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Meseret Defar Runs to Repeat Victory at 22nd Annual Carlsbad 5000 as Henry Rono Steals The Show
New champion crowned in the professional elite men's race

American Jen Rhines takes silver in her first race at the Carlsbad 5000

Note: All of the photos are courtesy Victor Sailor of photorun.net. We thank him greatly for them.

CARLSBAD, Calif., (April 1, 2007) - In her fifth appearance at the Carlsbad 5000, 23-year-old Meseret Defar of Ethiopia became the first woman to successfully defend her title in the race that has seen 16 world records broken in its 22-year history. She won in a time of 15 minutes, one second over the five-kilometer course, falling short in her attempt at also breaking the world record for the second year in a row. In the men's race, a new champion was crowned. In his first race on American soil, Kenyan Simon Ndirangu, 26, won in a time of 13:28.

In 2006, Defar broke the world record at Carlsbad, shattering the previous record by five seconds when she ran 14:46. She had hoped to run 14:00 this year.

"I felt good, I felt strong," Defar said of her performance Sunday. "Sometimes, it's just like this."

According to the men's winner, racing conditions were "perfect."

"I liked the course," said Ndirango. "After mile two, I knew I would win the race."

American Jen Rhines, 32, finished second (15:21), in front of Ethiopian Aheza Kiros, who was third in 15:25.

"The course lived up to everything I'd heard," Rhines said of her debut at the Carlsbad 5000. "I wanted to go out fast in the first mile and keep Meseret as close as possible."

Henry Rono, 55, marked his return to racing as he placed second in his age division (55-59) in a time of 17:48.

"This was a very uplifting experience," Rono said as the spoke with reporters at the finish line and received congratulations from fellow racers. "I let my body lead me. It is good to be back."

A husband and wife team, Dennis and Michelle Simonaitis, from Draper, Utah claimed the top spots in both the men's and women's masters races, finishing in 14:55 and 17:03 respectively.

Edwin Figueroa, 35, of Los Angeles won the men's wheelchair race in a time of 12:47.

Top Results With Prize Money Breakdown Appear Below







Henry Rono


Top 10 Women's Professional Elite Results

1) Meseret Defar, 23, Ethiopia, 15:01, $5,000
2) Jen Rhines, 32, USA/PA, 15:21, $3,500
3) Aheza Kiros, 25, Ethiopia, 15:25, $2,000
4) Malindi Elmore, 27, Canada, 15:40, $1,000
5) Kate O'Neill, 26, USA/CA, 15:52, $800
6) Sara Hall, 24, USA/CA, 15:52, $700
7) Yimenashu Taye, 27, Ethiopia, 15:58, $500
8) Deidre Byrne, 24, Ireland, 16:13, $400
9) Meskerem Legesse, 20, Ethiopia, 16:20, $300
10) Christin Wurth, 25, USA/AR, 16:30, $200

Top 10 Men's Professional Elite Results

1) Simon Ndirangu, 26, Kenya, 13:28, $5,000
2) Juan Luis Barrios, 23, Mexico, 13:32, $3,500
3) David Galvan, 33, Mexico, 13:42, $2,000
4) Boaz Cheboiywo, 29, Mexico, 13:55, $1,000
5) Nicodemus Malakwen, 25, Kenya, 14:06, $800
6) Solomon Kandie, 28, USA/NM, 14:16, $700
7) Robert Cheseret, 23, Kenya, 14:17, $500
8) Samuel Kogei, 21, Kenya, 14:20, $400
9) Dmitry Safronov, 25, Russia, 14:21, $300
10) Kris Houghton, 25, USA/NM, 14:35, $200









Men's Winner Simon Ndirangu

Men's Masters (Age 40 and over)
1) Dennis Simonaitis, 44, Draper, UT, 14:55, $1,000
2) Alan Newton, 44, Boise, ID, 15:07, $500
3) Peter Magill, 45, Pasadena, CA, 15:12, $200

Women's Masters (Age 40 and over)
1) Michelle Simonaitis, 40, Draper, UT, 17:03, $1,000
2) Patty Murray, 41, Boulder, CO, 17:05, $500
3) Midori Sperandeo, 40, Laguna Niguel, CA, 17:21, $200

Men's Wheelchair
1) Edwin Figueroa, 35, Los Angeles, 12:47, $700
2) Ray Stewart, 53, Downey, CA, 12:48, $400
3) Geoffren Erickson, 56, Wilmington, CA, 13:39, $300

The Masters Winners - The Simonaitis Family

Jen Rhines

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