World’s Fastest 5K Celebrates 28th Year with Strong Invitational Field
Race Press Release
CARLSBAD, Calif. – April 4, 2013 – Throughout her successful track and field career,Shannon Rowbury has mainly competed at 1,500 meters and 3,000 meters. Now, she’s planning to move up to the 5,000. On Sunday, she’ll take a big step in that direction, running in the Carlsbad 5000.
Despite this event being her first race of the year and her relative inexperience at the distance – she’s run only a few races of that length – Rowbury is among the favorites. The other top entrants in a highly competitive field include Gelete Burka and Werknesh Kidane of Ethiopia, Mercy Cherono and Pasalia Kipkoech of Kenya, Lara Tamsett of Australia, and Americans Brenda Martinez, Katie McGregor andChristin Wurth-Thomas.
For Rowbury, this will be her second appearance at Carlsbad. She was runner-up in 2009, three seconds behind Aheza Kiros. Tamsett was third in that race, just a second in back of Rowbury.
“That was a good performance for me,” said Rowbury. “I love road racing, the energy that road racing gives you. I also love competing in the big track stadiums, but it’s cool running on the roads. Having people right there and the music…it’s different. You can get a lot of energy from the people being right there.”
While Rowbury hasn’t won at 5,000 meters on the roads, she has been successful away from the track, having twice won the prestigious Fifth Avenue Mile in New York. She also has high hopes for the Carlsbad 5000.
“I’ll be looking for a win Sunday,” she said. “That would be a great way to start the season. That would get me ready for a big summer.”
During the summer, Rowbury will concentrate on the 1,500m, hoping to make the World Championship team and improve on her bronze medal finish in 2008. She also plans to run a couple of 3,000m and 5,000m races in Diamond League events.
“I have some unfinished business in the 1,500 first,” Rowbury, 28, said. “I would like to run under four minutes (her PR is 4:00.33) and I would like to win at the World Championships. I would like to get back on the podium. That would be a dream.”
After this summer, she’ll work more on the 5,000, hoping to gain a spot in that event on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team. If she makes it, that would be her third Olympics, the first two in the 1,500. In 2008, she finished seventh, the highest finish ever by an American at that distance in the Games. Four years later, she bettered her performance, placing sixth.
“Hopefully, I will have mastered the 5K by 2016,” she said.
For Sunday’s race, she has been training in the 6,500-foot altitude of warm San Luis Potosi, Mexico. “The warmer weather is helpful for middle-distance runners,” she explained.
Meanwhile, her opponents on Sunday have a lot of experience. Burka was the world indoor champion over 3,000 meters in 2006 and 2008, was fifth at last year’s 5,000 Olympic final and is the Ethiopian record-holder for 10,000 meters. Kidane finished fourth in the 2012 Olympic 10,000 final and has seven individual medals from the World Cross Country Championships.
Cherono was the world junior champion over 3,000 meters in 2008 and 2010. Kipkoech recently placed third in the prestigious EDP Lisbon Half Marathon.
Martinez won the Fifth Avenue Mile last year and was the NCAA runner-up in the 1,500 in 2008. McGregor is a seven-time national champion at distances between 10,000 meters and 25 kilometers, who narrowly missed making the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Olympic teams. Wurth-Thomas was fourth at the Carlsbad 5000 in 2011 and fifth in the 1,500 at the 2009 World Championships.
Both the American and world records for 5,000 have been set at Carlsbad, which is internationally known as the “World’s Fastest 5K” because 16 world records, 8 U.S. records, along with numerous national and age-group records have been set on the scenic oceanfront course. Meseret Defar established the current world mark of 14:46 in 2006 and Deena Kastor set the U.S. women’s record of 14:54 in 2002. The elite field of world-class athletes will be joined by some the best masters runners in the U.S. for the 28th running of one of the marquee events on the international road race circuit.
About the Carlsbad 5000
The 28th annual 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 7:05 am with the Masters Men 40 and Over, the first of nine races that will take place throughout the morning. The main event, featuring the world’s fastest professional athletes, begins at 12:47 pm. The event is home of the current world 5K road records: 13:00, Sammy Kipketer (KEN), 2000 & 2001, and 14:46, Meseret Defar (ETH), 2006.
Race weekend kicks off with a pre-registration party on Friday, April 5 for the Junior Carlsbad, hosted at Visit Carlsbad. On Saturday, April 6 more than 2,000 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-12. 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.
2013 Carlsbad 5000 Women’s Professional Elite Athlete Field
RACE #, NAME, COUNTRY, AGE, CAREER NOTE
F1. Mercy Cherono, Kenya, 21, Two-time world junior champion in the 3000 meters (2008, 2010).
F2. Gelete Burka, Ethiopia, 27, Three-time medalist at the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
F3. Pasalia Kipkoech, Kenya, 24, Ran 1:07:17 to win a half-marathon Rio de Janeiro last year.
F4. Shannon Rowbury, USA, 28, Two-time Olympian in the 1,500 meters, placed sixth in London.
F5. Brenda Martinez, USA, 25, Won the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York last year in 4:24.2.
F6. Lara Tamsett, Australia, 24, Finished third at the 2009 Carlsbad 5000 setting a PR of 15:42.
F7. Christin Wurth-Thomas, USA, 32, The 2008 U.S. indoor champion at 1,500 meters.
F8. Cat Beck, USA, 27, 11-time All-American for Tufts University.
F9. Natasha La Beaud, 25, Finished 4th the 2012 Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon.
F10. Werknesh Kidane, Ethiopia, 31, Won 7 medals at the World Cross Country Championships.
F11. Katie McGregor, USA, 35, Seven-time national champion between 10,000 meters and 25k.
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