Defending Champion Returns To Carlsbad 5000

by The Editors on March 28, 2012

This Sunday, April 1, 2012, the Carlsbad 5000 will take to the streets of Carlsbadistan for the 27th time. And this years field promises to be the best yet. Ethiopia’s Dejen Gebremeskel, the defending champion and last year’s 5,000-meter bronze medalist will be leading the field. But there’s more:

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, the 2011 Carlsbad runner-up who was ranked No. 1 in the world over 5,000 meters in 2010 and has silver and bronze medals in the 5,000 from the past two Olympic Games; and Ethiopia’s Tariku Bekele, a former world champion over 3,000 meters indoors and with a best of 12:54.45 over 5,000 meters.

For the official word on the world fastest 5K, including the full list of invited elite athletes, follow the jump or click here for previous Carlsbadistan coverage of the Carlsbad 5000 including photos from 2010, 2009.Defending Champion, Two-time Olympic Medalist Headline Carlsbad 5000

Anthony Famiglietti leads Americans at 27th running of the ‘World’s Fastest 5K’

CARLSBAD, Calif. – March 28, 2012 – A race renowned for fast runners and world records once again welcomes a stellar field for the elite invitational at the 27th annual Carlsbad 5000 on Sunday, April 1, 2012.

Headlining the men’s field is Ethiopia’s Dejen Gebremeskel, the defending champion and last year’s 5,000-meter bronze medalist at the World Championships; Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, the 2011 Carlsbad runner-up who was ranked No. 1 in the world over 5,000 meters in 2010 and has silver and bronze medals in the 5,000 from the past two Olympic Games; and Ethiopia’s Tariku Bekele, a former world champion over 3,000 meters indoors and with a best of 12:54.45 over 5,000 meters.

Don’t count out American Anthony Famiglietti on Sunday when he faces some of the world’s top long-distance runners at the Carlsbad 5000. It’s not in his DNA. Famiglietti believes he’s in a good place now and can contend with the world’s best.

“I’m happy to be healthy and confident to be able to go to the starting line with the best in the world,” said Famiglietti, 33, of Davidson, N.C. “I don’t get intimidated. I feel like I can run with the best in the world when I’m on. I’m not backing down.”

Famiglietti’s forte is not the 5K, it’s the 3,000-meter steeplechase, an event in which he has twice been an Olympian. However, he has raced and mastered distances ranging from 1,500 meters to the half-marathon. His 10,000-meter best of 27 minutes, 37.74 seconds and his mile PR of 3:55.71 were set within four weeks of each other. Two weeks ago, he won the 49er 5K Classic at UNC Charlotte in his first outdoor track race of the season, and the following day, he won an 8K road race in 23:56.

He is a six-time U.S. champion, including road titles at 5K, 8K and 15K, he was also the steeplechase gold medalist at the 2001 World University Games and the steeplechase bronze medalist at the 2003 World University Games. In 2007, he ran 13:11.93 for 5K, the fastest by an American on U.S. soil.

“This is the strongest field we’ve had in the last four years,” said Matt Turnbull, elite athlete coordinator for the Carlsbad 5000. “It should be a very closely contested race. So many guys are capable of breaking 13 minutes on the track, but when it comes to Carlsbad, it just hasn’t happened. It shows how good the world record is. It’s been there since 2001.”

The world record for 5K on the roads of 13:00 was set by Kenya’s Sammy Kipketer at Carlsbad in 2000. He matched that time a year later.

“Gebremeskel has done some amazing things since winning last year,” said Turnbull. “If he and Kipchoge, who’s in great shape, can help each other, maybe we can get the world record. But it’s all about racing, not necessarily times. I’ll be happy with a 13:01 or 13:02, if we get a close race down to the finish.”

Famiglietti was in shape to break the American record in 2009, but just missed the American mark of 13:24 set by Marc Davis at Carlsbad in 1996. This time, Famiglietti could take down the record if he tries to keep pace with the elite internationals.

“He’s up against the world’s best,” Turnbull added. “He and Alistair Cragg (of Ireland) are front-runners and should hang on as long as they can.”

