participants as the overall numbers in the sport show steady improvement year to year. According to Running USA, women filled 53% of event fields in 2010, men only 47%, a sea-change from the statistics found in the early years of the first running boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s. 

     Notwithstanding this participation boom, and despite the fact that the world’s best runners have continued to produce faster and faster times at the tip of the running spear, there has been no echo boom in terms of competitive improvement in the everyday runner.  Participation alone has become the mantra of the masses.  

But as I found out when my wife Toya began coaching local runners in San Diego this year after receiving her ACE-certification in personal training and exercise science certification from UCSD, there are still runners who have an old-school desire to seek out their limits and discover what literary critic Harold Bloom calls “the difficult pleasure”.

     A mid-30’s marathoner with a demanding full-time job, Jesu Claridad was in many statistical ways today’s typical female runner.  She had run seven marathons with a PR of 4:50. Then she met Toya. (more…)