Famiglietti’s front-of-the-pack tactics earned him the nickname of “Iron Man” earlier in his career “because I went out so fast,” he said. “I’ve learned to adapt over time. Winning is good, but running fast is better.”

Race weekend kicks off with a pre-registration party on Friday, March 30th for the Junior Carlsbad hosted at the Carlsbad Village Faire. On Saturday, March 31st more than 2,500 junior racers, age 12 and under, will take part in one of the eleven age group races. All runners receive a t-shirt and finisher’s medal for their efforts. Awards will be presented to the top junior athletes ages five through twelve.

Registration for both the Junior Carlsbad and Carlsbad 5000 is available race weekend. For more information or to view the full race day schedule, visit Carlsbad5000.com or call 800-311-1255.

About the Carlsbad 5000
The 27th running of the Carlsbad 5000 annually attracts amateur, competitive and professional runners from around the world. It is the only road race from a commonly run distance in the world that is home to the world records and its home country records for both genders. Race day begins at 7:05am with the Masters Men 40 and over, the first of nine races that will take place throughout the morning. The ‘Party by the Sea’ gets started as soon as the first runners cross the finish line. After enjoying the scenic 3.1-mile course, participants age 21 and over can step into the beer garden, sip two free brews and then rock out to a live band. The main event, featuring the world’s fastest professional athletes, begins at 12:15pm. The Carlsbad 5000 is the home of the current world 5K road records: 13:00, Sammy Kipketer (KEN), 2000 & 2001, and 14:46, Meseret Defar (ETH), 2006. For more information, please visit Carlsbad5000.com.

2012 Men’s Invitational Field
Race #, Name, Age, Country, Career Highlight

1. Dejen Gebremeskel, 22, ETH, Defending champion and finished 3rd at the ‘11 World Championships over 5,000m
2. Eliud Kipchoge, 27, KEN, Has a silver and bronze medal over 5,000m from the last 2 Olympic Games
3. Tariku Bekele, 25, ETH, World Champion over 3,000m indoors, making debut over the 5k distance on the roads
4. Anthony Famiglietti, 33, USA, Two-time Olympian and six-time U.S. Champion, known by the nickname “Fam”
5. Alistair Cragg, 31, Ireland, Two-time Olympian and Irish record holder over 3000m and 5000m indoors.
6. Juan Carlos Romero, 34, Mexico, Finished fourth at Carlsbad last year running a PR of 13:50
7. Hagos Gebrehiwot, 17, ETH, Made road racing debut on New Year’s Eve in Madrid when he won over 10km
8. John Kipkoech, 20, Kenya, Promising athlete new to the international circuit, owns a 13:26 PR for 5,000m
9. Ryan Gregson, 21, Australia, The Australian record holder for 1,500m; his PR on the roads for 5K is 14:17
10. Diego Borrego, 24, Mexico, Finished 6th here last year running 14:05 for his personal best
11. Andy Vernon, 26, Great Britain, His best 5,000m time is 13:27.85, making his 5k debut on the roads
12. Haron Lagat, 28, KEN, Finished third in Carlsbad in 2008 with a time of 13:36
13. Aron Rono, 29, KEN, An AZUSA Pacific athlete, he is a four-time National 10,000M Champion (2006-2009)
14. Jordan Williamsz, 19, Australia, Jordan set a PR earlier this year over 1500m when running 3.39.74
15. Darren Brown, 27, USA, All-American, University of Texas. 4th at the USATF Road Mile Championships
16. Brett Robinson, 20, Australia, Has set PR’s over 1500 and 5000m this year, 13:40:98 being the latter
17. Craig Miller, 24, USA (Denver), Has set personal bests over 1 mile indoors and 5000m this year
18. Brandan Bethke, 25, USA (Ann Arbor), Ran 13:25:82 over 5000m winning at Stanford last May
19. Andrew Carlson, 29, USA (MN) Finished sixth at the Olympic Trials Marathon in January
20. Jarrod Shoemaker, 29, USA (MA), Former u-23 World Triathlon Champion and member of ‘08 Olympic team

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